Too many times now the prospect of an early evening quick glass of red and a couple of mouth-wateringly good side-dishes at Jamie’s Italian in Cambridge has wooed me in, and ended up as a full-on evening dining experience.
Jamie’s Italian in Cambridge is truly “all things to all men”, a fabulous lunch venue, a decent place to swing-by mid afternoon for a quick latte and cantuccini, a wicked weekend venue for sexy snacks and cocktails, a place to impress the special girl or boy in your life – one that somehow still manages to be reasonably family-friendly, perfect for early-evening wine or meat tasting, but most of all, a gorgeous restaurant in which to settle-down for the evening.
There are very few restaurants to get excited about in Cambridge, but Jamie’s is one of them. The dining experience is relatively informal, and it lends itself to both drawn-out meals with lots of small dishes, or a quick bowl of pasta. The interior is spacious, majestic, glitzy, and thoroughly gorgeous – worth coming for this alone.
The things that make me happy are: the hams lined up over the serving counter (what a way to fill one large side of a room), the designated areas for bread cutting, pasta making, serving, the drinks bar which is crafted out of enormous chunks of solid oak (?) and glass.
I find the service a little slow when very busy, but one can be very forgiving of such things when one sees staff running around like crazy. When it’s less busy, I have found the service to be impeccable.
1- Don’t be alarmed if you have to wait 45 minutes to 1hr to be seated. Expect this kind of wait, do your best to get served in the bar, then kick-back and relax knowing the food you are about to eat is very fine indeed.
2- If it’s very busy, they may try to seat you upstairs, or in the section adjacent to the bar. Ask to dine in the main room, and wait another 30 minutes. In my opinion, it is well worth it to dine in this exquisitely restored room of the grade 2 listed Guildhall.
I thought the opening of Jamie’s Italian might give that inferior restaurant chain Carluccio’s around the corner a kick up the ass; alas the service at Carluccio’s is still pathetically bad and the wine list still utterly mediocre. I’ve no desire to dine at Carluccio’s Cambridge ever again now Jamie’s has opened. Thank god!
In summary, I enthusiastically recommend Jamie’s Italian in Cambridge.