restaurants begin in the kitchen.
Jojo is no exception. One
of the true jewels of the San Francisco Bay Area's fine dining
scene, Jojo Restaurant thrives as an elegant but comfortable
home for exquisitely prepared, gourmet country French cuisine.
Jojo made its debut in late 1999 under the care and supervision
of its owners and operators, longtime bay area chefs Curt Clingman
and Mary Jo Thoresen.
dine at Jojo is to experience this vision and experience in
the multiple talents of its founders. Jojo brings passion
to the dining experience. A passion for excellence that is
reflected in every aspect of the restaurant's operations.
It is a passion that is tangible in the quality of the ingredients,
in the composition of each plate, and in the warmth and smiles
of each member of the staff. Even before picking up a menu
at Jojo, this harmony of approach to all things connected
to the restaurant is so real you feel you can almost taste
it. The quiet, muted gold, bronze and tans of the restaurant's
interior immediately put you at ease. There is a quiet serenity
that one experiences at Jojo that embraces you and allows
you to relax, to rest, and to fully enjoy your food, your
wine, your companions or yourself.
of the Bay Area's most admired and respected chefs,
Curt Clingman and Mary Jo Thoresen opened Jojo in late
1999 to realize their vision of a great restaurant.
The two chefs bring to this endeavor the fruits of their
associations with many of this pioneering gastronomic
region's most influential and ground~breaking restaurants.
his many accomplishments, Curt introduced to Zuni Café
the Mediterranean flavors and ingredients that became
that world famous restaurant's culinary signature. And
as a founding chef at Olivetto, Curt contributed greatly
to establishing the menu standards and style that led
to Olivetto's widespread recognition as one of the most
respected Italian restaurants in the United States.
Mary Jo's twelve years at Chez Panisse and subsequent
stints in kitchens from Provence to San Francisco, Tuscany
to Bordeaux became the foundation for her own highly
refined but extremely innovative and global culinary
aesthetic. An aesthetic she brings to fruition in the
menu and dessert planning and execution at Jojo.
feeling of a perfectly realized world in balance is also self
evident when one picks up the menu. Jojo is one of the only
fine dining restaurants anywhere that presents all of its
daily offerings on one page. Alone among many great restaurants,
it invites you to compose your meal, from starters to dessert.
to this composition is the suites of dining courses themselves.
Every Jojo menu offers you three flights or courses, with
generally five to eight selections comprising the choices
for each course. Almost invariably, one will find among the
entrée courses at least one meat, one fish, and one
vegetarian dish. And because Curt Clingman makes possibly
the finest frites this side of the River Siene, the
inclusion of a steak frites selection has become ubiquitous.
Mary Jo Thoresen's artistry as a dessert chef is being taken
to new heights at Jojo. It is absolutely a given that you
will discover a dessert on each menu that will make you think
you've died and gone to heaven. Virtually every night, all
of the choices will force you to make what at the time will
feel like the toughest decision you've ever made in your life.
The desserts at Jojo are, quite simply, that wonderful.
thoughtful and well-conceived wine list is a delight for the
connoisseur and also an expression of the restaurant's aesthetic
harmony. More familiar wines from the Bordeaux, Burgundy,
and Napa are complemented on the list with superb, lesser
known wines from Loire, Languedoc, the Rhone, Oregon, and
the last time I was there, a great red from the island of
Corsica. Each wine on the list is also annotated with helpful
and often amusing notes volunteered by Curt or Mary Jo to
help guide your selection.
at Jojo is the culmination of the vision, life experiences,
education, personal philosophies, talents, culinary explorations
and love of its founders and co-owners, Mary Jo Thoresen and
invite you to experience how this history, process and philosophy
combine to create a great restaurant and a great dining experience.
Welcome to our table.