$29 & Under: Jake Moon Restaurant makes memorable meals of local meat, produce

We headed into the Helderbergs on Sunday for brunch at the Jake Moon Restaurant and Cafe, veteran Ch
Red flannel hash with shirred eggs, as served at Jake Moon Restaurant and Cafe in Clarksville, Albany County. (Photo: Beverly M. Elander/For The Sunday Gazette)
Red flannel hash with shirred eggs, as served at Jake Moon Restaurant and Cafe in Clarksville, Albany County. (Photo: Beverly M. Elander/For The Sunday Gazette)

We headed into the Helderbergs on Sunday for brunch at the Jake Moon Restaurant and Cafe, veteran Chef Daniel E. Smith’s latest venture.

The restaurant — on Route 443 — has a reputation for its great breakfasts so we reasoned that brunch would be equally pleasing.

But, when we agreed over our meal that we’d like to return, it was with dinner in mind.

Jake Moon serves dinner on Fridays and Saturdays and last weekend’s offerings included a lobster bisque ($4.50 per cup, $5.95 per bowl), fried blue point oysters with chipotle mayo for $8.95, a lobster bake with a one-pound lobster, steamed little neck clams, drawn butter and lemon, corn on the cob and cole slaw for $25 or a clambake with similar sides for $18.95. There was also steak frites — grilled flat iron steak with garlic butter and handcut french fries — for $16.95 and a “Backyard Barbecue” consisting of Cuban pulled pork, smoked ribs and chicken with cole slaw and corn bread for $15.95.

Jake Moon Restaurant and Cafe

WHERE: 2082 Delaware Turnpike, Clarksville; 768-2570, www.jakemoon.net

WHEN: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

OTHER INFO: Handicapped accessible. American Express, Visa, MasterCard accepted.

COST: $22.90

Dessert choices include Coffee Toffee Pie, warm Indian Pudding and Vanilla Bean Flan with berries, each priced at $5.

Smith, a graduate of La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, formerly served as executive chef of Nicole’s Bistro in Albany and has owned and operated restaurants throughout the Catskills. He has a great deal of food and restaurant experience, and his vision for Jake Moon, he tells us on his website, is not only to serve memorable dishes but to help sustain the agricultural economy of the hilltowns where he works and lives.


He lists among his vendors local producers including Charles Groesbeck Grassfed Beef in Feura Bush, Schoharie Farms (the Carrot Barn) in Schoharie, and Meadowbrook Farms Dairy in Clarksville, the hamlet in the town of New Scotland where Jake Moon is located.

The restaurant itself is an interesting little place, with the look of an eclectic diner. There is outdoor seating available at umbrella-shaded tables for those who choose. The decor inside is funky with Chinese-style lanterns over the counter, booths lining the walls, and tables between the booths and the counter. You can pick up some of Smith’s baked goods while you’re there, or maybe a souvenir T-shirt.

Brunch mate Beverly chose the Red Flannel Hash ($7.50), a pretty presentation of roasted beets, hand-cut sirloin beef, corn, onions and potatoes topped with two shirred eggs and accompanied by homemade toasted bread and a wedge of fresh, sweet watermelon. The hash, with big chunks of meat and veggies, was wrapped in a slightly piquant sauce from the beets and other ingredients, and the result was a pleasing combination of flavors and textures as well as eye appeal.

The eggs, Beverly commented, were perfect.

My own choice was a dish called the Clarksville Scrambler ($7), a generous platter of scrambled eggs with sausage, onion and potatoes and a Cheddar cheese sauce drizzled over the top. Had I read the menu closer, I might have chosen a different dish because I’m not a fan of cheese melted over eggs, but that’s a small complaint really and a matter of personal taste. Like the hash, my entrée came with toasted bread made on the premises, and it was good enough for me to declare it my favorite part of the meal, a dense and flavorful whole wheat with sunflower seeds and oats among the ingredients. It’s the kind of bread you can make a meal of.


Jake Moon sells its own breads at the restaurant — mini-loaves and larger — in sour dough, whole wheat, cinnamon raisin and dill onion, which is another reason I’d like to return soon.

If you’d like still another reason, you can get poutine at Jake Moon’s, the after-hours dish of choice in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec: french fries and cheese curds covered with hot, brown gravy. (Poutine is one of those dishes that sounds awful but once you’ve eaten it, you understand. Or maybe it just seems like a good idea because of what you’ve drunk before you ordered it.)

Deanna, our server at Jake Moon, was friendly and helpful, offering knowledgeable answers to our questions and seeming truly interested in our reaction to the food.

Our tab, for two brunch dishes and iced teas, came to a modest $22.90 with tax and tip.

We do have one suggestion. Some effort should be made to keep doors and windows closed. We had to spend a lot of time shooing flies away from our food during our visit, perhaps because of servers running in and out of the kitchen with dishes for diners on the patio.


Shirred eggs, which are served atop Jake Moon’s Red Flannel Hash, are also known as baked eggs or oeufs en cocotte in French cuisine. They look like poached eggs but they’re prepared differently. The eggs are baked in ramekins with a little butter on top or a little cream added to the ramekin, and then they’re baked until the whites are firm but the yolks soft.

Categories: Food, Life and Arts

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