A humble, elegant, relaxed dining room feels perfect after a sunset walk up Narragansett Avenue, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at J22, or as I like to call is J22TT (a nickname that I really hope catches on). The vibe is nautical, upscale, and cool as hell. With a bar that looks like it could be straight out of Jaws – but also somehow brand new – J22 is the perfect place to capture that salty New England summer atmosphere.
Eating here was like boxing Mike Tyson, if his fists were made out of thoughtful takes on New England classics. Dish after dish, I couldn’t believe the power coming out of that kitchen and I wasn’t about to throw in the towel. J22 wowed me.
The Point Judith Calamari will give you the best version of what you’d expect from the very well-known squid dish, plus some red cherry peppers and a delicious alternative aioli that brings it to a new level of intrigue and satisfaction.
When I read “Blackened Shrimp Alfredo Pizza”, I expected something heavy – and I was pleasantly surprised by a thin, flatbread pizza. The blackened shrimp has an excellent slight chipotle spice, served with cherry tomatoes, capers, and finished with careful, thin lines of alfredo sauce drizzle. J22 combines these bold flavors in a way that somehow feels airy and refreshing.
The Smothered Steak Poutine is a curveball to the normal turf offerings you’d find at a seafood restaurant. This combination of steak, fries, onions, mushrooms, cheddar, and gravy is a model way to excite the landlubbers at the table.
Their Linguini and Clams is, with no exaggeration, exquisite, but I was moved by their undeniable Paella, made up of littlenecks, shrimp, scallops, fish of the day, sofrito, capers, and olives. It was so good that I wasn’t sure if the tear in my eye was from the spice or the emotion.
The Faroe Island Salmon comes with lemon risotto, compound butter, and grilled asparagus. I’m a sucker for salmon cooked perfectly, with a slightly crunchy top and a buttery middle. But I was taken aback by how much the lemon risotto adds to this dish. A thick, citrus base (combined with a small amount of balsamic on the asparagus) sends this over the top.
The Crab Cakes are thicker and more moist than your traditional version, with the added touch of a buffalo cauliflower puree – a great case for J22’s entire approach: They take the familiar, maximize the quality, and then bring in their distinctive, original twist or added element. To me, this is the way to excite diners, get their attention, and bring them back in for more.
J22 puts Jamestown squarely on the map for culinary experiences in the Ocean State. Wherever you’re coming from, J22 Tap and Table is worth the trip.
J22 Tap and Table • 22 Narragansett Ave, Jamestown • 423-3709