Jo’s American Bistro

I rely on Trip Advisor to inform many of decisions when traveling and was thoroughly disappointed in my fellow traveler’s opinion of  Jo’s American Bistro. I took one bite and felt like calling my fellow ‘advisors’ up and saying “Hey there folks…WTF were you thinking on this one?”

Well, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Jo’s was a top rated choice on Trip Advisor, which is why we went here, and I think it should be at the bottom of the list, or perhaps, not even on it!

My issue with Jo’s actually isn’t bad flavor, per say. It’s that it is clearly a ‘turn and burn” restaurant. The chowder tasted premade- we even compared it to Campbells. And when in New England, that is just not acceptable.  Especially not at $14 a bowl. It was too thick, lacked seasoning and tasted like it was a processed soup. No thanks.

We’re at a “bistro” and nothing is more classic bistro cuisine than Steak Frites. Steak Frites is traditionally made with a hanger steak or similar cut, often seared in cast iron with butter and served au jus. When you do not plan t serve a traditional Steak Frite, it is, without question, best practice to inform the customer as to what cut of meat you plan to serve them. If we had known that we were going to get a hunk of sirloin on our plate to be used in a poor substitution for this Classic Bistro dish, I am 100% certain we wouldn’t have ordered it. That leads me to the word we began to use while discussing our meal thus far… insulting. There. I said it. Insulted by the processed chowder. Insulted by being tricked into a cheap cut of meat and not at all getting steak frites.

The flat bread with prosciutto and arugula was fine. The prosciutto was cut a bit thick and it is likely to be pre-sliced for faster service, which goes in line with my opinion that everything here is about flipping tables and taking advantage of the tourist choosing to dine at Jo’s.

We stopped eating our entrees a few bites in because we knew we were going to be unsatisfied. We only had two days in Newport and we didn’t want this meal to define the culinary experience (that we soon realized we were never to have.) So we left full plates of food and went out for a second dinner at Cooke’s where we continued to be disappointed.

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The Clarke Cooke House in Newport