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Jar last night-- a tale of two desserts

alla giudia | Mar 16, 2006 12:08 PM

Wound up unexpectedly at Jar last night (called from around the block at 9:30p and they took three of us right away--with no attitude!) and I wanted to report here because we tried two desserts that I'd seen mentioned on this board.

As most of yall probably know, Jar operates in the classice steakhouse with a twist genre. To that end, I'd say my starter, the iceberg wedge w blue cheese, was more classic than twisty, and good-not-great, but what can they do with it really? a mood thing. The "signature" potroast, however, was stellar. Everything a comforting, meaty p-roast should be and much, meltingly, delicously more. The other dish I tried, the green garlic soup w no cream that my s.o. ordered, seemed to me to exist out of the steakhouse genre entirely-- more something you'd eat at the home of a particularly good and adventurous vegetarian chef, albeit one who used chicken stock. Very spicy-exotic. I thought of s'wan peppercorns but only I'm sure because of yesterday's Times article, and not because I really tasted them.

Anyway, the desserts: one best in show, one worst.

Worst first--the banana cream pie. I am a big bcp fan and this was a big disappointment. Instead of a nice slice out of the fridge, what we got was an individual pie in a premade tart-shell. Butter crust was all wrong for bcp, and wouldn't have been great even with a lemon tart. Filling was too soft too mild-flavored and too hard to distinguish from the whip cream topping. In a word, this pie was bad, and I don't mean badass, I mean bad. I even prefer the "deconstructed" banana cream pie I ate out of a glass not long ago at Blair's (where --usually-- the desserts totally rock.)

Speaking of desserts in a glass, our other dessert at Jar, recommended by a hound recently, was the butterscotch pudding-- not on the regular menu but a special. Now this was a dessert. Out of this world good. In every way as great as the bcp was bad. The consistancy was more pot de creme/ or mousse-like than diner pudding like. But that was fine with me because it wasn't too light and foamy. It had just enough density. Really a great texture. But the flavor-- man, it was perfect. Intense butterscotch deliciousness that didn't stray too far from the flavor of the jello butterscotch pudding I remember from childhood, but at the same time was much much better. A butterscotch pudding made by someone who knows how to make a killer creme caramel but chooses instead to do the pudding, and really do it. The pudding came topped with a dulce de leche/ cahete (sp?) type caramel sauce that ribboned into the pudding when you dipped your spoon in. Heaven.

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