My wife and I are always up for trying new places to eat and drink in the Eastern
Iowa area and luckily the head brewer at Big Grove Brewery, Bill Heinrich, recommend a place in Monticello called the Jitney Wine Bar. This was my first experience dining in Monticello so I wasn’t sure what to expect but as we walked into the Jitney, which is in downtown Monticello, the smell of smoked meats greeted me so I knew then I was in good hands!
The interior of the place is dimly light, which I love, and my eyes go right to the bar. I noticed the tap handles and was pleased to see Big Grove, Turner Alley, Founders, and at least 4 more taps of craft beer available. I went with the Big Grove IPA to start for my wife and I, and was pleasantly surprised to find out it was their latest double IPA, Dilly Dallying, on tap! SCORE! It was a family-friendly restaurant as we had our 1 year old with and sat outside on their patio. The menu was mouth watering so whatever my wife decided for an appetizer I was game with. So chose the Bacho Melt which is a Scandinavian style baked bacon and cheese with bacon jam served on a baguette……yep….it was fantastic!
After the apps, I needed another brew and went with Turner Alley’s Czech Pils, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite pilsner style beers out there. I’m a brisket guy, so as soon as I saw brisket on the menu that was an easy choice. I got 3 huge slabs of smoky brisket served with fried red potatoes and asparagus spears. It was melt in your mouth brisket with just the right amount of smoke and the potatoes had a perfect crunch on the outside but soft and tender in the middle. Excellent stuff…but…my wife’s meal stole the show. She went with the smoked chicken sandwich which is pulled chicken smoked gouda cheese sauce, caramelized onions, with gravy au jus on a Chicago style French roll. BEST….SANDWICH…..EVER!!!! Seriously folks, get this and a side of their asian slow and it will be one of those moments after taking a bite of food that you wouldn’t forget. So great! And a sandwich I will be craving constantly!
The thing with the Jitney is, I think they switch up their menu but I think they have some menu mainstays, and every one of them sounds terrific. The people next to us had the chicken nachos and they looked amazing. I highly recommend making the trip to Monticello to go to the Jitney, you won’t be disappointed! Check out their menus here: thejitneywinebar.happytables.com