"Hi, I'm Mary. Just a party of one, actually."

Chuckling nervously, I considered how lame I must've looked as I stood in front of the staff at Sam A.M. who looked around the room to see where they could fit me. Just me, party of one. Just me with a bottle of wine, even though the menu indicated BYOGuiness. How sad. How "Bridget Jones pre-Darcy/Cleaver love triangle" of me.

*Cue Eric Carmen singing "All By Myself" in the background*

Normally opened only during the daytime, Sam A.M. in Jersey City was hosting a St. Patty's Day-themed dinner, and the menu was just too ridiculously delicious sounding to pass up. Already a fan of their breakfast offerings, I needed to try out this supper club. How could I pass this up? Yes, in the end, food won. I was going...even if no on else was free that night. 

So, there I was in front of the Sam A.M. staff, waiting to be seated. They gave me the choice of having a table all to myself or sitting at the counter. I chose the counter, knowing that if no one sat next to me I'd at least be close to the kitchen action and have opportunity to do small talk with the waiters who I'm sure would have taken pity on me.

But for whatever reason, the luck of the Irish was on my side that night. Before finishing my first course, another guest walked through the door and asked the host what was going on. 

"But I would be dining by myself..." I heard her say after hearing details about the supper club. Before I could even turn around and say anything to her, the host quickly pointed me out of the crowd. 

"No, actually, that girl over there is dining alone, too. You'd have company!" I could feel myself turning slightly red, being pointed out as the only party of one. I smiled and waved at her, hoping that the big grin on my face looked welcoming and not desperate for company. She smiled back at me.

"Hey, it looks like I'll be joining you. Just let me run back to my apartment and get some wine." 

And rather than turn the other direction and ditch me, she actually did come back and brought some tasty red wine to share. We talked about life in Jersey City and spent the next couple hours enjoying our wine and the 5-course meal of delicious Irish-themed comfort food. We even got to chat with owner Sam himself before realizing that the rest of the guests had left, and we were the last ones there outside of the staff who was already cleaning up and preparing for the next day. 

Before walking out, I joked with Sam that I would vandalize his countertop and mark how today was the first day I met my new friend. He didn't seem to mind that.

Lessons From This Post:
1.) Dining solo isn't such a bad thing.
2.) If you're not open to chit chatting with strangers while eating on your own, make sure your cell phone is fully charged to surf the Web for the next few hours.
3.) Go to Jersey City and eat at Sam. A.M. NOW! Here are my recommendations and St. Patty's Day Supper Club food porn to further persuade you:

Course #1: Calcannon
Mashed potatoes, kale, leek, butter, and bacon (i.e. Irish Comfort Food)

Course #2 - Spring Green Salad w/ Leek Vinaigrette

Course #3 - Shepherd's Pie 
Minced lamb stew with mashed potatoes
Not pictured...because I demolished it w/o taking a picture. #truestory

Course #4 - Corned Beef w/ Cabbage and Boiled Golden Potatoes 
(i.e. St. Patty's Day on a Plate)

Dessert - Ice Cream Sandwich 
Made w/ pistachio ice cream and slices of soda bread

- If you're going for the first time, try going during the weekdays for breakfast and/or lunch. The weekend crowd comes hungry and in masses - expect a wait.
- If you do visit on a weekend, get at least one of every doughnut. Share with friends or eat alone. No judgement - I've been known to do the latter.
- Enjoy your meal at the counter. The staff is passionate about the food and super nice (or at least polite enough to talk to a girl who talks too much). 
- Order one of their daily specials and be pleasantly surprised (and happy)! One time I got their roasted eggplant with romesco sauce and a fried egg. I cleaned my plate dry. Roasted Eggplant - The New Breakfast of Champions.
- Go to one of their supper clubs. That's a no brainer.

RATING: I want this place to be my "Cheers". Good atmostphere. Delicious food. Home-away-from-home vibe. Now, I just gotta work on everybody knowing my name and we'll be all set.

Sam A.M. 
112 Morris St, Jersey City
(201) 432-2233

Leave a Reply

Images & Text Copyright Eat & Be Mary. Design by 2bloom.co / Samantha Bird Design. Powered by Blogger.