Are you one of those longtime Delray residents or visitors who has never been to Jimmy’s Bistro, or never even heard of it? You need to remedy the oversight soon. I can’t believe I was among them until earlier this year.
Located mere steps from the bustle of the Avenue on S. Swinton, Jimmy’s is the dictionary definition of bistro: a small, unpretentious restaurant. In this case, a snug, square room that fits around 40, with 10 tables and some bartop seating (beer and wine only) and a blackboard menu featuring signature standards, fresh fish from Captain Clay’s Seafood Market, and daily specials.
Chef-owner Jimmy Mills, who once worked at Aureole for Charlie Palmer in NYC, opened the restaurant in 2008 and it just keeps striding along, like an old, dependable pair of walking shoes. The tomato bisque ($14), rich and redolent with fresh basil, comes topped with a baked puff pastry shell. It’s soup en croute, a marvelous, flaky twist that makes total textural sense.
Caesar salad featured finely shredded Romaine and a fine dressing with appropriate anchovy essence. Housemade ravioli with shrimp ($18), was delicate and almost wonton-like in its shimmering appearance, bathed in beurre blanc tinged reddish-orange with a splash of tomato sauce. Signature pork schnitzel was crisp and golden, smothered in creamy mushroom sauce atop whipped potatoes and served with fresh asparagus. Grilled swordfish ($42) with ginger, scallions and soy sauce atop jasmine rice was light, simple and uncluttered.
For dessert, strawberries in balsamic reduction with pastry shell and a scoop of Haagen Dazs vanilla was sophisticated and satisfying, a marvel of balance between sweet and umami. The coffee was good and strong, too.
We have declared it Best of the Best among Delray Beach restaurants for 2022. I shall return.
Jimmy’s Bistro, 9 S. Swinton Ave., dinner Tuesday-Sunday 5-9 (until 10 pm Friday-Saturday), reservations by phone at 561-865-5774. — at Jimmy’s Bistro.