I went out to eat without any other movers. Sorry guys. It was another work "obligation." I went with two coworkers in hopes to convince one to stay with the company. We went to Jumpin' Jays Fish Café. Now, I am an adventurous eater and I will eat just about anything, but I am not a fan of fish (Sushi not included, it is a different food group.) I did not suggest this restaurant, but I have been there before and was not opposed to going again. Let me just say that this restaurant gave me such a complete and wonderful dinning experience that I may now have to elevate it to one of my top five restaurants in Portsmouth. The only reservation that I had about Jay's is that one of the last few times I was there I felt a little rushed. This was not the case.
She was an exceptional waitress that knew quite a bit about the menu and was more then happy to extend an opinion on the food and make suggestions. She answered our questions with courtesy and grace. She even interjected comments into a conversation that I was not all that comfortable with, and eased the tension. She was also quite pregnant.
We ordered the Steamed PEI Mussels with a spicy saffron cream, lemongrass, scallions, jalapenos & tomatoes. These were fantastic the jalapenos added so much to the dish. A little heat goes a long way. I also ordered a half dozen oysters, two different varieties from the Cape and one from the Great Bay. Any chance to eat raw food I take. They were great and my coworkers were not interested in sharing. Their loss.
I ordered the Pan Seared Diver Scallops tossed with baby spinach and minced shallots. On a recent trip to South Carolina I was warned of counterfeit scallops and that it is a major problem in the seafood industry. I was told that if I bit into a scallop and it did not have sand in it then I was eating a counterfeit that was made from shark. I was served real scallops, unless the counterfeiters got wise and started adding sand to the shark meat in their shark-meat/scallop-counterfeiting plant. It does not matter. What I ate was delicious. It was perfectly prepared and presented. If the counterfeiter took me, well, good jobs guys on a convincing product.
It is the most important aspect of any meal. First, I find it a little odd that a restaurant servering nothing but fish and seafood would even have a red wine selection. As I look over the menu I find it hard to see anything that I would pair with a red. I ordered a Riesling from Chateau d'Orchwihr. It was the only Riesling on the wine list. I was a little disheartened when I realized that the wine was from France and not Germany. No, the name did not give it away for me. It was my own fault for ordering by the varietals and not by region or specifics. The wine list was not the largest, but I feel I made a good choice nonetheless. The exact bottle was Chateau d'Orschwihr Riesling Bollenberg 2003. It was fantastic. This wine was semi-dry with a hint of fruit, a little apple and pear, but more stone fruit. The fruitiness was not the main aroma though; it was mainly a flowery/fresh cut lawn bouquet, but not perfume like. It went rather quickly.
Nothing finishes a good meal like an after dinner drink. One coworker went for scotch, Oban, I believe. I was not impressed. The other coworker asked, "What is Port?" After a long detailed explanation from myself, I believe I stared by saying "Well, during the 100 years war. . ." So she had the NV Cockburn's, 10 year tawny port. I figured this was a good introduction. She enjoyed it, and is now on her own to experience port. I on the other hand, ordered the NV Sandeman's 20 year tawny. The same thing happens no matter where I go, whatever port I order is out and I have to choose another, I took the waitresses recommendation and went with a Sandeman's reserve instead. It was quite good, very sweet and thick. It had lots of flavors of cherries and plums with a hint of ash.
Then we left. I would go back if asked and I may even recommend this one. One issue may be that, for three people, with two apps, three entrees, wine, port, and tip, it came to about $200. This may make it a special occasion place.