One the the healthiest areas in the city for restaurants has a new dining room to add to its dozen eateries. Jimmy Sardines Italian Pizza shop opened in January in the Grandin Dining Village, and has, according to owner Jimmy Muscaro, “been really well received” in what he calls “a great area for restaurants.”
Muscaro, former owner of the next-door Village Grill, says what sets Jimmy Sardines apart is a “product that’s somewhere between New York and Sicily – fresh-ingredient pizza.”
That and some gloriously wacky wall art made by Courtney Cronin.
“She sells a lot of fish in here,” Muscaro says of the whimsical, common-item wooden-fish creations that hang on Jimmy Sardines’ walls.
The restaurant also sells a lot of pizza, including the white-sauce 12-incher with black olives, artichoke hearts, garlic, spinach and feta that my wife and I enjoyed one recent evening. That’s a custom-built pie; the standard whites have names like Station Inspiration (chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach and tomatoes), and Bering Sea (lump, Old Bay-seasoned crabmeat and carmelized onions).
Most popular dish? “The Margherita pizza,” says Muscaro. It’s a red-sauce pie with roma slices, basil and fresh mozzarella.
On the four occasions we’ve been in Jimmy Sardines – twice for lunch and twice for dinner – the vibe each time was decidedly friendly and easy-going. Diners move from the bar area to tables and back. The music’s light. Wait staff glide easily and deliver promptly and precisely.
In the planning stages for the relatively small restaurant: building a stairway inside to go up to a rooftop dining area.
“It may not happen this year, but we’re working on it,” says Muscaro.