JACKSON TWP – Presentation-wise, I was immediately impressed when a waiter brought in complimentary bread and soaking oil with “DP” drawn on the surface in dark letters.
Photos of DP Jackson’s visual flair were posted on Facebook. The steaks, chops and sides were served on wooden blocks. Other dishes featured artistically spread or drizzled sauces.
Customers also posted images of very stylish plates with praise for the taste and quality of the food.
The restaurant is by reservation only unless there are open tables.
So, having previously written about the opening of the new steak, chops and seafood restaurant at 6823 Wales Ave. NW, I tried DP Jackson at the request of my wife, who was craving an exceptional steak dinner.
The bread, deliciously buttered and toasted, tasted even better when soaked in well-seasoned oil.
What followed, however, did not match the reviews I had seen on social media.
My wife, Traci, was severely disappointed after a few bites of what had been described on the menu as a premium Angus Delmonico black rib eye – $ 37.50 for 15 ounces ($ 2.50 an ounce between 14 and 32 ounces).
After enjoying a few bites, I agreed that the steak, ordered well, leaned towards well done on the outside, while looking half rare on the inside.
His steak was dry, heavily charred in places, sometimes chewy – not of the caliber you’d expect from the restaurant, which uses meat from its Hartville Hometown Meats & Seafood Company subsidiary.
Hartville Hometown Meats has a new second location on the same plaza as DP Jackson.
The DP Jackson steak lacked obvious marbling and the fat was spread.
A butter of rosemary and garlic garnished the steak, but the meager portion didn’t make up for the lack of seasoning and flavor. Roasted poblano butter and gorgonzola cream are other complementary options.
The steaks are cut to order and grilled over charcoal. Filet mignon comes in six to 10 ounces ($ 3.50 an ounce). The premium Angus New York black band is between 10 and 20 ounces ($ 2.25 per ounce).
The DP King’s 32-ounce cowboy steak costs $ 85 and comes with a take-out wooden serving board and steak knife.
Chilean salmon was overcooked
The charcoal grilled Chilean salmon with couscous and snow peas ($ 26) which I selected in part on the recommendation of our server was no more satisfying.
Clearly overcooked, the fish was particularly dry on the charred top. My daughter, Paige, who generally likes salmon, agreed.
And the accompanying sauce – white citrus butter – didn’t boost the flavor of the salmon, as I hoped.
However, the side of snow peas mixed with butter was commendable – absolutely delicious.
Sides cost extra with steak entrees, including pan-seared asparagus $ 7; mashed potato fry, $ 5; fire-roasted corn, $ 6; and whipped potatoes, $ 5.
Pork belly misses the mark
We chose slow roasted pork belly ($ 9) as an appetizer, an article I have salivated for years watching it expertly prepared on Food Network.
The pork belly was seasoned in a sweet and savory mix and served with chili aioli and beer cheese for dipping. It was too greasy and greasy, so much so that a trail of fat dripped from the plate to the floor as the waiter brought it to us. Fat also spilled off the plate and collected on our table.
A few pieces of meat were tender, charred and crispy on top. However, parts of the pork belly were cold.
Macaroni and Cheese Skillet
Still hesitant to judge a restaurant over one or two courses, we ordered the Mac and Cheese Skillet for Paige.
Served in an iron skillet at 650 degrees, the dish is hearty and had a pleasantly cheesy consistency that wasn’t ridiculously gooey or dry.
Paige, however, didn’t like it because dad suggested she order the bacon barbecue version ($ 12), which includes orange cheddar and American cheese baked with homemade bacon and barbecue sauce and topped with breadcrumbs.
The barbecue flavor was too strong for my daughter’s taste, but others might find it heavenly. A smoked gouda version could have been a better alternative.
Other menu options look promising, such as the Wild Mushroom Ravioli, which features hand-pressed pasta stuffed with fresh mushrooms, ricotta and goat cheese placed on a spicy and creamy tomato arrabbiata vodka (17 $).
Homemade Lobster Bisque ($ 32) is best described as a large starter-sized bowl topped with a whole lobster tail and served with slices of toasted French baguette.
A bone-in pork chop ($ 24) is described on the menu as a “1.5 pound slow oven-roasted pork chop, grilled with our homemade bourbon barbecue sauce and served with a roasted apple.”
Maybe a night’s rest in the kitchen
Overall our experience was lackluster if not confusing given the abundance of positive reviews I had seen. The $ 102 bill before the tip only added to the frustration.
The restaurant’s decor is modern but casual, and there is no dress code. The entrance is confusing, as access is through a nearby store Nom Nom Popcorn Co ..
Customer service was superb. Our server was knowledgeable, courteous and attentive.
She was quick not to charge us for the pork belly after expressing our displeasure. We also told him about our dissatisfaction with the steak and the fish.
Our time constraints did not allow us to seek a replacement for steak and fish.
Considering the number of positive reviews, it is possible that we experienced an off night for the kitchen. If the price wasn’t a deterrent, I would be willing to try DP Jackson again.
Contact Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected]
On Twitter @ebalintREP