Down-home fine dining
By Julie Reed Bell | Photography by Richard Rudisill
Posted: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012
Jeffrey's Restaurant in Mooresville is fine dining without the fancy. This eatery appeals to a variety of clientele by maintaining a high level of quality both in its food and service. Diners can feel confident ordering here as there isn't a wrong choice on the menu.
A lofty, airy space, Jeffrey's has dining upstairs (which also can be reserved for private parties) and down. Tables are well spaced on the lower level and ringed with more intimate booths. A large group or a couple would feel equally at home here. An outdoor patio with a fireplace makes a great spot for a cocktail or meal once the weather warms up a bit.
Local restaurateurs Jeff and Terry Lancaster (they also own Lancaster's BBQ and The Boathouse), opened Jeffreys in 2005. The restaurant offers creative American cuisine with a concentration on fresh regional ingredients and an emphasis on Southern food.
For example, one of their dinner specialties is 16-ounce grilled Berkshire pork chops topped with homemade andouille sausage gravy ($24). Other Southern specialties include shrimp and grits in a honey curry sauce ($18), a crispy Carolina seafood plate with jumbo shrimp, calamari, oysters and flounder and Carolina tartar sauce ($18) and, for an appetizer, Jeffrey's famed crawfish egg rolls ($9), which come with cabbage, carrots and onions.
If it's steak, fish or pasta you crave, Jeffrey's has you covered there as well. Center-cut steaks, aged for a minimum of 40 days, range from a six-ounce petite filet ($22) to a house-favorite "baseball " cut sirloin ($22). There's also a Colorado lamb T-bone porterhouse for $24.
Seafood dishes, in addition to the shrimp and grits and Carolina seafood plate, include an almond-encrusted tilapia with a tangerine butter sauce ($16), a pan-roasted halibut finished with a tarragon beurre blanc sauce ($23), sautéed crab cakes (also available as an appetizer) with Jeffrey's signature remoulade ($22), and flame-broiled salmon with a lemon and chili glaze served with a chayote, ginger and cilantro relish ($18). The salmon is flaky, flavorful and moist. The fattiness of the fish is nicely complemented by the light glaze and the crunchy-fresh spiciness of the relish.
Several of the pasta dishes also feature seafood. There's a jumbo shrimp al pomodoro over ziti ($20), seared diver scallops over linguine alfredo ($24), and lobster and cheese ravioli in a tomato cream sauce ($19). Sautéed chicken breast stars in pasta paloma, served in a sherry cream sauce and tossed with gemelli ($18).
Other chicken dishes include the simple olive oil and herb basted chicken ($20), pan-fried chicken breast topped with a red pepper cream sauce ($16), and chicken parmesan ($19). There's also a duck provencal dish served over sautéed duck confit, Swiss chard, grape tomatoes and basil and butternut squash ($22). Finished with a roasted garlic pesto and an olive jus, this different dish is succulent and satisfying, and presented beautifully.
You could also make a meal out of starters at Jeffrey'sthere are many selections in this category to choose from. In addition to the crawfish rolls, there's shrimp cocktail, ($13), sesame seared tuna ($11), and ginger peanut lettuce wraps ($7). For this last appetizer, tender chicken is sautéed in a light ginger peanut sauce and then served with pickled cucumber, carrots, cabbage, and crispy noodlesall ready to be wrapped in leaves of butter lettuce. It's a big portion and perfect for sharing.
Don't forget to order wine or a cocktailJeffrey's has a full bar and there are many choices on their martini menu. The extensive wine list has some interesting offerings: from the whites, a torrontes from Argentina and a viognier from Australia. From the reds, there's a garnacha from Spain and an organic cabernet/carmenere blend from Chile. By-the-glass prices range from $6 to $13.
And, of course, ask your accommodating server to bring out the dessert tray. Favorites include red velvet cake, key lime cheesecake and coconut cream cake.
With food and service of this high quality, Jeffrey's Restaurant is sure to be a mainstay in the Lake Norman area for many years to come.Want to go?
117 Trade Court, Mooresville.
Mon.-Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. 4:30-10 p.m.