Jones Brothers & Co. is permanently closed
Jones Brothers & Co.
There are dives, there are fancy cocktail spots, and somewhere in between, there’s your average neighborhood bar. You know you can walk in and get a table or stool immediately, and you’re there just as much for the friendly bartenders as the food or drinks.
Jones Brothers & Company has all the good qualities of a neighborhood bar, but its casual, mostly Italian snacks and homemade pastas bring it to another level. Not quite the level of that fancy cocktail place or restaurant you’d take your parents, but still a clear step above the spot you go on Sundays in your college sweatpants to watch the game and yell incoherently about how that referee needs to go back to referee school.
The menu here is heavy on Italian-inspired bar food. You’ll find crispy polenta, artichoke dip with grilled bread, and a few varieties of meatball sliders (because of the general theme, you might gravitate toward the meatball parm one - but we actually like the buffalo chicken and Swedish meatball sliders better). Most of the snacks and starters come on casual blue checkerboard paper reminiscent of a suburban bowling alley, which makes it all the more surprising that, in addition to its snacks and sandwiches, Jones Brothers serves more elevated homemade pastas. The angel hair with clams in particular is excellent - it’s on par with dishes from much fancier spots in Seattle, and our favorite thing here.
The big, brick-lined space has the slightly industrial feel of an event venue (it’s a few cheesy wooden cursive-inscribed planks away from a DIY wedding). But there’s plenty of space, including a whole second floor with table seating and another bar, making it ideal for a group hang. It’s also not a bad spot for a quick solo dinner if you need to wait out the rain. And as at any good neighborhood place, the staff is friendly - sometimes the chef will even come out in his coat and take your order.
If you’re not in Ballard, we’re not going to rush you here. If you’re in Ballard and want a truly jaw-dropping plate of Italian food, we’re not going to rush you here either. But if you’re nearby and in the mood for a solid, not too expensive meal with some casual drinks - or even just quality Swedish meatballs closer than the nearest IKEA - Jones Brothers is a good choice. It has all the qualities we like in a neighborhood bar, and then some.
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Cheesy Garlic Bread
Exactly what it sounds like. Very good, particularly dipped in ranch.
There are three sliders to choose from here. The “Jones Bros Original” is a meatball parm-style slider with pickled pepper, but we’d go for the other options instead. The Swedish meatball slider, with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and a creamy sauce, is our favorite, and the buffalo chicken one is also great.
One of the better caesars you’ll have in the neighborhood: crunchy romaine, a good amount of parm, and well-seasoned croutons. Order with confidence.
Creamy Artichoke Dip
A cheesy, lemony artichoke spread with grilled bread to sop it up. We could eat this all day with a beer or cocktail.
Made with with feta, pancetta, and onion jam, these sprouts are fairly addicting. It’s a big portion, so order one plate to share. Unless brussels sprouts are your favorite food.
Black Pepper Tagliatelle
They don’t call this a carbonara, but it sort of tastes like one, except for the broccolini. There’s black pepper in the pasta dough, giving it a nice kick. Crispier pancetta would improve this - we’d choose one of the other pastas instead.
Some of the best clam pasta in the city. The buttery lemon sauce works perfectly with the angel hair and local clams, and the breadcrumbs on top give it some needed crunch. This is our favorite thing here.
This will satisfy any ravioli cravings you might be experiencing. The sauce has spicy sausage and is on the citrusy side, which surprised us, but we’re actually into it.
A big, tasty burger with pancetta, onion jam, mozzarella, and roasted garlic aioli. If you’re not here for pasta, consider getting this. We just wish it came with fries instead of potato chips.
Chicken Parm Sandwich
This is fine, but doesn’t quite feel like a real chicken parm. The extremely crunchy panko breading doesn’t have any Italian seasoning in it, the pickled peppers are unnecessary, and there’s not enough sauce or mozzarella to make things appropriately gooey. If you want a sandwich, get the burger instead.