Last weekend my girlfriend and I had the chance to try a restaurant named Jamie Lynn’s Kitchen. We thought the interior, with its funky mismatched furniture and painted brick, was both warm and welcoming. Between its looks and eclectic menu, Jamie Lynn’s would fit in well with many eating establishments that have opened up in Brooklyn these past few years. Well, except for one thing.
We weren’t in Williamsburg’s East River rust belt, nor were we in Park Slope. The trendy restaurant we were dining in wasn’t in Fort Greene and it wasn’t on Cortelyou Road. The view, looking out through the storefront’s window, was of 86th Street. We were off the corner of 15th Avenue to be exact, just a golf ball’s throw from the Dyker Heights Golf Course.
The decor wasn’t the only thing that was warm and welcoming. We could tell from the friendly banter between the patrons and staff that the Kitchen, as the restaurant is called on its awning’s signage, is a place where people feel right at home. Our waiter was personable and quick witted in that certain unpretentious way I have rarely found outside of working class Brooklyn. We were gratefully far from the unnecessary haughtiness that Brooklyn cuisine is gaining a reputation for.
The food was likewise down home but sophisticated and, in most cases, very good. I ordered the Spicy Mussels with chorizo as an appetizer. They came in a white wine garlic broth which I think included some lemon grass; putting a more worldly spin on what so many individual cultures across the world consider the epitome of simple comfort food. They were evocative of, and equal to, some of the best mussels I’ve eaten in both Thai and Italian restaurants. I also enjoyed my cocktail; a not too sweet, refreshing and potent Vanilla Chip Ice Martini.
My girlfriend, who ordered the Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla, thought that they could have been more upfront about their use of healthier (and less tasty), whole wheat tortillas. The dish was able to somewhat redeem itself, thanks to the delectably smokey flavor of its cheddar cheese.
For my main course I gobbled down their terrific Asian Burger, something I definitely plan to order again in the near future. Everything on the burger was delicious, from the sweet and sour slaw to the spicy Thai chili sauce. The sweet potato chips could have been a tad less sweet and more salty-savory, but were still very tasty in my opinion. Desert was fried banana wontons served over vanilla ice cream and drizzled with honey. You heard me. I felt like I was on my way to the promised land, eating this fusion of milk and honey. I was always a sucker for fried bananas, so I value them highly. Finding them inside a crunchy fried wonton? Priceless.
The food was a welcome change from, while at the same time seemed like a homage to, traditional Brooklyn restaurants. In most cases Jamie Lynn’s successfully integrates Italian, Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean and American styles. Each cuisine has its own place and audience in Southwestern Brooklyn but rarely, as seen here, do they share the same stage.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, I gave Jamie Lynn’s Kitchen a 4.0 for Affordability, 4.3 for Value, a 5.0 for Service, 4.3 for Food, and 4.9 for atmosphere. Based on these five criteria Jamie Lynn’s Kitchen received a score of :
4.5 inanimate objects
When visiting Jamie Lynn’s Kitchen expect to spend around 30 dollars a person before drinks. The restaurant is located at 1504 86th Street near the corner of 15th Avenue in Brooklyn.