The holiday season is upon us and it is a delight to drive around the metroplex to various places for holiday lights and parades. One of the most cherished and important traditions during the holiday season, especially during Thanksgiving, is to indulge in diverse food choices available in the metroplex. The city of Frisco has many restaurants and bars which cater to the constantly growing, vibrant and upbeat population. These establishments have become nimble and adjusted to the current challenges of social distancing while catering to customers and keeping their lights on. One such establishment is J. Theodore Restaurant and Bar.
Nestled in the heart of Frisco at Lebanon and Dallas North Tollway, J. Theodore Restaurant and Bar offers an eclectic atmosphere for people of all ages to have a delightful experience. The spacious shaded entrance to the restaurant adds to the openness and gives incoming patrons a glimpse of the rich ambience inside. With a floor to roof library in one corner, one can clearly distinguish how unique this restaurant is from most others. A vintage phone booth next to the library offers a classic touch of old school décor, immediately attracting kids and adults alike. The tall ceilings and well thought out spacing of tables and booths effectively manage foot traffic while balancing social distancing norms. The marble top tables and extra spacious booths make the indoor seating feel even more plush and expansive. The lighting in the restaurant is warm and welcoming with exquisite antique light fixtures that are a visual delight and attribute towards a grandiose look and feel of an upscale establishment.
J. Theodore boasts a lavish outdoor patio seating which is one of the main attractions of the restaurant. The full-sized patio is lined with mature trees and is equipped with aptly distanced shaded seating with wooden chairs. The patio is surrounded by ivy-filled walls and has a wood burning fireplace, giving the feel of a garden oasis where patrons can relax and unwind. On select days J. Theodore has live music and local DJs playing vibrant music of different genres during lunch and dinner. When it comes to ambience and overall appearance, the management has left no stone unturned to make the dining experience unique in every facet.
While having such ambience, facilities and features are significantly important to have a delightful experience, the crux of the experience is definitely with the food and drinks that J. Theodore offers. Providing local fresh cuisine for everyone, with craft bartenders making delicious hand-juiced cocktails, baristas brewing up espresso and daily made in-house bakery items differentiates this restaurant. There is a myriad of food items, including appetizers, main courses, drinks and desserts, with unique chef special dishes in every category. In fact, J. Theodore Restaurant and Bar has six different menus to choose from: dinner, lunch, brunch, wine/cocktail, family meals to-go and a happy hour menu.
Our dine-in experience started with fresh pastries from the bakery and Truffle Parm Fries. Their signature Truffle Parm Fries were glazed with truffle oil and seasoning, just enough to get the aroma and flavor to entice the entire table. Other starters, such as The J. Theodore Board, are quite unique as the chef chooses a selection of cheeses and charcuterie along with a few other exquisite ingredients. Another favorite is the French Onion Soup with gruyere cheese accompanied by a toasted baguette. When it comes to the main course, there are plethora of options, carefully grouped into various categories. From seafood to fresh-from-farm, to handheld tacos and sandwiches, to fresh garden salads, the options and choices available for patrons are astounding.
For the main course, I decided on the California Breakfast Burrito Bowl and my children indulged in the Sweet Chili Fried Chicken Sandwich and the Chicken Penne Pesto Pasta, while my wife tried the Lobster Omelet. All of these dishes packed a good punch and well-rounded burst of flavors with copious pieces of meat and fresh veggies. The basil pesto sauce on the penne pasta was an aromatic extravaganza! There are options for vegetarians and vegans too, as one would expect from a large menu selection like J. Theodore’s. And what is a holiday or Thanksgiving meal without the option of turkey? Well, J. Theodore’s Turkey Club sandwich fits perfectly well into that tradition, along with a wide variety of pancakes, syrups and pies.
Along with the diverse food options, the exquisite bar at J. Theodore needs a special mention. The extremely knowledgeable and crafty bartenders are provided with a full-size bar with most exotic drinks and liquors available. They are given the creative freedom to create cocktails with hand-made juices from fresh and locally sourced fruits and vegetables, that one can barely find anywhere else. On this occasion, I tried the Pineapple Hibiscus Cocktail and a customized mojito that exuded fresh flavors, setting the tone with taste and aroma. Their signature drinks include Frose’ and Aperol Spritz, which the bartenders create with technique and finesse. If one is in the mood for coffee, the blends of fresh brewed coffee and espresso are exquisite and add a tone of freshness to the delectable dishes J. Theodore serves.
Many of us strongly believe that a good meal can never be complete without dessert. This is where the magical bakery at J. Theodore comes in. While the dessert menu boasts a lot of regularly seen cakes, pastries and ice creams, the key differentiator is the in-house bakery. We indulged in the delectable Red Velvet Cake and were pleasantly surprised with the massive piece of cake that arrived at the table. The layering of the cake was perfect with the right amount of fluffiness and the icing on the cake was crafted to perfection. My kids emphatically blurted out, “This is one of the best cakes we ever had!” The bakery section of the restaurant by itself is something that will entice one and all with delectable delights time and again.
One may wonder how an establishment can cater to its patrons at this high level with explicit quality and impeccable ambience and experience. At the heart of it all is the people and staff of J. Theodore. The server-to-table ratio is very well balanced and every single person on the floor, including bartenders who are serving the patrons, are equally knowledgeable in their own craft. There is never a rush and patrons are provided with the luxury of knowhow and comfort by everyone in a pleasant demeanor. With picture perfect cleanliness, highly engaged servers, staff, bartenders and chefs, it’s not a surprise that J. Theodore provides a relaxing, warm and quality dining experience. Even the restrooms exude color, vitality, quality and maintenance. This holiday season, to spend time with your family and friends, J. Theodore Restaurant and Bar is definitely a go-to restaurant, where you will be provided with a fine dining experience in a safe, serene, friendly environment in the heart of your favorite city of Frisco.
Vikram Venneti is a business leader, technology evangelist, tree hugger and food connoisseur. He loves to run and hike and is a dad with a penchant for writing.