If humankind never learned to play with its food, it would never have learned to play with its ingredients, and the world would be one bereft bowl of gruel. Taste the fruits of culinary creativity with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of upscale American fare at James in Bella Vista. This Groupon is not valid with Sunday supper or happy hour specials.
The menu at James channels the power of local, seasonal produce, humanely raised meats, wild seafood, and artisan cheeses into decadent, modern American cuisine. Because of a dedication to fresh ingredients, a desire to accommodate those with short tastettention spans, and a little known Constitutional amendment, the offerings are constantly changing with the seasons. Current summer treats include a chilled cucumber-avocado soup ($13), which is made with Hawaiian blue prawn escabeche and chili oil. For a veritable bouquet of flavor, try the hand-cut pappardelle noodles with duck ragu, topped by shaved chocolate and orange ($16). Lobster, Maine’s favorite main, is served with marjoram, local peaches, and chanterelles en brodo ($34). To bring your meal to an ambrosial conclusion, sample an inspired dessert creation such as lemon-mascarpone panna cotta, bathed in local berries, black raspberry syrup, and sugar sticks ($9). House-made sorbets and ice-creams are also available to quiet nagging sweet teeth ($6 per trio).
James’ luxurious fare is complemented by elegant chandeliers, fine wooden tables, and plush seats. The modern bar and lounge area contains love seats, cocktail tables, and a glowing fireplace, which provides a welcoming setting to play a game of mental chess while sipping selections from James’ boutique wine list. The line up of grown-up grape juice includes varieties from small producers dedicated to natural and sustainable viticulture. Cocktails are concocted with top-shelf liquors and house-made syrups, such as the James-hattan ($13), which is a house-infused whiskey Manhattan made with orange, raisins, and cinnamon. Beer is available on draught ($7), or in large bottles ($9–$16). Reservations, like wearing chain mail while wrestling a bear, are highly recommended, but not required.
Customers must purchase food in order to use this Groupon toward drinks.
James received a great deal of press, including a mention in GQ magazine and was ranked in Philadelphia magazine's Top 50 restaurants. Yelpers give it an average of four stars and Citysearchers give it a 3.5-star average: