Local chef quickly gathers a following at Bradenton Bistro

jdeleon@bradenton.comApril 8, 2013 

BRADENTON -- In just six weeks,J's Bistro has been able to attract "regulars" to its family restaurant.

Boasting fresh food at good prices, J's Bistro, 3550 53rd Ave. W, opened Feb. 28. The owners are counting on word of mouth to let people know what they have to offer.

"It is nice to have a good place to go with good food and a nice atmosphere," said Carol Parlee.

Parlee and her husband became instant fans after stumbling on the restaurant for lunch.

"We liked the way it looked and then we were so impressed with the food," she said. "We have been back several times since."

Parlee has become a J's regular and loves going with groups of friends, all who are equally impressed with the food and presentation.

"I couldn't be more happy with the feedback," said Jeremy Creps, chef and manager. "We are getting a lot of repeat business."

While J's doesn't have a large regular menu, its lunch and dinner specials are constantly changing so diners never know what to expect.

"Definitely, when someone comes in they should expect to see something they have not seen before or haven't seen in a long time," said Creps, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando and worked at the Mainsail in Tampa helping launch its banquet hall and convention center.

During lunch, diners at J's can expect to find Cuban and Reuben sandwiches, a variety of flat breads, salads, a lobster roll, homemade soups, and a French dip on the menu. Dinner offerings include tomato caprese and tuna as appetizers and shrimp and scallops, filet mignon and mahi mahi for entrees.

J's prides itself in buying fresh produce and seafood. "We are trying to take all the necessary extra steps to make sure the food is as good as it can be," Creps said.

J's Bistro is owned by Creps' parents, Delmar and Jeanne Clark. Jeanne Clark helps in daily operations serving as general manager.

"It was an investment for us, it was something we always wanted to do," Jeanne Clark said.

The family is enthusiastic with the amount of traffic coming in.

"We did a soft opening, we just opened the doors to see if word of mouth would keep bringing people in," Jeanne Clark said. "Now we have regulars that come in at least once or twice a week."

Creps is loving people's reaction to his cooking.

"It has been extremely exciting," Creps said. "We are having a great time with it."

J's Bistro is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. with daily lunch and dinner specials. Beer and wine are available.

Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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