Jonathan’s American Grille, occupying an unusual space on the Jenkintown-Wyncote train station platform, proudly announces its split personality: “Something for everyone” is its egalitarian motto. So Jonathan’s is both a welcoming way station for the harried commuters who gather in the Miller-Lite-on-tap bar, where suit jackets are hung haphazardly from bar stools and families gather over the inexpensive brick-oven pizzas, and a cathedral-ceilinged dining room whose heavy wine list announces that this will be serious food.
The luxe main dining room’s frequently changing menu, which unexpectedly tops out at $23, is awash in disparate global influences: The skirt steak is flavored with a South American chimichurri; the tuna is moistened with a lemongrass-coconut reduction; the spare ribs are BBQ-ed and paired with baked macaroni. But the kitchen — it isn’t meant to be an open kitchen, but some unfortunate diners have a clear view of the instant ice-tea machine and the dishwashing racks — isn’t always ready for this ambitious globe-trotting. The scallops in a saffron-scented linguine are meltingly tender, but the whole dish is weighed down by an oily sauce. The massive, meaty pork chop is served with frighteningly bitter greens.
But the immense stromboli, a holdover from the more focused bar menu, is satisfyingly crisp-crusted, straight from the brick oven. This is the casual fare everyone craves between work and home: the simple but satisfying sandwiches, salads and brick-oven creations that Jonathan’s does best. — April White
Jonathan’s American Grille, Jenkintown-Wyncote train station, West and Greenwood avenues, Jenkintown, 215-885-9000; jonathansamericangrille.com. Open for lunch and dinner daily.