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“Great fish!”

Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe
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Ranked #6 of 201 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $22 - $32
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Middle Street, Maplewood Avenue, Islington Street
Description: Located just two blocks down from Market Square in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Jumpin' Jay's is a local foodie enclave serving refined seafood in a sleek restaurant setting. The quality of fare is unsurpassed, with fish arriving daily from local fisherman as well as some exotic catches from locations such as New Zealand and Ecuador. Four to six varieties of fish appear on the ever-changing "Catch of the Day" menu, complimented by your choice of gourmet sauce. Our raw bar offers an extensive variety of shellfish found in New Hampshire. Our specialties menu offers more traditional flavor, including Maine Crab Cakes, Haddock Piccata and our popular Linguine in White Clam Sauce. The atmosphere is casually hip, with no pretense. Reservations encouraged. Open seven nights a week.
Truckee, CA
Level Contributor
82 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Great fish!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2014

While on the spendy side, we found Jumpin' Jays to be everything that it was supposed to be. Great fish... creative atmosphere. Would return!

Visited April 2014
Thank NewRide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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877 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Jumpin' all right”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014 via mobile

Reservations are recommended here because it's really hopping. They utilized a small space for a bar and several tables, so the accommodations are a bit cramped and loud. It's fast moving, almost to a fault: we were done with our meals in about 30 minutes. Can be a good thing with friends, but not for a date. Oysters were perfect, recommended; tuna tartare app was too cold ( made in advance) and buried under an unappealing green veggie layer. My curry dish was really good. Waiter was attentive. Other than the pace and noise level, it's fine.

Thank Django65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
61 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“You won't be disappointed”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2014

This was our 1st visit to Jumpin' Jay's . We made a 6 pm reservation although we didn't expect
that the restaurant would be crowded so early on a midweek night. We were wrong. While the place wasn't slammed, people without reservations were either turned away or offered a seat in the bar,
We decided to split a calamari appetizer. We don't normally order calamari because it is typically stale and rubbery. Not so in this case. The squid were fresh and tender, cooked to melt in your mouth perfection. Served with fried cherry peppers and a lemon basil aoli, it may well be the best calamari we have ever eaten.
For entrees my wife ordered the Haddock Piccata, listed on the menu as a house specialty, It was served over russet mashed potatoes and accompanied by asparagas. I ordered the seared yellowfin tuna. That came with with the mashed potatoes and a sesame wasabi sauce, Like the calamari, the fish was fresh and perfectly prepared. Both entrees were served with roasted golden beets - we were not fans and after a taste they remained uneaten.
We usually don't order dessert. In most cases it's simply too much on top of a full meal. However, in this case we decided that since the meal was so outstanding we would try the dessert. I had the Key Lime pie and my wife ordered the Lavender Chamomile Panna Cotta. They were just the right size.
I have to say something about the staff. We were both particularly impressed with their efficiency - and their friendliness. Good food can't overcome bad service. at Jumpin' Jay's the staff is equal to the fabulous kitchen.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank wmitch6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Two nights of perfect dinners!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2014

My husband and I were in Portsmouth on Friday and Saturday and decided to eat at Jumpin Jays both nights because the food and service is so great! The tuna tartar appetizer and seared tuna are my favorites and my husband had the crab cakes and cod which he said were delicious. The fish and the sides were perfectly prepared. Also, the banana cake dessert was a great way to end the meal. We appreciated the special attention that Kate, KJ and all of the crew gave us. The entire staff at this restaurant works together unlike any restaurant we've been to. We know that there are a lot of great restaurants in Portsmouth but by far this is our favorite and it has been so consistent in quality and service over the many times we have been there. Can't wait to be back.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lori W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanford, Michigan
Level Contributor
267 reviews
201 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2014

We are traveling up the New England coast and looked forward to fish. Well we found it at Jumpin' Jay's. The waitress was so helpful in guiding us to our choices and telling us about the different fish sauces. Husband chose salmon with butter sauce and I was going to have the same until the waitress suggested char. I have never even heard of it and when she said it's very similar to salmon I decided to try it. I'm glad I did. it was perfect with sesame glaze. Everything was perfect down to the chardonnay. I'm only sorry we don't live near NH so we can come again!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Joan42469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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