Jimmy's Restaurant IV
147 Princeton St., North Chelmsford978-251-8000 Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.- 10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.- 11 p.m., Sun.9 a.m.- 10 p.m. Reservations accepted
Major credit cards acceptedHandicapped accessible
Walking across the ample parking lot of Jimmy's Restaurant IV in North Chelmsford, it's easy to become momentarily distracted by the abundant flowers and shrubbery, the water fountain, and other landscaping elements that separate the gracious entryway from busy Princeton Street.
Fortunately for diners, this attention to detail carries through in food, service, and dcor.
As its name suggests, Jimmy's Restaurant IV is the fourth restaurant venture established by Dracut residents Jimmy and Bette Zygouris. (The others are Jimmy's Pizza House and Restaurant in Dracut, now leased to different management; Jimmy's Restaurant II overlooking the Merrimack River in Methuen; and the former Jimmy's Restaurant III in Haverhill.)
According to Bette Zygouris, about 50 percent of the business at Jimmy's Restaurant IV is generated by functions accommodating up to 300 guests.
Our four-person group was seated immediately on a recent Thursday evening in the spacious main dining room. Although a party was taking place in one of the adjacent function rooms, it didn't affect us in terms of noise or service, which was quick but not pressured.
After enjoying a basket of warm, crusty bread with butter, we shared two appetizers. The mushroom caps ($5.95) were large and moist, with a distinctive crabmeat, shrimp, and clam stuffing. Raw Blue Point oysters (95 cents each), served with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges, are shucked to order. While we were surprised they weren't presented on ice, we ate them long before they could have warmed to room temperature.
The entre menu offers such a comprehensive list of Black Angus beef, veal, lamb, chicken, pasta, and seafood we had to turn our patient waitress away the first time she asked to take our order.
The veal piccata ($13.95) consisted of six small, tender pieces of veal sauted with lemon, dry white wine, capers, butter, and grated Romano cheese. The 22-ounce, "king cut" roast prime rib au jus ($17.95) was tender and cooked exactly as requested.
The broiled haddock deluxe special ($12.95) was served in a casserole dish overflowing with a thick sauce of garlic, lemon, and white wine that didn't overwhelm the accompanying baby shrimp, scallops, asparagus, mushrooms, and onion. Our waitress also took a special order in stride, eliminating the shrimp from the broiled seafood combination ($15.95) to serve a dish of haddock and scallops topped with butter and seasoned breadcrumbs.
All entres include a choice of two side dishes: garden salad, vegetable, baked potato, steak fries, rice, or pasta. The diner who ordered the veal piccata learned that the pasta comes with a red tomato sauce unless you ask for it otherwise. (Our waitress obligingly returned with plain pasta at her request, which she promptly dunked in the remaining piccata sauce.) The garden salads were fresh and crisp, while the mashed potatoes were average.
For dessert we selected triple chocolate cake ($4.95), which met our expectations, and Snickers pie ($4.95), which was so good we ordered two.
According to Bette Zygouris, the restaurant's top sellers are the hand-cut Black Angus beef and the seafood, which is delivered daily from Boston fish piers and filleted on the premises. Jimmy's Restaurant IV also features early dinner specials Monday through Friday, 4 to 6 p.m., with a choice of veal parmesan, chopped tenderloin steak, and chicken and haddock dishes for $7.95.
"Dinner for Two" specials are served Sunday through Thursday, with a choice of chicken or veal parmesan, veal saut, lemon chicken saut, and several haddock dishes for $17.95.