Suburban sophistication

Jordan Hall 10803, one of Pelham’s newest eateries, is likely to catch your eye as you walk down the village’s Fifth Avenue, with greenery wrapping the trellis in front of the restaurant’s entrance and potted plants dotting the outdoor seating area.

Walk inside and your attention will immediately be drawn to the grand piano in the elegant entryway, one that is often complete with a musician seated at its bench, filling the restaurant with soothing melodies and lending it an upscale yet comfortable feel. Adding to the ambience are a redesigned bar, painted portraits along the walls and crystal tiered light fixtures hanging from the ceiling.

Taking up residence in what was formerly a popular French café, Bistro Rollin, the new Italian steakhouse at 142 Fifth Ave. changed hands in May. Borrowing the latter part of its name from Pelham’s ZIP code, Jordan Hall 10803 opened soon after in July. Though the menu and decor have seen a shift, one thing that has remained at the spot is executive chef Eric Mauro, who, along with his kitchen staff, stayed on to run the back of the house at Jordan Hall following the restaurant’s sale.

As we take our seats, we’re presented with a basket of warm, freshly baked bread, served with a side of butter and a small plate of olives, assorted slices of cheese and two peperoncini.

I start with a selection from Jordan Hall’s cocktail list, The Pelham Sidecar, a sweet glass of rum with orange liqueur and freshly squeezed lemon. My guest chooses instead to take the spicy route and opts for the Jalapeño Margarita, a glass of tequila with orange, lime and chopped jalapeños.

After sipping our drink selections and mulling over the menu, we select a plate of baked clams oreganata, topped with crisp breadcrumbs and chopped parsley. A second appetizer, Jordan Hall Meatballs, introduces us to one of the tastiest marinara sauces I’ve ever encountered, a slightly sweet and creamy red sauce topped with Parmesan cheese and basil.
Soon after, a member of the highly attentive (at times, overly so) waitstaff delivers my entrée, a bowl of creamy risotto with delectable duck confit and chunks of butternut squash. The slices of duck are pleasantly tender and paired well with the slightly chewy risotto.

Another entrée, chef Mauro’s signature Kobe beef burger, showcases an expertly cooked and juicy burger in a thick and flaky bun topped with pancetta, red onion and aged Parmesan. The entrée is served with a heaping helping of French fries, which turn out to be the unexpected star of the dish, perfectly crisp with a light, fluffy interior. A carnivore’s delight, the menu also boasts an impressive list of steaks, from petit filet mignon to a prime aged porterhouse for two.
Before moving on to dessert, owner Florio Rugova, who has routinely checked on us, encourages us to partake in an after-dinner glass on the house. Though the flute of limoncello is not quite sweet enough for my taste, a glass of Port wine proves the perfect segue between the savory entrée and dessert.

To end our meal at Jordan Hall, we choose old-fashioned comfort food, splitting a small bowl of warm, flaky spiced apple crisp topped with creamy homemade vanilla ice cream. The warm and gooey apples make for a satisfying union with the frosty scoop of ice cream.

With its friendly staff, upscale décor and spot-on food, Jordan Hall perfectly couples big-city chic with suburban sophistication.

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