Jerry’s Winnetka: A Cozy Corner

When Jerry’s first opened as part of Corner Cooks in 2008, it had a guy problem. They featured small plates and tastings, leaving men (like my husband) to wonder if they’d actually had a meal.

All that sharing and bites, did it add up to a steak?

Jerry’s has solved that problem. Their new menu is traditional: appetizers and salads, entrees and desserts. You can have a nice piece of protein and know that, indeed, you did have dinner. But you can also put together a series of plates from their appetizers, and that is still their strength.

The night we went was mild, so we sat outside. But if the weather isn’t so cooperative, the inside is a light, attractive space with an open kitchen adding flair to the dining room. The wine list is very fairly priced, so a whole bottle ($36 or so, on average) is definitely not a splurge and the service is wonderful—attentive and knowledgeable, but not hovering.

We started with four total wows: Beet Salad with Parmesan and Walnuts ($9)—they go through 65 pounds of beets a week and if you love beets, you’ll be a regular just for this salad; Coconut Shrimp with a Thai-Curry Dipping Sauce ($15); Tuna Sashimi ($13); and a Crispy Phyllo Pizza ($9) that lived up to its name.

The entrees were less successful with two hits and two flops. The Sea Bass in Sweet Chili Broth with Ginger Fried Rice ($25) had a kick that made everyone at our table wish we’d ordered it; the Sea Scallops Sauteed with Bacon, over Parmesan Risotto and Grilled Asparagus ($26) were perfectly cooked, crispy brown but not tough. The risotto was oozing butter, which made some of us love it and others worry that a call to the cardiologist would immediately follow dinner.

The Asian Style Braised Short Ribs with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Bok Choy ($28) were tough and stringy, perhaps undercooked, and there was just a faint hint of wasabi in the potatoes. A 2-year-old would love them, but if you want some heat, very disappointing. That night the special was Skate Wing with a Caper relish ($21). The skate was past its prime, tasting of ammonia and went uneaten.

Parents, take note: Mini burgers are also available on the menu, and while this is definitely a date night/couple’s restaurant, if you do need to bring a little one for an early dinner, these would be perfect.

The evening picked back up with dessert. Carrot Cake, Molten Chocolate Cake and Caramelized Apple Crumble ($11-12) were all devoured.

In the end, we left happy. It was a lovely evening spent with dear friends and a bottle of great wine. Going again, I might order a selection of appetizers and desserts, but if someone needs a “real meal,” delicious options exist, but be picky and ask your waiter for guidance.

Jerry’s Restaurant