We love restaurants that indulge all of the senses, not just the taste buds.
D. Timm's Jazz Cafe on Sixth Street is such a feast for the eyes - brick walls, Palladian windows, subdued lighting, original artwork - that you'll feel you got your money's worth before you taste the first bite of food.
It's also a feast for the ears, with a pianist or band serving up the smoothest jazz.
Since the upscale, fusion-inspired food also is great, D. Timm's succeeds in being an all-around feast. We're tempted to say the feast is fit for a king, but D. Timm's crowning glory is that it is probably the least pretentious fine-food restaurant in Augusta.
Servers, neat but casual in blue chambray shirts, are attentive but subtle, friendly but understated - like the jazz.
The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and late-night grazing. A full bar includes an extensive selection of wine served by the glass, bottle or half-bottle.
For our dinner, we started with the grazing menu and shared a lobster bacon corn egg roll ($8.50), which we were told is a favorite. It was a substantial appetizer, cut into four tapered pieces, standing grandly on a pretty plate dribbled with soy lime glace. The sauce was overly salty, but overall, the appetizer was imaginative and delicious.
Entrees include chicken, pork, veal, pasta, lamb, beef and seafood. We chose a daily special, grilled swordfish ($17.95) and the penne ala vodka ($12.95).
Entrees include wonderful homemade rolls and a house salad with homemade croutons. Two side dishes accompany each entree except pasta. Side dishes during our visit were mashed potatoes (rich but not too heavy) and green beans, steamed tender-crisp.
The swordfish was piquant and flaky, with a terrific smoky flavor and a dash of salsa on top. It lay on a bed of spinach, a wonderful complement to the fish. The pasta was tossed with ham, garlic, basil and tomatoes in a vodka cream sauce. Both entrees were eye-popping portions; no dainty servings at this eatery.
We also ordered a Caesar salad with the pasta, one of the best we've tasted.
Desserts were slightly disappointing. The Tuxedo Creme Brulee ($6.25) tasted more like pudding than brulee, and the Bailey's cheesecake ($6.25) was blandly presented on a stark, oversized plate. We couldn't detect the Irish cream flavoring, and both desserts were overpriced.
But our service was excellent (spiffy de-cluttering!) and the overall experience was as fun, relaxing and satisfying as a sax solo on Bourbon Street.
ON THE TOWN
THE EATERY: D. Timm's Jazz Cafe, 302 Sixth St.
PHONE: (706) 774-9500
HOURS: Lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; dinner 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; grazing menu until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
RATING: **** out of *****
Mary Deriso is the retired general manager of the Pinnacle Club, a private dining club in Augusta. Christine Hurley Deriso is a writer whose children's book, Dreams to Grow On, is available on Amazon.com.