The Jonesville Store
WHERE: 989 Main St., Clifton Park. 877-0507, www.thejonesvillestore.com
WHEN: 8 a.m to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $76.96
MORE INFO: Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover. Wheelchair accessible. Accommodations made for children’s meals.
CLIFTON PARK We talk about food a lot in my family, but that’s not why Mom and I remember exactly what we had for lunch at The Jonesville Store six months ago. It’s because it was so good. A quick trip to their website revealed an appealing dinner menu and an excuse to go back.
It feels like an old-timey general store, albeit an upscale one, with wooden floors and shelves of provisions and small wooden tables and chairs on the first floor, an open gallery that showcases local art and a gift shop on the second. Did a bell jingle cheerfully as we pushed open the door, or did my imagination supply that?
The Jonesville Store offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, for eat-in or takeout, six days a week.
Talk about seasonal. There’s something wholesome and right about keeping fruits and vegetables to their season, even fish and meats, and learning to love them at their peak. Jonesville Store, whose philosophy is to eat good food, appreciates this.
Charming and cozy, with paper napkins and relaxed service, it’s a casual place that serves high-end meals.
There were five entree choices for the week, in addition to the sandwich- and salad-heavy menu, and all included autumnal flavors. Since it was Wednesday, it was also pasta night, with its own choices. From the weekly menu, I selected the pan-roasted chicken ($15.95) and Mom ordered the grilled ribeye ($18.95).
We started with salads. Although the menu lists meal-sized salads, our server told us we could choose any one as a side salad for half the price. Mom had the Caesar salad ($4.99), which came with a generous topping of Parmesan cheese. The Romaine was fresh, cold and clean, and Mom finished it off.
I chose the garden salad ($4.99), with sweet, thinly sliced purple onions, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and fluffy green lettuce — a bit too fluffy. The lettuce was in ribbons, which meant I had to slice it. The balsamic vinaigrette had a touch of mustard, and it was a lovely salad, chilly and crisp.
The chicken was of excellent quality, served supreme: A boneless breast sports the tiny wingette, which keeps the breast meat intact and moist. The skin was caramelized brown and basted with something sweet. It was served with bacon and pear braised cabbage in a red wine and brown sugar syrup sauce.
The pears were mandoline-thin and perfectly ripened. I dug out salty bits of thick bacon dripping with syrup. Cabbage isn’t a favorite of mine, but I gladly ate it, which goes to show how good the cooking is. There was enough food to satisfy but not stuff. The store clearly values quality over quantity.
Mom’s ribeye steak was cooked perfectly, and charred just the right amount around the edges. There was puddle of a lovely caramel demiglace for the meat . . . and the doughnuts.
What better seasonal starch than Lakeside Farms cider doughnut toast? These doughnuts were firm and slightly dry, sliced lengthwise. They were perfect for soaking up the caramel demiglace. I had to try a piece. It was slightly odd, but addicting.
The menu says the meat is certified Hereford, but Mom just said it was delicious. It was a generously sized piece of meat, not too thick, but sprawling. Atop the steak was a pile of tender cuts of buttered leeks, a marvel, said Mom, who added that while leeks can be tough, these weren’t a bit.
We headed to the refrigerated case to gaze slack-jawed at desserts from The Chocolate Mill pastry shop and cafe in Glens Falls. Choosing a dessert from the Chocolate Mill is like trying to pick out the cutest kitten in a litter. You want them all, badly. From what I’ve seen of their handiwork, The Chocolate Mill is a must-visit for any dessert lover. I chose chocolate truffle cake ($5.95), with emphasis on the truffle. It was the chocolate sprinkles on the side of the cake that sold me. Two thin layers of chocolate cake turn this from candy to dessert. It’s rich, and sweet.
Mom had a slice of the praline cake ($5.95), with tempting butterscotch topping. A thin layer of chocolate cake, a thicker one of mousse and chopped nuts, and chocolate on the bottom, Very, very tasty, she said.
It seems a shame to describe these meals that are as fleeting as the season. Console yourself with the fact that there will be something else wonderful when you visit.
The tab for dinner, with two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, tax, and tip came to $76.96.