Skillet mac'n'cheese lovers and Southern brunch enthusiasts rejoice—Upper West Side mainstay Jacob's Pickles is back and better than ever. After a four alarm fire shuttered restaurateur Jacob Hadjigeorgis's mecca of all things buttery, cheesy, and pickled for seven months, many wondered if the restaurant would ever re-open. And if it did, would it have the same effortlessly cool vibe as before?

Well, after attending Jacob's Pickles' soft opening, I can confirm that the eatery's endemic magic is still there, if not stronger. Early 2000's club hits still bump through the speakers. The lighting is still romantically dim. As for the food? It's sinfully delicious as ever. 

The Atmosphere

Beatrice Forman

If it wasn't already obvious, Jacob's Pickles "isn't looking to reinvent itself." Rather, it hopes to remain in its former iteration: the Upper West Side's only answer to downtown panache, where you can get a Bloody Mary, a family-sized serving of poutine, and a Whoopi Goldberg sighting all in one.

In keeping with this, the restaurant maintains the exact same design as before. The finishes are identical, with the best spot in the house being at one of the long tables overlooking Amsterdam Avenue. Jacob's Pickles still very much captures the vibe of a speakeasy, with sparse lighting and a beautiful stacked bar.

This, coupled with a playlist that is still wired to play Nelly every six songs, makes it feel as though the restaurant never closed.

The Classics

Beatrice Forman

Now if you're anything like me, you probably have one question on your mind: What about the mac'n'cheese? 

To answer: Yes, it's still served in a piping hot skillet the size of Kanye's ego. Yes, it's still the same penne baked in layers of cheese. Yes, it's still sensationally gooey, and yes, you will still dream about it for days to come.

Beatrice Forman

As for another favorite of the drunch crowd, Jacob's Pickles' poutine still holds the top spot in New York City. The portion, while still generous, is thoroughly coated with gravy, cheese curds, and hollandaise. Obviously, this means no fry goes naked. 

#SpoonTip: Saving your appetite for a main course? Order a flight of pickled veggies for a light appetizer packed with complex flavors. 

New Hits

Beatrice Forman

Just like any comeback, Jacob's Pickles' menu comes with a slew of carefully crafted and refreshing newbies. While it may be hard to part ways with your beloved chicken and pancakes for a single dinner service, I recommend the turkey leg or nicoise salad for a change of pace.

However, the true MVP of the new menu is their take on Southern style ribs. Smothered in the perfect amount of barbecue sauce, which allows the slightly smokey flavor of the meat to shine through, these ribs are the practically home-cooked meal you never knew you needed. An added bonus? It comes with a loaded baked potato. Need I say more? 

In short, Jacob's Pickle is a dining experience unlike any other. Part master class in Southern flavors and part nightlife epicenter, its presence warms the Upper West Side. Welcome back to the block, Jacob. We missed you.