So Saturday was my birthday, and my first time going to Jar, it turned out to be a great dining experience, easily on a par with Lucques or Campanile.
For starters, our server was wonderful, very knowledgeable and warm, the model of a restaurant server. The bus staff kept everything running very efficiently, and nobody gave us even a hint of attitude.
My wife and I split a special appetizer to start, squash blossoms stuffed with a mixture of langoustes, scallions and spices, the whole thing then dipped in light tempura batter and deep fried. We get a plate of four good sized fried flowers, delicious from top to stem, with the stem tasting like a cross between asparagus and zucchini, the blossom having its own unique flavor, the langouste mixture very lobstery and tasty, and a side of spiced ponzu dipping sauce that went perfectly.
These were so good that after we each had our two, we wanted to cause a distraction so that we could steal them from the table next to us.
For mains, I had the pot roast, one of my favorite dishes and one of Jar's specialties, and my wife had the Char Siu pork chop. We both got wonderfully large portions of expertly cooked meat, her pork chop had a terrific oriental glaze on it reminiscent of really good BBQ pork, but so much more. My pot roast was absolutely perfect, the best version I have ever had of the dish, with just the right blend of tenderness and crust, a nice amount of jus, roasted carrots and bits of onion.
For a side (a la carte), we opted for the Japanese purple yams, another new dish for me, four billiard ball sized yams baked and dollopped with creme fraiche and chives, delicious, sweet and nutty, and very purple. Amazing stuff.
Even I, who eats a lot, could not finish my main, and my wife left a good amount of chop - leftovers I'm looking forward to killing later!
Dessert was a little bit of a letdown, mainly because they didn't have a couple of things we were expecting. The website www.thejar.com has their desserts including a "cupcake trio" that my wife was eager to try, but the menu didn't include that, and they were out of one of their dessert specials, peach cobbler. I opted for the molten chocolate cake, which was very good, nice fresh vanilla ice cream on the side, but maybe a bit of a letdown after the revelatory starter and main.
Very reasonably priced considering the level of food and service, too, $150 with tax, tip, and three glasses of above average wine.
I would definitely go back, if only to see what Suzanne cooks up with summer and fall ingredients!