Philadelphia Magazine goes to James to check out chef Jim Burke’s take on Italian.
The house-made pastas are what James does best. Thereâ€™s a hint of Vetri in the deeply delicious duck ragu, which owes its sweet-savory nuances to orange peel and bittersweet Valrhona chocolate, and in the mellower oxtail ragu, simmered with red wine and paired with stubby garganelli, a pasta that looks like flattened penne. The pecorino-dusted potato gnocchi, no bigger than a thumbnail, are light enough to float away.
But sticker shock awaits those who order a pasta or risotto as a main course, as we learned when the disappointingly loose Risotto alla Kristina appeared on our bill at $30 â€” pricier than most of the entrÃ©es, and a $10 jump from the listed appetizer price. The menu also needs to clarify which dishes are starters and which are larger plates.