"The menu is always changing with the whims of the Greenmarket, resulting in an imaginative and breezy bunch of dishes."
Jimmy's No. 43 is a craft beer bar on 7th Street in the East Village. Longtime supporters of New York's farmers' markets, they have a surprisingly robust menu of small and large plates that go great with a beer. Actually, they're good enough to stand on their own (though, let's face it, the beer doesn't hurt).
We were feeling snacky on a recent evening, so we settled into a table near the window and ordered a Charcuterie Plate ($8) and a Cheese Plate ($10) and a couple of pints. The charcuterie selection that night was a porcini salami, served with toasted bread doused in fragrant olive oil. Accompanying the meat and bread were a few stalks of poached asparagus, market-fresh radishes and pickled baby onions. The salami, flavored with sage, was salty and rich with just enough fat to make it lucious without going overboard. There was a generous amount of meat, and the vegetables added value and a perceived healthiness.
The cheese plate was not as great a value, but still delicious. It consisted of a few slices of a soft cow's milk cheese from Cato Corner Farm in Connecticut called Bridgid's Abbey, as well as a few almonds drizzled in honey and toasted bread that, for some reason, lacked the crunchiness of the toast served with the salami. A fine after-work snack—but a bit steep at $10, especially when compared with some of the other options on the small plates menu.
Next up was a light salad of Baby Mizuna and Mustard Greens with Grapefruit and Feta ($8). The greens were tasty, but the ultra-sweet grapefruit and firm, salty feta sourced from Lively Run, a goat dairy from the Finger Lakes, stole the show here: we were left wanting more, and would have preferred a bowl of just the fruit and cheese.
Dipping into the large plates menu, the Blue Moon Fisheries' Smoked Bluefish ($15) plate is built for sharing. The huge hunks of fish came served with crispy bread, more of the grapefruit from before, creme fraiche, new potatoes and asparagus. There was so much fish here! It was salty, smoky, everything you want smoked fish to be—but still a welcome change from the usual smoked salmon or trout. The accompaniments at first looked tossed together (good to see you again, poached asparagus) but in the end they complemented each other very nicely.
There are a number of decent bars serving craft beer in the East Village; there's even one directly above Jimmy's. But when you factor in the friendly service, casual crowd and way above average food offerings, Jimmy's is the best around. The menu is always changing with the whims of the Greenmarket, resulting in an imaginative and breezy bunch of dishes that elevate the drinking experience. All that and we came in under-budget at $41 before tax and tip, or just under $14 per person.
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