Jimmy Hays calls itself a steak house, and there's no arguing with the prime beef, dry-aged on the premises. Beyond the 17-ounce New York strip, filet mignon (which can also be had au poivre), porterhouse and chateaubriand for two, there are big, fat pork chops and double-cut lamb chops from American sheep.
LOBSTERS YOU CAN'T BEAT
Under chef Richard Burns, lobsters, all of them at least two pounds, can be had steamed, broiled and a la Jimmy (sauteed with cognac, lemon and garlic). Culinary warhorses thermidor and a l'Americain appear regularly as specials. There's plenty of other seafood on the menu.
BREAD AND SIDES
Speaking of appetizers, no first-time diner should skip the way-over-the-top roasted garlic bread drenched in Gorgonzola sauce, a dish almost comically delicious.
The side salad that comes with dinner is a desultory affair of nothing-special lettuce and seasonless tomatoes, but most of the other sides are terrific, especially the onion rings and the potato dishes: French fries, matchsticks, hash browns, home fries, Lyonnaise (pan-fried with onions), O'Brien (sauteed with peppers and onions), au gratin (baked with cream and topped with cheese) and cottage fries, a crispy potato galette that rests underneath (and soaks up the juices from) the special rack of lamb.
Jimmy Hays is an attractive, sprawling place with a comfortable bar and multiple bustling dining rooms. Everything runs like clockwork, and while it's not inexpensive (entrees range from $28 to $46), it always feels like a good value.
Reviewed by Erica Marcus