The number of stars new-ish Courier-Journal critic Nancy Miller gave J. Harrod's Restaurant & Bar is not available on the Courier-Journal's web edition, but her refusal to fully pan a restaurant is on full display. Miller begins by comparing the Prospect spot's atmosphere to a "classically inoffensive" sweater that's comfortable but "not what you'd wear if company were coming," then proceeds to hedge further:
If you're the glass half full kind of person, you might say the restaurant is comfortable in its own skin. But if you're not prone to such positive thinking, you wouldn't be far off saying it's stuck in the '80s with some lingering effects of the unimaginative '70s.Miller is quite disappointed by a "sad little straw basket of cold, tasteless bread," writing "spongy Bunny Bread would have been a welcome substitute." She then forces Chef Kevin Hall to serve as straw man for the "egg police."
Eater has never encountered the shadowy organization spoiling Nancy Miller's Caesar salads, but she believes they are everywhere:
The egg police must have convinced chef Kevin Hall that he dare not serve a true Caesar salad dressing, which is made with raw egg. Finding a real Caesar salad is almost impossible these days. What you are usually served, and what I was served at J. Harrod's ($4.95), is a creamy concoction that doesn't pretend a raw egg has been within shouting distance. I have more neuroses than most people have socks, but I think the panic about raw eggs is highly overstated. I'm convinced I have a better chance of encountering an errant driver or a misguided deer on U.S. Highway 42 than being felled by a raw egg.Diatribe over, Miller goes on to praise J. Harrod's fried green tomatoes as a "crunchy treat," pan the restaurant's Chicken Parmesan's surfeit of sauce as "both oversweet and lackluster," then boosts Chef Hall's Hot Brown:
He doesn't try to spin [the Hot Brown] into something new and different. Eschewing the appallingly frequent use of pressed turkey, he builds the dish around fresh, moist turkey and a Mornay sauce that would make a Cordon Bleu chef proud. Strips of crispy bacon and slices of beautifully browned tomato are ready for a glamour shot. If a single dish were to be rated on a one- to four-star scale, J. Harrod's Hot Brown would merit a six.Miler goes on to criticize cabbage as "possibly suitable for a hospital patient's soft diet" and an individual meringue for a "lack of tartness," but praises the large portions because "the menu is pricey." Miller did find her service quite good, and ends on an overall positive note by writing that "J. Harrod's is about comfort food in comfortable surroundings," and that she plans to "go back for the appropriately named Comfort Food Sundays." Perhaps she'll wear an old sweater.
· J. Harrod's ranges from hot to lukewarm [Courier-Journal]
· J. Harrod's Restaurant & Bar [Official Site]
· All Eater Week in Reviews [~ELOU~]