Chef Bryan Calvert and his wife Deborah Williamson named their Prospect Heights restaurant after Calvert’s great grandfather who also was a chef at the turn of the century. James, whose portrait sits above the door to the kitchen, owned a restaurant in the old Mount Morris area of Manhattan, currently know as Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. His wife Annie’s shopping list from the 1800s is featured on the check card (below). Chef Calvert often feels like James is watching over things.
At James, one enjoys seasonal American fare. Calvert’s favorite at the moment is the Carolina Shrimp with Harissa Broth and Garlic Polenta. He says that is “a take on shrimp and grits with super fresh shrimp and a spicy broth.” Another popular dish is the Spinach Salad, which has been on the menu since the restaurant opened three years ago.
The majority of the produce used comes from Liberty Gardens of Pennsylvania, and Active Citizen Project of Brooklyn. ACP’s “EATS is a community based social program, which is setting up urban gardens and empowering people to eat well”. 605 Carlton Avenue www.jamesrestaurantny.com