BRISTOL BOROUGH >> Jules Soto decided that the Dec. 21 Winter Solstice was the perfect time to light up the night --- the longest night of the year --- for the official opening of her new boutique restaurant and catering business.
Forty diners agreed, enjoying good food, fine wine and luscious dessert at Jules@Market, located on the first block of the street in Bristol Borough for which her new business was named.
Jules@Market is one more addition to the town’s burgeoning business district and its cuisine included produce, herbs and spices grown in the borough. Veteran Bristolians would remember the location where they once purchased their liquors and wines, but they might take a second look because the building is newly renovated inside and out.
Jules@Market’s menu at this special event featured chicken with balsamic sauce, mustard greens and kale, string beans, and garlic mashed potatoes. Soto takes pride in the fact that the daunting cost of food, especially when she was just getting her establishment off the ground, was offset by a local farmer and the town’s Community Garden Club.
It was a collaboration of local green thumbs that helped Soto’s dream of getting her own place off the ground.
“I built this place for the community, to bring us all together. I looked to the community and they came through for me,” she said.
Donna McCloskey, president of the garden club, said that the partnerships work for both the community, local business, and gardeners who raise their foods and flowers at the club site at what was once a little-used tennis court on Jefferson Avenue. And partnership that begin at the ground level are tied to the club’s success, McCloskey said. “Experienced gardeners share their knowledge with novice gardeners, and that adds another layer to collaborative efforts,” she said.
Another of Soto’s sources was Noahs Dove Farm, located on Bristol Pike in the borough. Owner Mike Murray said that his herbs and spices are farmed hydroponically, a form of farming without soil, using instead mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. “We use no pesticides, no herbicides, and it’s all vegan. That’s what the millennials want,” Murray said.
Diners of various ages expressed their compliments to the chef, including Bristol’s Aidan White, a 14-year-old 9th-grade student at Doane Academy in Burlington whose hobby is good food. “Tonight was great. The food-to-table movement is new to Bristol and we should embrace it” Aidan said.
Tim Shaw is the owner of Odd Logic Brewery, now under construction and expected to open Memorial Day with 4,500 square feet of restaurant, a full kitchen and 150 seats, said his business would be a nice complement to the borough’s restaurant scene and looks forward for all the town’s businesses, including Soto’s to work in tandem to support each other.
Jules@Market, a boutique venue is an open kitchen combination, specializes in chef-presented farm-to-table dinner parties of 10 or more, or special events catering up to 45 guests. Holiday parties, business luncheons, and private parties are also available.
The restaurant is open Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m., and Sunday for Brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 215-458-7622.