Denver Restaurants: Jonesy’s EatBar

Today I had every intention of writing about Scribbles in the South Platte River neighborhood, “a unique stationery and invitation boutique with a modern sense of grace.” Whatever. But my dated pictures of Halloween decorations stopped me from doing so. I need Christmas cards, so I’ll visit again and give you a more contemporary update soon. (Seriously, go check out the “About Us” page. It’s cute.)

In place of that, I give you Jonesy’s EatBar, a gastropub in Uptown. I’ve eaten there twice in its current incarnation, but I remember when it was the Painted Bench. I was taking a screenwriting class from Lighthouse Writers in 2002, and after many of the classes we would get dinner at the Painted Bench, on 20th Avenue west of Park Avenue, just a block or two from the instructor’s apartment.

I had charcuterie there, which was good. Sometime after 2002 the restaurant turned into the Dish, which I never visited. Then the owner of the Dish decided to simplify her life as a high-end restaurateur, and Jonesy’s was born in 2008.

Last spring, I went there with Denveater and had the Lamby Joe sliders with bacon, blue cheese, and caramelized onion, and the buffalo fries. Jonesys EatBar lamb sliders Uptown Denver 2009The blue cheese and hot sauce on the fries seemed like an afterthought, but the sliders had this tender, moist meat that I still dream about.

Denveater ordered the mac-and-cheese to take home, which I tasted. The “un-fancy, down-home” style didn’t make much of an impression. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for multiple cheeses a la Dazzle or D Bar. But when Todd and I went back months later and ordered the split fries (both mac-and-cheese fries and truffle and aioli fries), Jonesy's EatBar truffle and Mac and Cheese fries Oct 2009I changed my mind. It may have been the combination of potato and cheddar and bacon that made the difference. I ate most of them and left the truffle fries for Todd. Again, the topping there seemed incidental.

As if to make up for that indulgence, Todd ordered the Caesar Salad and I the Thai Green Curry Veggie Bowl. Jonesy's EatBar Thai gree curry veggie bowl Oct 2009Todd’s salad dressing had enough garlic and anchovy to be spicy and rich, whereas the veggie bowl was merely spicy without a lot of coconut or other flavor to make up for it.

One of Jonesy’s more endearing traits is its focus on Colorado craft beers and interesting wines. Neither of us drinks much beer, so we went for wine: in Todd’s case, the Aveleda Fonte Vinho Verde, which smelled of litchi and tasted of grapefruit; in my case, the Santa Rita Reserve Cabernet (Chile), which had very soft tannins and a warm fruit aroma.

At happy hour (M-F, 5-7, and Sunday night), wine is half-price and certain beers are $2.50. If you like a quieter dining scene, I suggest going then. Jonesy’s gets pretty loud when it’s full.
Jonesy's EatBar on Urbanspoon