New Old Town Fish & Seafood Restaurant Delights the Senses

The Ahi Tuna Au Poivre at Jax

By Molly McCowan

Walking into Jax Fish House, one is immediately transported into an urban, hip atmosphere. A saltwater fish tank bathed in blue light; a modern, oval-shaped bar; an inviting patio area overflowing with early evening diners.

Even though it’s a bit upscale, Jax is not a pressed shirt and tie affair – the restaurant has a mellow, unpretentious vibe, and our fellow diners were relaxed and laughing over a background music playlist boasting hits by Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Pixies and Modest Mouse (are my roots as a music writer showing?).

Eager to start the evening off right, I ordered a drink accurately titled the Salted Watermelon Smash. A mix of Old Forester bourbon, Peychaud’s bitters, salt and watermelon puree, this drink first struck me as being…salty. After I began pairing it with the food that was brought out, however, I grew quite a fondness for it – it complements Jax’s menu items well, especially the oysters.

And oysters we had – an assortment of twelve of these tasty mollusks, to be exact, served on a bed of shaved ice with Jax’s traditional cocktail sauce. We were taken aback by the diversity in taste and texture between all of them: West Coast or East Coast, saltier or creamier, everyone can find an oyster that they enjoy here.

Next came the main course: Ahi Tuna Au Poivre for me (pictured here); Hawaiian Blue Marlin for my companion. The Ahi Tuna was served rare (raw in the center, but warm) over shrimp tossed in a bed of locally grown purple potatoes, spinach and red peppers. The crunchiness of the tuna’s peppered edges melded perfectly with the creaminess of its center, and the other flavors in the dish complimented it very well.

The Hawaiian Blue Marlin was a treat in and of itself – it had a honey dijon tang to it that blended perfectly with the ginger rice and shredded cucumber that it was paired with. Every bite of the marlin felt like a complete meal – the consistency of the fish was irresistibly smooth, and the flavors of the dish were effortlessly balanced.

For dessert? I tried the Cracker Jax – a plate with caramel popcorn spilling out of a small paper bag complete with butterscotch pudding, a toasted marshmallow and a temporary tattoo of Jax’s fish logo. Eating this dessert was fun, and the presentation made me feel like a kid again.

Jax also encourages diners to feel like kids again by utilizing paper tablecloths and supplying crayons to draw with, proving that the restaurant is not afraid to pair fun with a classy, modern environment. (My companion and I drew our best rendition of a fish in a bowl, complete with treasure chest and bubbles.)

Overall, eating at Jax was a dining experience that I won’t soon forget. The service was extraordinary, and our server was graciously available to answer our many questions.

Furthermore, I was impressed by the restaurant’s effort to use produce and some types of fish from local sources. They work closely with the Lindenmeier Farm as well as other local farms and fisheries. Because the seafood that Jax serves has to be shipped or flown in, the restaurant is making an effort to offset this rather large carbon footprint by also utilizing food picked right out of Fort Collins’ own backyard.

Here’s hoping (and knowing) that Jax will become a longtime Old Town staple.

Jax is located in Old Town Fort Collins at 123 North College Avenue. The restaurant opens at 4pm every day, and is open for brunch (10am-2pm) Saturday and Sunday and lunch (11am-2pm) on Fridays. Find a full menu and more information online at jaxftcollins.brfstage.com. Also, check them out during their daily happy hour (4-6pm), when East Coast oysters are $1 each and selected drink prices are slashed to between $2.50 and $4.

Illegal Pete’s

Illegal Pete’s

After surviving the tremendous controversy over the name “illegal” in its name, Illegal Pete’s in Fort Collins is soaring into the hearts and stomachs of many. It’s here to stay with the original name intact and in a prime location at 320 Walnut Street. The vast interior and raised alcove help make it our town’s…Continue Reading

Indian Music

Indian Music

Om Ananda Yoga Studio in Old Town Fort Collins is hosting a very special and rare concert event with tabla master Ty Burhoe and grammy-winning flute master Steve Gorn! Mark your calendars for Friday, January 16, 8-10pm, admission is $16 in advance and $20 at the door; purchase at omanandayoga.com/events or call 970-488-9192. The venue…Continue Reading

A new year? Try new beer!

A new year? Try new beer!

With the holidays wrapping up and New Year’s resolutions being made, it might be time to try some new things. For the cooking-inclined, this just may be your column. Chef Ricky Myers of Jax Fish House has been experimenting with local brews and food, and has offered to share some of his inspiration with us.…Continue Reading

Sex and the Choice City: Save the Tablas!

I just turned 40. I feel it’s a good time to reflect and write about the things I’m really proud of. Seriously, I was not expecting to look this good at the “half way point” of my life… unlike TONS of women that are walking around our Choice City streets, I have had absolutely NO…Continue Reading