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“The Absolute best of the 3 J's” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Jay's Bistro

Jay's Bistro
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Ranked #16 of 590 Restaurants in Fort Collins
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Drinks, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Jay's Bistro is a locally owned business started in 1980. Norman And Wednesday Vogel recently purchased the bistro and are making changes to menus, decor and style. By proudly supporting local farms and growers we are adding healthier, fresher and more sustainable items to our menus. Prices are fair for FT Collins and Wednesday is all night happy hour and tapas for those who want to come in and nosh. Enjoy live jazz music Thursday through Saturday with happy hour every day!! Eat well, drink some, be happy!
Austin
Level Contributor
70 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“The Absolute best of the 3 J's”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2013

We are on a 3 month car Journey and stopped in Fort Collins for a few nights at the end of July. Jay's has been our best fine dining experience to date. Their Tuna Poke was fantastic, duck 3 ways great as was my steak and my Caesar and my wife's Caprese Salad were both as good as it gets.
in addition, our waiter recommended a restaurant in Boulder The Kitchen and another Fort Collins lunch spot which served Buffalo Rubens; reviews to follow.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank austinbillgolfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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295 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    62
    29
    19
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
111 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Just good, but not great”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

I grew up in Ft Collins and thought the food was pretty good. After spending the past 6 years in Denver I can say that Ft Collins is average at best for its food scene. We just moved back and decided to drop into Jay's and I have to say the food was average. The poke appetizer was great, the filet was under seasoned and overlooked for medium rare, the salad was great along with the bisque. The service was great and because of that I will go back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank RP924
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copper Mountain, Colorado
Level Contributor
44 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in Fort Collins”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

This is our favorite restaurant in Fort Collins. Jay and Jackie pour their soul and good taste into their restaurant, and it shows. The menu varies with the season, including everything from vegetarian to Mediterranean to local elk. They do a good job pairing food and wine. The atmosphere is upscale but not snooty. An added bonus is live jazz in the bar most nights. It is our go-to place in town for special occasions or to satisfy the urge for good food and drinks.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank JR M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Ask for Samantha”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

Having just moved back to Colorado from Texas after many years of absence, I was, admittedly, in high spirits when I entered Jay's Bistro. My dining experience elevated my high spirits into the realm of euphoria.
Jay's Bistro is surprising. Upon approach, it appears to be a fairly compact establishment, but if you wander around inside, it is almost possible to get lost. The sprawling interior is subdivided into many cozy rooms providing intimacy and a homey comfort to the diners. The plush, curvy seating with flowing wrought iron accents and dividers matched and accented the décor beautifully.
Upon entering, I received a prompt and friendly greeting and was quickly seated and provided with a drink. Unfortunately, as I chose Tuesday to enjoy Jay's, I missed out on the live Jazz they offer Wednesday thru Sunday.
For my meal, I decided to take advantage of the patio area to enjoy the late summer weather and the opportunity to people watch as I dined. Their patio offers beautiful, large umbrellas, fresh flower baskets and subdued lighting, creating a nice ambiance.
The fresh baked bread they offered could only have been improved by the tray of spreads they accompanied it with. My favorite by far was the Tomato Jam, a thick, sweet and tangy spread highlighting the fundamental essence of a sun warmed, perfectly ripened tomato with hints of balsamic vinegar and ginger. The memory of it's powerful flavor over warm, fresh baked bread is making me hungry even as I write this! They also offered whipped butter and a spread made of Feta and Cream cheeses with sun dried tomatoes and basil which I found palatable, but no where near as enticing as the Tomato Jam.
For an appetizer, I ordered a cup of the Lobster Bisque with puff-pastry croutons. This was the only item of my dinner I found to be disappointing. Lobster Bisque is a personal favorite and I consider myself somewhat of a Lobster Bisque aficionado. In my opinion, an exceptional Lobster Bisque is rich and creamy, contains a noticeable amount of lobster meat and, if I am lucky, a jot of sherry added just as it is placed steaming before you. I found Jay's Bisque to taste a bit flat and slightly fishy. The best comparison I could draw would be canned tomato soup made using water rather than milk or cream. The fishiness I would likely attribute to attempting to procure fresh lobster meat in one of the three states in the US farthest from a body of water containing said crustacean.
Unable to decide which delicious sounding entrée to try, I ordered the mixed grill, consisting of a New Zealand red deer loin with a cherry port reduction; a bistro steak with a port wine demi glace; a Colorado lamb rib chop with a red wine lamb jus; a potato Croquette and green beans. When the plate arrived it was, to me, nearly a breathtaking work of art with the myriad colors and perfectly place and presented food. The green beans were left whole and steamed perfectly, leaving them crisp and fresh. Unfortunately, my iPhone died and I was unable to take notes on each sauce, but all complemented their associated cut of meat perfectly. The red deer and lamb were both nearly fork tender. The deer had a very distinctive flavor, but was not the least bit gamey. I feared the dijon/asiago/panko crust might overpower the lamb, but found it paired perfectly. Having never tried a "bistro steak", I had no idea what to expect, but found it to be delicious though slightly tough compared to the lamb and deer. The accompanying potato croquette (a patty of seasoned mashed potatoes coated in breadcrumbs and lightly fried to a crisp, golden brown) offered the perfect vehicle to gather the remaining savory sauces and convey them to my eager mouth.
At this point, I should mention my superlative wait staff, Samantha and Megan. The best word to describe Samantha is "effervescent". She conveyed an excitement and passion for the menu that generated excitement in the diner, she displayed a confidence in their creations. It is a bit of a challenge to explain, but in the hour and a half of my dining experience, Samantha made me feel that she genuinely liked me and cared that I enjoyed my experience there. She smiled and shone at myself and every diner around me and radiated a happiness and joy it was impossible not to respond to. Megan, in her right, was efficient, polite and attentive, gliding from end to end of the patio depositing, collecting and refilling, making the dinner flow fairly seamlessly. Food quality and presentation are important in any restaurant, but I personally feel that the service is the most critical element of the dining experience and Samantha, without a doubt, carried my experience from above average well into the realm of excellence.
The dessert menu was a challenge. It contained Crème Brule, a personal favorite, but also had Chocolate Ravioli's and an intriguing "The Daily Bread Pudding". Apparently, Jay's offers a different and unique bread every day. This days' featured golden raisins and hazelnuts. I decided to save the Chocolate Raviolis (a puff pastry filled with chocolate ganache and with a chocolate and crème anglaise drizzle) for my next visit. The pudding was topped with french vanilla ice cream and accented with homemade caramel sauce, whipped cream and raspberry coulis and garnished with a fresh strawberry. The perfect end to the meal.
Jay's had a very nice wine list, but as I had to drive after dinner, I contented myself with a locally brewed seasonal beer, New Belgiums' Pumpkick, and water.
Jay's Bistro is not cheap, but I found $50 for a drink, soup, a huge dinner and dessert to be very reasonable, considering the exemplary quality of the food. I would highly recommend a visit there.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Chuck S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
78 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Ribeye ripoff....great jazz.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

I love the Seafood Ceasar's salad at Jay's, great meal for the price $12. I love the jazz and piano in the evenings also. But the other night I took some friends there for dinner and split the 18 oz. rib-eye steak entrée with my friend thinking (9 oz. each)....not hardly!!! The rib bone is on the steak and they split the steak part (not 18 oz) leaving the bone on my portion. Needless to say I had about 4 bites of beef! :( This is a huge rip-off, not to mention how fatty the steak was....I know ribeye is fatty, but this was not worth the price!!! I didn't tell anyone as not to make a scene in front of my guests...so I went home hungry. But my lemon drop martini was refreshing ;).

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank SMALLTOWN2BIGCITY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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