Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Restaurant Update: Jack & Nellie's

 I've been meaning to return to Jack & Nellie's on Ascan for quite some time. I paid them a visit more than a year ago when they first opened and enjoyed the place, but had hoped at that time that they would expand the menu from just small plates to meal-size portions. After all, Lord knows we here in Forest Hills can still use some great new restaurant choices to have a full meal at, not just a few small plates. Maybe other NYC neighborhoods can afford the luxury of small plates, but let's deal here in Forest Hills with the lack of a variety of great places to get a full meal before we even go there.

And, thankfully, we are indeed dealing...

Jack & Nellie's must have been listening because they have done just that in the ensuing months.

Jack & Nellie's owner, Cyril, was, smartly, one of the local restaurants to take me up on my offer and contact me to inform the blog's readers about recent changes to his establishment.

Here's a portion of what he told me, in his own words:

"Jack & Nellie's has expanded its menu. While we still have many of our crowd favorite small plates (i.e: Mac & cheese with chorizo, lamb meatballs, garlic & artichoke dip, sliders...) we have extended it to entrĂ©e size platters such as Grilled Hanger Steak (served with chimichurri sauce and potato wedges), Grilled Salmon (over succotash), Jack & Nellie's Burger (served with fries), Kale Cesar Salad (served with or without grilled chicken), Vegetable Risotto, to name a few. Our chef has also been coming up with tasty specials each night (usually 2 or 3) and our brunch (every Sat & Sun from 11am-3pm) not only has a dedicated following, but we also offer live jazz to enhance the experience. Even though we are not taking reservations for brunch, we are thrilled to see returning customers each weekend, and look forward to seeing new ones as well. I am happy to report that the feedback from our customers (from far and away) has been positive and we hope to continue being a pillar of the Forest Hills community."

So, I look forward to visiting Jack & Nellie's again soon and giving their new menu a try! Tucked away on the quieter Ascan Ave,, just around the corner from busy Austin, you could say Jack & Nellie's has a bit of a disadvantage in getting noticed by the thousands of shoppers who visit Forest Hills each day—especially given all the publicity the newer restaurants coming into the neighborhood have recently been getting.

Well, you could say that. Or, you could say J&N has a huge advantage—a charming eatery in a quieter section of the neighborhood, away from all the hustle & bustle of the big city.

So, when you're thinking of another restaurant to try here in Forest Hills, keep Jack & Nellie's in mind.


  1. It's good to see Jack & Nellie's featured. They are by far my favorite spot in Forest Hills. The food is good and they have a very nice wine selection. The vibe is laid back but fun. A very friendly staff is the icing on the cake. Looking forward to dining there again, soon.

  2. This is my absolute favorite restaurant in town. I love the entire atmosphere and to be honest I appreciate being able to order a few small plates to share rather than a full meal. I am there a few times a month and just did birthday brunch with my whole family!

  3. Jack and Nellie's is hands down my favorite restaurant in this neighborhood! Great atmosphere, great food, and the staff is wonderful!!

  4. Jack & Nellie's is probably my favorite restaurant in Forest Hills. I recalled them having the large entrees for a few months already. I like their food is better than Banter's. But I probably shouldn't say that out loud since it's really a hidden gem.

  5. Jack and Nellie's is a great spot and the owner is very friendly, nice bartenders too! Glad to see they are expanding the menu. I haven't been there in awhile but it seems like some days they have live music as well which is another unique plus to this restaurant!!

  6. I love Jack & Nellie's. I recently took grandma there and she really liked it (she's not easy to please). The ambiance is friendly and relaxed. A welcome vibe from other restaurants in the neighborhood that you kind of have to mentally prepare to dine out to.

  7. I keep meaning to take my mom there for brunch. I think she'll love it!

  8. Wish I could like this place, but for a wine bar, their wine selection is pretty bad...

  9. Drake, I think you have a person with multiple personality disorder in this thread. Lots of positive comments in the same tone within a few minutes of each other. I have nothing against the place and find it decent, but the MPD thing is pretty lame.

    1. What's lame is jumping to conclusions. This post was linked to 700 Facebook followers and hundreds on Twitter. Flurries of comments usually follow shortly after I alert these followers about a new post, as I did in this case.

  10. I really like J&N too (no MPD here). I like the small plates but also glad that they have some meal-sized options. The husband and I usually order 3-4 things and share. Great craft beer and wine selection. Good service. No TV, decent music. Love the regular, longstanding items on the menu as well as the rotating specials. Meatball Mondays. Yup, a great addition to the neighborhood.