Right at the crux of Woodman and Dorothy Lane, at the site of a former tex-mex chain, Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen has a suburban charm to it; the tiny restaurant has a variety of customers young and old who come through for dinner. Owner Jimmy Troni espouses 35+ years in business on his website, and the reviews on other websites generally note a good place to eat. Maybe I just have dumb luck, maybe I picked the wrong things to try, but three dishes later I’m not convinced, unfortunately. While I do like the atmosphere, the food itself really fails to deliver.
A quick first impression show me that the food here must be loved by some; the restaurant seems to have no shortage of customers on weekends. The service is nice; at least there are plenty of people managing the floor and the servers are nice and patient. The atmosphere is pleasant, though a little crowded, but that can’t really be helped in a pre-fab fast food location. Jimmy’s has done a decent job of seating as many as possible in the dining rooms.
Where it really falls short is the food itself. In short, I have yet to sample a good meal here. In Jimmy’s defense, I haven’t tried the pizza, but one would think the more complex Italian dishes would be where this place sought to stand out. Unfortunately, it does not. The appetizer salads come with a good house Italian salad, but the ingredients taste of processing. Iceberg lettuce and mixed vegetables, which are almost certainly bagged ingredients. There’s a real opportunity for freshness there, but it’s not fresh.
The pasta dishes are a real disappointment. The fettuccine alfredo, one of my otherwise favorite pasta dishes, is quite frankly some of the worst I’ve ever tasted. The pasta is cooked well, but the alfredo sauce is crushingly bland. It’s runny and there isn’t a single flavor to it. I hope it was a bad night when I tried it, but it was like eating pasta covered with skim milk. Some table salt and pepper improves it, I suppose, but it’s a real disappointment. The shrimp scampi is an improvement, with a good citrus flavor, but it’s also slippery with butter, and more upsetting, the shrimp are served with tails on. Good luck trying to get them off without making a mess. The rolls which come with each meal are good, but I don’t think they are made in-house, either.
I’m the first to admit I’ll probably come back to Jimmy’s some time in the future, the place does deserve more chances and I’d be apt to changing my mind about the place. As of now though, it really fails to deliver.
- The place can get crowded on weekends, so I would suggest trying to come early for dinner.
- I don’t know about the pizza, but I would avoid the pastas.
- There is an outdoor patio for warmer days, but seating there is limited.