Unique Eats: Kelly Jae's

By: Joel Schipper Email
By: Joel Schipper Email

You may do a double take the next time you're in downtown Goshen.

Two restaurants with similar names, right next to each other, are offering a variety of delicious goods, for those with different tastes.

When it comes to food and the restaurant industry, Kelly Jae's Cafe in Goshen is benefiting from a split personality.

Outside you have the quiet downtown, but inside you have a sleek and friendly place to eat with food you do not typically find in these parts.

Karen Kennedy and executive chef Kelly Jae Graff own Kelly Jae's Café, along with Kelly Jae's Next Door, which is, well, next door.

"They are completely different restaurants with two separate kitchens. We have a sushi chef here. There are a few things that come from Kelly Jae's kitchen over here, but we're really trying to keep them to feel separate," explains Kennedy.

Inside is Soho chic, without the big city decorating prices.

"Kelly's mom came in and the boxes started arriving and before we know it looked like this," says Kennedy.

Tapas is what’s for dinner on the cafe side, but what are tapas? They're meals that are meant to be shared.

"Instead of having one thing, you get to try eight different things during the course of the night," explains Kennedy.

That includes items such as the Asian salad in a rice paper bowl or the grilled blackened hanger steak with blue cheese fondue. There's also pad Thai with noodles in a tamarind sauce, or grilled flatbread pizza made with chorizo, manchego, protabella and mango -- just to name a few of the toppings.

If you haven't had a date in a while, you can have a few here, but these dates are stuffed with duck sausage and goat cheese wrapped in bacon.

The roasted golden beet and strawberry salad is a hit, but for you seafood lovers there's seared sea scallops on risotto.

And for dessert, an apple tart with caramel sauce topped with vanilla gelato.

"We wanted it to feel like a reflection of Kelly's approach to cuisine which is fresh, seasonal, locally grown," says Kennedy.

At Kelly Jae's Next Door, it's all about sushi.

Sushi chef Mac Zeimet creates the dishes, including the popular rainbow rolls, spicy tuna rolls, and spicy salmon.

Keeping with the trendy, sleek theme is a bar that wraps around much of the restaurant. And here's a fun fact, the lights are actually upside down flower pots spray painted red.

"By far and away the comment we get more often than anything else is, "I can't believe this is in Goshen," says Kennedy. "People say that all the time, but Goshen is a really cool town. It needs a restaurant like this.”

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