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Jonesing for Comfort

When I got word there was a new comfort-food restaurant in the Marina called Jones, I paused, because back in Philly, where I used to review restaurants, there was a comfort-food spot by über-successful restauranteur Stephen Starr called Jones. Turns out this Jones is not related to that Jones (it’s a common enough name, after all); it’s actually a re-do of the Marina Sports Bar & Grill owned by One Industry Group, the guys behind Mas Sake, Impala and Suite One8One.

I happened into Jones twice in the last few weeks, and I have to say I kinda dig it. Though it definitely has the branding sheen of One Industry, the interior and atmo are basically still that of a sports bar—checkered tablecloths, pool tables, wooden everything—but with much better food (and wine) than you’d find at a sports bar. Take, for example, appetizers like crab corndogs, bite-sized spherical crabcakes dipped in a chipotle aioli, or a PB&J sandwich made with fancy “Pinot Noir” jelly and then—here’s a great idea—grilled. To me, food like this is the essence of fun—much more fun than terrines topped with quail eggs and drizzled with truffled essences. But hey, I’m a simple kind of gal.

Jones' fried chicken appetizer.

Jones’ entrees are, not surprisingly, hearty renditions of staples like fried chicken (organic chicken, of course), pot roast (made with a Kobe beef short rib) and dry-aged Black Angus steaks from Creekstone Farms. On my next visit, I’m planning on the Capt’n Crunch-encrusted mahi mahi and the beer-can chicken steamed in—I kid you not—Pabst Blue Ribbon. I can hardly contain my anti-food-snob glee.

Bottom line: Jones is not the place to take your wife for your anniversary dinner (got that boys?). It’s not the place to dine before the opera or the ballet. It’s where you go with a group of friends when you’re really hungry and crave some good comfort food—but you’re too tipsy to go home and cook it yourself. Anyway, admit it: Even when sober, you can’t do up staples like this the way cutie chef Jamaal Taherzadeh does.