Low-key Jumps reaches culinary heights

Molly Abraham
The Detroit News

Like a walk-on who becomes the star of the team, Jumps Restaurant has achieved much more than it promised in its early days as a glorified coffee shop.

The Grosse Pointe Farms restaurant started on the lower level of its small building. It moved up one flight to much more appealing first-floor quarters where it has flourished quietly for 27 years, with a loyal fan base.

It is unpretentious yet has high culinary standards.

The restaurant has gained steadily in scope and ambition under proprietors Chad and Mavelle Stewart, she in the front of the house, with their daughter Nicole, and he in the open kitchen. With Stewart in the kitchen is Brandon Koskoszki, who has been there since he was just 11 with his stepfather and their colleague, Andrew Sipley.

It’s a close-knit group and that longevity really counts.

The menu has just had its seasonal change. Certain dishes are perennials, including pecan-crusted whitefish served with sweet potato gratin, caramelized cauliflower and fig gastrique and the soup du every jour, chicken chili. Other sturdier stuff has just been added to the lineup, including linguini with meatballs and marinara sauce, and porcini-dusted tenderloin and at the top of the price scale at $38, grilled rack of lamb.

My favorite dish at a recent visit was shrimp Bolognese over wide pappardelle noodles that included ground shrimp with garlic, as well as large whole shrimp, the meat sauce applied subtly, a dish I will go back for. Also joining the cool weather lineup is such sturdy stuff as lobster mac and cheese — which is also on the lunch menu — braised beef short ribs, and pan-roasted veal chop.

Breakfast is simpler, but does feature burritos with Bavarian ham and hot pepper jack, and quesadillas with wild boar and roasted poblano sausage, along with salsa and guacamole.

Chad and staff do not neglect desserts. Eyes usually widen at the apple tart with whisky caramel sauce and especially the individual baked Alaska. That vintage treat is rarely seen, and I can’t recall another local spot that serves it.

The setting is a single room with banquettes and linen-covered tables nicely spaced for quiet dining. There are a few seats at the bar overlooking the kitchen.

And in keeping with the low-key nature of Jumps, the entrance is in the rear, along with the parking.

Jumps Restaurant

63 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Farms

Call (313) 882-9555



Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Tues.-Sat., brunch 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun. Closed Mon.

Prices: Breakfast $6-$12, sides $3-$6; lunch soups and salads $5-$14, sandwiches $9-$13, entrees $11-$15; dinner appetizers $8-$12, entrees $24-$38, desserts: $6-$8

Credit cards: All major

Liquor: Full bar

Noise level: Moderate

Wheelchair access: No barriers

Parking: Municipal lot directly in the rear of the building

What the ratings mean

★ — routine ★★ — good ★★1/2 — very good

★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding