Unfortunately, J.M. Randalls has currently closed it’s doors for business. We wish all the best to the owners and staff.
I had actually visited J.M. Randalls before for various business lunches and one time for breakfast with friends. What I had yet to experience at Randalls though was the weekend music entertainment they offer. I had heard good things about it, but had to see it for myself. There was a terrific live band, The Michael Clark Band, playing from about 8:00/8:30pm on. As far as I know there is no other place in Williamsburg jamming it out like Randall’s does. It’s really a great place for a date or to hang out with friends. We saw both older and younger couples there enjoying themselves. Some even got up and started dancing. It was quite hard to stay sitting, so I don’t blame them! I had a wonderful time listening to the music…I couldn’t remember the last time I got to hear a live band like that play. I’d love to go back again for the weekend entertainment and maybe this time I’ll get up and dance!
As far as the food goes at J.M. Randalls, I would describe it as good ol’ down home cooking with a New Orleans flair. I’d say it would fall into the “comfort food” category as well. We tried a variety of different items off the menu including Bruschetta, Irish Nachos, a couple soups and a few entrees, along with a salad. We also tried their walnut brownie sundae and sweet potato pie, which I believe was on special since it was Thanksgiving week. I really enjoyed their Grilled Tuna Salad. I don’t usually “crave” those kinds of tuna salads, but I was very excited at the thought of eating it for leftovers. The salad was very fresh and I liked the combination of orange pieces, mushrooms, pecans, and vinaigrette. The Smothered Chicken was pretty good, too. It sounds like they will be adding this to the menu very soon. One thing I realized with that dish and another we tried is that I really like Randall’s mashed potatoes. They’re creamy and salty and just the right thickness.
My Favorite Thing: I would have to say my favorite “thing” was the live band entertainment. It’s not often I get to enjoy that, so for me that was a real treat. My favorite food item would have to be the Bourbon Street Pierogies. Delicious! I had a good nose run from the spiciness, but that’s part of why I liked it. The spice was just right. The flavor was great and the sauce was nice and creamy. I’ve tried a couple other pierogies on previous visits there and they are all very tasty. I’m gonna take a wild guess and assume this is a menu item not many restaurants around here are serving. If you don’t know what it is, I guess you’ll just have to go and try it out for yourself!
What I would like to try next time: Down in the Bayou – “Everything you would want if you were down in the bayou, andouille sausage, shrimp, & crawdads, sauteed together with the holy trinity of onions, celery & green pepper, tossed with pasta in a zesty Cajun cream sauce & topped with crispy fried oysters.”
Blues, Jazz & Pierogies?
Tucked away in the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, in a corner of a little shopping strip, is a restaurant offering arguably the best Jazz and Blues in the area. J.M. Randalls opened in 1995 with a focus on offering outstanding live entertainment and nightly fun. With multiple “Best Live Music Venue” awards since it’s beginning, J.M. Randalls has firmly established itself as one of the top places to go in the area if you’re looking for a fun and musical evening out.
Dim lighting, brick walls, neon signs, a packed bar, darts, a pool table, and a band setting up on stage lets you know that you’re not just in a restaurant – you’re here for fun. We sat down in a table in the corner while the band was setting up to play and prepared ourselves for some good food and some good sounds. The band was great. Playing old classics while mixing in a few of their own songs. It was great to see the audience involved. Whether it be by dancing on the dance floor or just sitting back and enjoying the music at their table. We enjoyed at a distance sampling some of their cuisine.
They have a good mix of Classic American and New Orleans Style cuisine. We started off with the De Blues Bruschetta – “A blend of fresh tomato, onion, olive oil, garlic, & fresh basil served on a toasted Italian bread & topped with crumbled blue cheese.” I liked the blue cheese crumbles on top. We also tried their Irish Nachos – “Cooked to order hand cut tortilla chips or our crisscross waffle fries, smothered with shredded Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheeses, topped with lettuce, tomato, jalapeño peppers, scallions & black olives. Served with sour cream, guacamole & house made salsa.”, their Delta Gumbo – “Our version of the classic Creole stew with shrimp, andouille sausage & rice.”, and their soup of the day, the Oyster Corn Chowder. The soups were good. We followed that with a good, simple and fresh Grilled Tuna Salad – “Grilled ahi tuna served over fresh mixed greens tossed with fresh orange segments, cherry tomatoes, red onion, button mushrooms & toasted pecans all tossed with a house made balsamic vinaigrette.” and an item not on the menu yet, the Smothered Chicken. What really sticks out though are their Pierogies. They have four styles to choose from – “Traditional”, “Stroganoff”, “Bourbon St.” and “Classic”. We tried the Bourbon St. Pierogies – “Sautéed with andouille sausage, onions, celery & green peppers in a zesty Cajun cream sauce.” It was great. Just a little spicy and very tasty. You don’t find these little cheesy dough pockets of potatoes very often, so it’s nice that there’s a place in town that serves them. And one that does a good job with them as well. We ended our meal with a good Brownie A La Mode – “Warm chocolate chip & walnut brownie, served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream & finished with chocolate sauce.”, a Sweet Potato Pie and a few more songs from the band. What a fun night.
My Favorite Thing: The Bourbon St. Pierogies.
What I would like to try next time: Central Grocery Muffuletta – “A classic New Orleans sandwich, served warm with Capicola ham & Genoa salami topped with Swiss cheese & a marinated olive salad on grilled foccacia bread with a side of our house made slaw.” Another dish that you just don’t find on many menus around here.
“Best Live Music Venue in Williamsburg”
“Best restaurant and lounge in Williamsburg”
“Williamsburg’s best Saturday night date!”
A Taste of Tidewater
“CRITICS’ CHOICE – Best Casual Dining”
“CRITICS’ PICK – Best Casual Dining”
“Top 100 blues and jazz club in America”
“Wing it with great music and great food at J.M. Randalls”
Richmond Times Dispatch
“Williamsburg’s best kept secret”