FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Jackson’s Bar & Oven Review

by Elyse Glickman

Oct 13, 2021

© Elyse Glickman

eFlyer Reviews

There’s an aspirational rustic chic/farm-to-table restaurant genre often associated with Northern California’s wine country. When you drive down the main street of Napa, Sonoma or any of the other towns, it appears there are as many of them as there are vineyards. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this genre, as the quality of the food is consistent and ambitious chefs earnestly endeavor to elevate home-style dishes to a higher standard.

With that in mind, it bears mentioning Jackson’s Bar & Oven does not fit this genre. While owner/chef Josh Silvers has clocked many hours at top regional restaurants and landed a lot of media exposure (including the venerable Wine Spectator) for his attention to detail and expert curation of locally sourced organic ingredients, he takes those talents in a refreshingly bold direction.

On one hand, the menu has gourmet pizzas, cheese plates, burgers and an exceptional steak main (here, the simple but impeccably executed Creekstone Farms Ribeye with garlic butter and red onion), as other upscale casual restaurants populating the area do. There are also familiar crowd-pleaser starters such as the mac and cheese (gruyere-based, with or without lobster) and baked Brussels sprouts. While these are bound to pair well with the cheery restaurant’s wines and craft cocktails, Silvers takes a lot of risks that pay off.

Jackson’s Bar & Oven

© Elyse Glickman

Show-stopping, sharable plates include the garlic skillet bread with pecorino cheese; a burrata cheese appetizer swapping tomatoes and basil for pistachios and honey; Indian-spiced lamb meatballs with cumin yogurt; roasted cauliflower with charred onion yogurt; and roasted elote corn topped with Greek rather than Mexican elements. Among the main courses, the stellar lamb-stuffed flatbread is a crisp and hearty take on a gyro sandwich, while the oven-roasted calamari salad is a feast of color and texture, and the staple chicken and salmon dishes also have flavorful spins that steer global.

As more families are traveling through California wine country, they’ll have peace of mind knowing there are several kid- and teen-friendly items as well as gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes that don’t skimp on substance or style. As this is California wine country, Jackson’s breads, mustards, pickles and other condiments are crafted in-house, filling the area’s high-end casual requirement. Silvers’ brilliance, however, lies in his willingness to color outside those lines.

Jackson’s Bar & Oven

135 Fourth Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
tel 707 545 6900

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