WINTHROP – Chef Jay Silva has worked in some of the best restaurants in all of Boston. When he decided to raise his family in the small town of Winthrop, he thought he would raise the bar on the local cuisine as well.
“We moved here about eight years ago. I love the town. Everything I did in my career up to this point kind of led to what’s happening here.”
‘Here’ is JW’s.
“JW’s is kind of an all-in-one place. You can come here for dates. You can come here for brunch. You can bring your family. People come in here after work, after a long day. It has something for everyone.”
You can mostly find Jay in the kitchen, making sure every last dish is executed to perfection. When he can make it onto the floor, he makes sure to touch every table, to make sure every last customer is happy.
Jay has mastered making some serious eats, like the Lobster Fra Diavolo Flatbread, a spicy treat loaded up with smoked tomatoes, garlic and plenty of lobster meat; and Fried Mozzarella and Ricotta Balls, which are like an amped up spin on mozzarella sticks.
“When you bite into it you get the crunch of the tempura, and then you get the creaminess of the cheese and a little bit of pomodoro sauce on there. It’s really just a great bite.”
Starters also include super tender meatballs served over creamy polenta with a slow cooked pomodoro sauce, and warm lobster sliders, a recipe that Jay’s been perfecting for a decade.
“I’ve had them on my menus for about 10 years now. It’s a great little hot local bite. It has the crunch. It’s creamy. The roll is warm. The lobster meat is warm, lightly buttered with some chive on there. People just freak out over them.”
All of the classic Italian comfort food dishes you know and love make their way onto JW’s menu, from plate tipping portions of Chicken Parm to hearty bowls of slow cooked Bolognese served over Orechiette. There is even an Italian take on a burger.
“I just didn’t want to phone in and do just a regular burger. I wanted an Italian flare to it,” Jay said. “I love scali bread with the sesame seeds. We toast that and we put the pesto on it with the mozzarella cheese on there, the pancetta. All those flavors work so well together.”
The ultimate Italian dish on the JW’s menu is the Pork Chop with Vinegar Peppers, Jay’s personal go-to meal.
“The pork chops are really, really moist, but they also have the crunch from the breadcrumbs. The vinegar peppers give you a little kick. The potato is nice and creamy. Then the garlic spinach you get that big kick. It’s a solid dish.”
For something more refined, JWs offers Sliced Pepper Crusted Tuna served with ratatouille, over an herbed risotto cake, and a gorgeous Ribeye that rivals what you will get at any downtown steak house.
It is tough to find a brunch like the one they do, with everything from light and fluffy Ricotta Pancakes topped with mixed berries and rosemary butter, to a breakfast version of Carbonara.
“I wanted to do an Italian flare to a brunch item,” Jay said. “Instead of using corned beef, I used pancetta for the hash. It’s cooked very, very long, low temperature, and then we put a couple poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and scali toast on the side.”
While keeping that high standard at suburban prices is a challenge, Jay thrives off delivering his customers a downtown dining experience right in their own backyard.
“The great thing about being in Winthrop is we’re doing Boston quality food, but we’re not charging Boston prices.
“It’s very rewarding and it’s the ultimate in being a chef. You get to do a lot of different things and you’re responsible for everything, the second somebody walks in the door to the second they leave.”
You can find JW’s at 10 Putnam Street in Wrentham, and online at jwswinthrop.com.
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