It was a nice night for a double date with D.Rough’s sister and Brother in Law, and we just happened to get a table at Young Joni. I’ll start by saying the entrance is painfully hidden. I walked by the entrance a few times while other tables laughed at me and eventually the hostess had to come out and open the hidden door for me. They really need to put some sort of indicator on the all-glass front so people know where to find the door. Our table was against those windows, so we watched at least 20 different groups of people who were unable to find the door and needed to be helped. Just wait outside the place until someone comes out – that’s my advice.
It’s an upscale restaurant by the folks who opened Pizzeria Lola, so we knew it was going to be good. We weren’t disappointed. They’re also known for their pizzas, and a few other dishes, so we split a lot of things four ways and got to sample a lot.
We started with the Brussel Sprouts, the Cauliflower Appetizer (it’s actual name), and the Bi Bim Grain. D.rough and I also split an Amatriciana Pizza.
The brussel sprouts were awesome. Nice shavings of parmesan cheese on them and a little pork belly that wasn’t fatty mixed in. Delicious, really.
The Cauliflower Appetizer (it’s actual name) was perfect. Lots of roasted veggies (something they’re known for) and some jalapeno rings that made the whole dish sing. I loved it.
The Bi Bim Grain was unusual, but I really liked it. More Asian vegetables than most places have, and some of them were pickled quite nicely. There were purple daikon radishes, nori, and something called Job’s tears, and faro. The dish was topped with a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg and some saffron strands. Great appetizer!
The Amatriciana Pizza is a red sauce pizza with pecorino cheese, guanciale (pork cheeks), and lots of onions. Panchetta also, I think. It was quite good and the crust was nice and crispy while being super thin. Not too much sauce probably helped this thing, since it let the toppings shine a little bit. Nice pie they’ve got here.
And since dessert must always be at least looked at, we found ourselves with the Cone Trio. Tiny ice cream cones with various dips. They were fine, and a good way to finish the meal. I didn’t eat much of these. And the brother in law got the Church Basement Bar sampler. Which he said tasted like they were bars right out of the church basement. It’s been a while since I went to church, so I couldn’t tell you. hahaha
I think you’ll like this place if you can find your way in. There is also a hidden bar entrance in the back that you have to enter from the alley – which ALSO has a hidden entrance. It’s weird how difficult his place is to actually get inside. And, oddly enough, the website isn’t up and running yet, so that is ALSO difficult to get into. Geeeesh.
Top 5 things about Young Joni
1. Amatriciana Pizza
2. Cauliflower Dish
3. Bi Bim Grain
4. Brussel Sprouts
5. There IS a parking lot next to the building – hooray!
Bottom 5 things
1. Can’t get inside the restaurant
2. Can’t get inside the speakeasy-style bar in back
3. Can’t look at their website
4. You’ll have to wait for a table – which isn’t necessarily bad
5. It’s priced for date night, but after you eat, you won’t mind paying it