After many years of avoiding JK's because of incorrectly associating with a barbecue place, we've eaten there on both of our trips to the Outer Banks in the last year. The first visit (June 2009) destroyed all of our previous notions and immediately put it in our top 5 restaurants in the Outer Banks. The second visit (April 2010) lived up to the high expectations.
The outside is rather pedestrian and does nothing to draw you in, although it appears more well-kept than a lot of other restaurants around. When you step inside, you are greeted by a warm and inviting atmosphere with hardwood, comforting colors, and small semi-divided dining areas. This is definitely a white table cloth place, but casual enough that you can still take the kids. It's not necessarily dressy as shorts and flip flops are acceptable, but in an upscale and cleaned up way. You don't want to go straight there from the beach.
The menu is varied, with enough creativity to differentiate the place from the glut of other sti down restaurants in the area. They have pretty much everything to offer in the realm of meat (all kinds) and fresh seafood. The menu changes regularly depending on what's available locally. Additionally, there is a surprisingly reasonably priced and varied wine list. They're a little light on the number of wines by the glass, but they make up for it by the number of under $40 bottles.
On our most recent visit, we had the JK's Special (skewered shrimp and filet, both grilled) and the Veal Chop. The temperatures were perfect, the meat was tender, and the portions reasonable. Sides are limited, but you don't really notice because of the selection of entrees. We had mashed potatoes (perfectly seasoned) and grilled asparagus (a little disappointing because I make better grilled asparagus, but not bad). We saved room for fresh homemade peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream.
Service was attentive, knowledgeable, and not overbearing. It was not busy as we were there on a Monday night, but it appeared that you could get in and out as fast or as slow as suited you.
We will definitely be back on our next visit.