What’s better than visiting a new restaurant and liking it? Visiting it again the next day and loving it!!!
I had the opportunity to do just that this past week. Of course we all have various restaurants on our bucket list locally and abroad, this time I only had a 55 minute drive to visit Exile, in the Jag Hotel, 115 George Street West.
My first visit was for a lunch meeting to discuss the Songs, Stages and Seafood Festival with radio personality , food lover and the owner of Jewish Deli, Jonathan Richler. I do not usually name drop but he is the reason why I was there. We did talk about the festival and how he could be involved (which is very cool) but the topic seemed to always drift back to food, which is one of my favorite topics.
My first impression of Exile was a good one, I took a moment to soak in the room, attention to detail was evident. It is tastefully decorated with various painting of rock icons, the chairs are VERY comfortable, the sound system was crystal clear but not intrusive to a conversation. The room and vibe seemed trendy and relaxed, a place to come for just a cocktail or a night out.
I ordered the Lamb Pappardelle, the house made pasta was cooked perfectly, the lamb was tender and packed with flavor. The tomatoes, peas and parmesan were a welcomed component to the meal as the lamb was rich in flavor (I particularly liked the flavor burst from the tomatoes) .
Jonathan ordered the Moose Masala (yep Moose) , he was gracious enough to offer me a taste and I was curious enough to take him up on it. It was freaking amazing, the moose seemed to just melt in your mouth and the curry was not overwhelming. It was a fantastic use of local game and should be utilized more in our province.
I knew that my experience was a good one and that I would certainly return, I just didn’t think it would be the next night! I was in town for the Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador Conference and was sharing my lunch experience with some friends and colleagues . When we finally decided to go out for dinner I guess I had everyone curious so it was decided we would visit Exile!
Exile at night was even more impressive than in the day time. Our server was friendly and inviting which helped set the mood for the evening. It was gratifying to see that all my talking about the place paid off as everyone in our group loved the look and feel of the restaurant.
Once again the food was awesome, the menu is eclectic and had something for everyone. I gravitated towards the pasta again, this time with the house made bow tie with lamb. I know I know, I should of tried something else, but when I can get perfectly prepared lamb with a huge depth of flavor I have to go for it. But first, I had the curry soup, it was creamy and delightful and a nice starter.
I know the lamb pasta is almost the exact meal I had for lunch but it was so good I had to have it again!!
Did I mention the flavor burst of the cherry tomatoes? Simply awesome.
The dessert was a liquid cheesecake, every spoonful was a treat to my taste buds. I did enjoy the chefs choice in serving the dessert, you can’t go wrong with a mason jar.
My two visits to Exile in the Jag Hotel were exceptional , the décor, the service, the food, (the seats!) and the music.
There are so many amazing restaurants to experience in St. John’s and I invite you to frequent them all but ensure you place Exile on your list, you will not regret it!!
- Service was awesome during both visits
- Comfortable seating
- Non intrusive music
- Menu selection was eclectic and house made pasta is delish
For both my visits, I did not have any low points, the attention to detail and service ranks in my top five visits to any restaurant.
$$$ out of $$$$$
5 out of 5