Chow, Baby: Wednesday, May 11, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Bogey on the Pasta

Hard to tell whether Jango’s (2715 N. Collins St., Arlington) is a restaurant with a bar or a bar with food, so Chow, Baby will simply pigeonhole it as North Arlington Upscale Fare. Signs on the front door warn “21 and Up” and “Dress Code Enforced,” which a hostess translated as “No bikini tops.” Martinis at happy hour (3-7pm) are “only” $5, which doesn’t make Chow, Baby all that happy. The atmosphere is golf-clubhouse classy: hardwood floors, antique furniture, fireplace, granite-topped bar. Some weekends see a jazz trio on the small stage.
Out back is a pretty tree-shaded patio, where Chow, Baby and date perused the fusion-y menu: Maryland-style crab cakes, Italian dishes, American steaks, Caribbean spices on the mahi-mahi, and much more. (There’s a separate, four-page menu for drinks with whimsical names.) An appetizer of bruschetta ($6.95) was Italy at harvest time: fresh basil pesto, Roma tomatoes, and shredded Parmesan. The side salads ($1 extra with entrée) were fine. But Chow, Baby’s entrée — well, here’s what the menu said: “Seafood Manicotti stuffed with bay scallops, shrimp, crab, and Italian cheeses topped with creamy Alfredo, $16.95.” Got a mental image? ‘Cause Chow, Baby sure did, and it looked good. OK, now picture that krab dip Albertson’s sells at the meat counter. That’s what this dish actually looked like — a handful of krab dip wrapped in limp pasta sheets, topped with what could have been Alfredo sauce (there wasn’t enough to tell), under a blanket of mozzarella. Dissecting the dish (as opposed to eating it, which Chow, Baby really didn’t feel like doing) revealed three small shrimp and a pea-sized bit of what theoretically could have been seafood stuck in the pink-hued paste. Fortunately the date’s rib-eye (12 oz, $19.95), looked and tasted exactly as imagined — beautifully marbled, perfectly cooked — so Chow, Baby set aside its glop and ate half of that. Couldn’t taste any garlic in the accompanying garlic mashed potatoes, but the vegetable medley was nicely herbed.
There was much redemption with the housemade key lime pie ($6.95), a nice balance of tangy lime and sweet whipped cream served atop lovely sauce-swirls of chocolate, raspberry, and crème anglais. If Jango’s would show such attention to conception, preparation, and presentation in its other dishes, or if it let qualified bikini wearers in, this place might be worth the money

Contact Chow, Baby at chowbaby@fwweekly.com.


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