Friday, September 23, 2022


Jolie strives for authentic French cuisine in Raleigh's bustling Person Street neighborhood. Nestled between hot spots like Crawford & Son, (ish) Delicatessen and Two Roosters Ice Cream, it's a really happening scene and you can't go wrong, anywhere you choose to hang. I was excited to celebrate my 35th birthday at Jolie, and for the most part, I was quite pleased. 

Next time, I'll request a table on their stunning, open air, rooftop patio. As we approached the restaurant, it became very clear that the rooftop is where you want to be. The inside was tight, though I was grateful for their noise-dampening panels, which helped keep what could have been a very loud environment relatively quiet. It's an open-kitchen concept, with a few seats at the bar, and tables down a long hallway. It reminds me a lot of my beloved Mozelle's in Winston-Salem! Intimate, almost TOO intimate. I was very excited to see a spirit-free cocktail on the menu, feautring the trendy Seedlip (a non-alcoholic spirit), Black Tea, Strawberry and Basil. It was citrusy and bitter, a nice change from the sprite-doused mocktails I'm often offered.

Do not sleep on the Baguette with Fancy Butter - this was some of the best butter I've ever had! If only the untoasted, room temperature bread had done it justice. I would have loved for the whole wheat baguette to be toasted, or ever so slightly warmed, because chewing through the crust was entirely too tough on my jaw. But I would have eaten anything if it meant getting a bite of that sweet, honey butter, topped with Sea Salt, Paprika, Sesame Seeds and Herbs. Sensational! I admit, I was pretty surprised when one piece of bread remained, with plenty of butter for it, and the dishes were removed from our table to "make room for our next courses". For $6, I think our server should have left this on the table, and even offered additional bread! But I'm willing to overlook that.

This pregnant mama has been craving all the cheese, so the French Onion Soup naturally called to me. Jolie's version is incredibly rich, with a beefy, brandy-forward broth, loads of Croutons and Thyme, Caramelized Onions (not quite enough, frankly) and Fromage Cantal, a white cheese that passes for the classic Gruyere. You can tell that the chefs put a lot of TLC into the broth, which was indeed delicious, but I was missing some of the soft, caramlized onions - the crouton to onion ratio was off for my preference. But the cheese pull...heaven.

When I read the words "truffle", "parmesan" and "gnocchi", I knew exactly what I would be ordering next. This Gnocchi is incredibly tender, definitely made in house, and sat in a stew alongside Corn, Peas, Oyster Mushrooms and Tomatoes. The dish had just a kiss of truffle flavor, but I could have used more Parmesan (I think it was hiding was in the broth). This dish, while delicious, was having a bit of an identity crisis. I wanted a pasta dish, this read more as a stew. Killer flavors, though.

My husband could not get enough of his miniature Whole Chicken, and in fact said it was the best he's ever had. It was indeed incredibly moist and perfectly seasoned, though the Mixed Greens Salad might not have been the best option as a side dish. The chicken just screamed for a starch, a potato of some sort, to accompany this comforting protein. I don't know that a starch would have made a difference though - he had tunnel vision for the bird.

Jolie changes their menu frequently so I'll be keeping my eye on what's to come. I had quite a lovely experience, and with a few tweaks, I think this place could be truly outstanding.

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