Jake Moon Restaurant and Cafe
Category: American (Traditional)
2082 Delaware Turnpike
Clarksville, NY 12041
There is no June’s Place though the building still claims there to be. Only the collapsible sign in the street asserts it Jake Moon’s since January ’09. And there’s no Jake Moon. Only his great, great grandson, chef Dan Smith, who can be seen in glimpses above his prep table when the wait staff swings open the door to his kitchen.
I can eat here with a clean concience. Most of the ingredients come from local farms or Smith’s own backyard. He’s ambitious in reaching for greatness and spot-on with his integrity and care for his product.
The patrons are the proper folk of the capitol region and Clarksville. Many vests, turtlenecks, white hair and a few contractors. Far from a working man’s meal, though this is where you go if you take pride in what you put in your body. And it’s heard from the restraint of din in the dining room; you can listen to the customers concentrating on their plates.
Red Flannel hash was different than i’m used to. It’s a mix borrowed from a local farm. Not corned beef, but sirloin mixed in with beets, corn, onions, potato and egg. Don’t go in expecting a grease-filled regret – I was surprised at how delicate this was, considering it’s a “hash”. Hash is a Man’s meal. Salty and harsh, but this was cool and calm. Tucked nicely underneath an egg top hat.
The Bennett Hill Scramble was the winner of our table. It’s an omelette of wild mushrooms, herbs and fresh gouda. I don’t even like mushrooms, but the cheese threw off my expectations of them and it’s inconsistency made each bite fresh. I thought it was great.
As for their home-baked bread… I appreciate the effort, but in a moment of self-realization, I think it might be the wording on the menu that I actually appreciate. The execution could use improvement or maybe I just caught them on a bad day.
There’s a large daily specials menu guided by the season. Dinners seem more interesting than anything else and I wish I could stick around for the fish fry and the poutine, for on my Sunday they were breakfast only.
Cooked simply, all of the ingredients have an important place in each dish here. Prices aren’t bad at all, considering the pretense that should be occurring. That would be occurring if it weren’t so off the beaten path. Chef Dan Smith gives a great example of For us, By us. Thanks for letting me in.