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STYLE / RESTAURANTS : A Little Bit Country

September 03, 1995|S. IRENE VIRBILA

The short wine list includes some very good bottles, such as Marimar Torres Chardonnay "Don Miguel Vineyard" from Sonoma County's Green Valley, Silverado's Merlot and Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir from Oregon. But you're expected to drink them out of wide-mouthed tumblers instead of proper wineglasses. If they were simple country wines, no matter, but it's a shame when you're drinking--and paying for--wines of this quality. I wonder if the rare 1983 Salon "Le Mesnil" Blanc de Blancs, at $133, is served in the same glasses?

The service could be better. Waiters and counter people, unsure of what to do next, mill about while you wait to order, or for your food or check to arrive. The cashier is nibbling cookies; no one seems to notice what needs doing. And customers' patience wears thin.

Jacksons Farm reminds me of a ferme-auberge I once visited in the French countryside. Unlike the unpretentious farmhouse cooking I was expecting--vegetables just plucked from the garden, homemade pa^te and foie gras --that place offered up elaborate dishes under fancy silver cloches! Jacksons Farm hasn't gone quite that far, but the food is sometimes too fussy. The more it's primped and stacked and sauced and garnished, the further the idea of simple cooking recedes in the distance.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

JACKSONS FARM

CUISINE: American. AMBIENCE: Country store in the city, with twirling ceiling fans, green library chairs, a long deli case full of salads, cheeses, pastries. BEST DISHES: crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, ready-made sandwiches, poached salmon, rack of lamb, roasted plums with mascarpone shortcake, brioche with sun-dried cherries. WINE PICKS: Marimar Torres Chardonnay "Don Miguel Vineyard" 199 2 , Sancerre "Le Chene" Lucien Crochet 1993, Silverado Merlot 1992. FACTS: 439 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 273-5578. Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dinner for two, food only, $39 to $70. Corkage $10. No reservations.

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