Now that Santa Rosa restaurateur Josh Silvers has closed Syrah and its successor, Petite Syrah, and cut back service at Three Squares, his restaurant at 205 Fifth St., the question becomes: How is Jackson's Bar and Oven, his other eatery a block away on Fourth Street, doing?
And the answer is that it's doing great, just as it has since the day it opened on Nov. 27, 2009.
Any number of factors might be responsible for a restaurant's success, but three reasons for Jackson's popularity stand out.
Jackson's Bar And Oven
First, the room is delightful be in and to look at. Attribute that to Neva Freeman of Neva B. Designs in Santa Rosa, who hit this assignment out of the ballpark.
Second, the drinks list carries 59 wines, 19 bottled beers and ciders, a slew of beers on tap, plus all the usual full-bar classic cocktails and eight artisanal inventions unique to Jackson's, such as the Ras-Barry White for $9 that contains Espolon reposado tequila, Kokomo verjus, lime juice, cilantro, raspberries, egg white and simple syrup. It won't give you Barry White's deep voice, but it will give you a mouthful of sugar.
Third, when the classic American dishes are good, as they almost always are, they're very good indeed. Do not end your dinner until you order up pastry chef Scott Noll's better-than-New-Orleans <b>Beignets</b> ($8.50, 4 stars).
Three of these doughnut-dough cylinders dusted with powdered sugar come with a trio of dipping sauces: rich chocolate, vanilla anglaise and fresh strawberry.
You'll notice this review started with dessert first. Jackson's is that kind of place, just right for a libation after work and as a spot to give yourself a treat or meet friends or family.
The staff is friendly and helpful. The only drawback is that as the room nears capacity, the sound level nears obnoxious. When things are going full blast, you likely won't be heard across the table.
Jackson's happy hours run from 3 to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 6 p.m. on weekends, when a glass of beer is $2, wine is $4 and cocktails are $5.