“Coupledom” at Jenicca’s Café and Wine Bar

G3 - A Great Bite

(Republished with permission from G3 Illustrated)

Benifer. Brangelina. We’re becoming accustomed to the shorthand of celebrity coupledom. The very fact that one is assigned a “couplename” denotes a glamour and comportment to which we mere mortals can only aspire.

It was with that simple expectation that Jim and I set out this month to have A Great Bite at Jenicca’s Café and Wine Bar on Market. The café is named for sisters Jennifer and Rebecca – a pair whose effortless style and charisma is reflected in every aspect of their namesake establishment.

The restaurant is sleek in its simplicity, with all of the appeal of a little black dress updated for the new millennium. The rich colors and warm lighting create an atmosphere that you just want to soak up through your pores. Then you sit down and you are wrapped in the sumptuous soundtrack that combines the comfort of your favorite Sunday morning mix with the cool vibe reminiscent of a night spent at Seattle Grace Hospital.

Jenicca’s has an extensive wine list as the name would suggest. And that really comes into its own on Friday night “Date Nights” where the girls dedicate the menu and the music into a specific region of the world from France to Tuscany pairing courses with flights of delicious wines.

Jennica’s menu is made up entirely of small plates – delicious, uncomplicated soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees that you select individually to create the meal that best suits your mood and your appetite. I love this type of menu – like a date with an attention deficit commitment-phobe. And in my case, despite the cliché, I have always believed more is more.

So we decide, with Rebecca’s assistance, to do a sampling of some of the best small plates Jenicca’s has to offer.

We start with a delightful mixed green salad with bleu cheese, pear and dried cranberry topped with vinaigrette. With our perfect salad under our belt (literally), we progress to the mouthwatering chicken and cheese quesadilla – perfectly prepared, hot but not overdone. The dilla was accompanied by a delicious homemade salsa that provided the perfect punch to dress up this course.

Next we enjoyed the skewered shrimp and pineapple glazed with sweet teriyaki sauce. But the real surprise of this course was the Thai peanut dipping sauce – a wonderful and unexpected complement.

We finished with the dessert sampler, a lovely combination of fruit, petit fours and mini cheesecakes that satisfied both the commitment-phobe and the ADD sufferer in me.

As we say goodbye to Rebecca, thank her for the experience and dash out the door to make curtain at Actors Theatre, a final thought crosses my mind: Jimichael will definitely be coming back to this place.

By Michael Tierney
G3 Illustrated
January 2007