Au Jus opened its small, nondescript Yorkville storefront about six months ago, and has been serving its menu of four sandwiches—porchetta, leg of lamb, roast beef, and portobello mushroom—since. We tried the beef and the lamb, and were somewhat impressed, but one key thing seemed like it was missing. Funnily enough, that thing was written in big letters on the front window.
The Roasted Beef Au Jus ($12) is piled high with Choice Angus beef on a formidable but pillowy baguette, and the quality beef—proudly noted by co-owner Phil Bozzo, who previously ran the Fifth Avenue Epicure, according to The Wall Street Journal—definitely pulls its weight. It's tender, juicy, flavorful (although lightly seasoned), and definitely could stand out against the unfortunate array of dry and flavorless roast beef offerings that, quite frankly, taste like tissues.
However, while jus was ladled on the bread and beef several times during the sandwich's assembly, there simply wasn't enough. The jus that was there made its presence known, and the bread did an excellent job of soaking it up, but the whole experience would have been dramatically improved with some on the side for dipping. Jamie was especially disappointed that there would be no jus-dipped bread.
The Roast Leg Of Lamb Sandwich ($12) served on focaccia was decent, although it barely registers as lamb and lacks a certain French-named thing to dip it in. The two sides we ordered; lentil soup and roast potatoes (both $5) were comforting on a cold day, if also mildly seasoned. They also have a $7.95 lunch special from 11am-4pm daily, which includes a "medium" version of any sandwich, choice of roasted potatoes or cole slaw, and a drink.
We imagine the neighborhood is pleased with this generous take on the classic beef sandwich. Just do yourself a favor and ask for extra jus.
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