Venue Review: Jeffrey's Restaurant
The Charlotte Observer
A lofty, airy space, Jeffrey’s has dining upstairs (which also can be reserved for private parties) and down. Tables are well spaced on the lower level and ringed with more intimate booths. A large group or a couple would feel equally at home here. An outdoor patio with a fireplace makes a great spot for a cocktail or meal once the weather warms up a bit.
Local restaurateurs Jeff and Terry Lancaster (they also own Lancaster’s BBQ and The Boathouse), opened Jeffrey’s in 2005. The restaurant offers creative American cuisine with a concentration on fresh regional ingredients and an emphasis on Southern food.
For example, one of their dinner specialties is 16-ounce grilled Berkshire pork chops topped with homemade andouille sausage gravy ($24). Other Southern specialties include shrimp and grits in a honey curry sauce ($18), and a crispy Carolina seafood plate with jumbo shrimp, calamari, oysters and flounder and Carolina tartar sauce ($18).
If it’s steak, fish or pasta you crave, Jeffrey’s has you covered there as well. Center-cut steaks, aged for a minimum of 40 days, range from a six-ounce petite filet ($22) to a house-favorite “baseball” cut sirloin ($22). There’s also a Colorado lamb T-bone porterhouse for $24.
Seafood dishes, in addition to the shrimp and grits and Carolina seafood plate, include an almond-encrusted tilapia with a tangerine butter sauce ($16), a pan-roasted halibut finished with a tarragon beurre blanc sauce ($23), and sautéed crab cakes (also available as an appetizer) with Jeffrey’s signature remoulade ($22).
Several of the pasta dishes also feature seafood. There’s a jumbo shrimp al pomodoro over ziti ($20), seared diver scallops over linguine alfredo ($24), and lobster and cheese ravioli in a tomato cream sauce ($19). Sautéed chicken breast stars in pasta paloma, served in a sherry cream sauce and tossed with gemelli ($18).
Other chicken dishes include the simple olive oil and herb basted chicken ($20), pan-fried chicken breast topped with a red pepper cream sauce ($16), and chicken parmesan ($19). There’s also a duck provencal dish served over sautéed duck confit, Swiss chard, grape tomatoes and basil and butternut squash ($22).
You could also make a meal out of starters at Jeffrey’s. There’s shrimp cocktail, ($13), sesame seared tuna ($11), and ginger peanut lettuce wraps ($7). For this last appetizer, tender chicken is sautéed in a light ginger peanut sauce and then served with pickled cucumber, carrots, cabbage, and crispy noodles – all ready to be wrapped in leaves of butter lettuce.
Don’t forget to order wine or a cocktail – Jeffrey’s has a full bar and there are many choices on their martini menu. The extensive wine list has some interesting offerings: from the whites, a torrontes from Argentina and a viognier from Australia. From the reds, there’s a garnacha from Spain and an organic cabernet/carmenere blend from Chile. By-the-glass prices range from $6 to $13.
And, of course, ask your server to bring out the dessert tray. Favorites include red velvet cake, key lime cheesecake and coconut cream cake.