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Restaurants & Bars 6

A Newbie Visits Jar (long-ish)

Eric Archer | Dec 24, 200403:08 PM

Yours truly, GF, and folks convene at Jar for an early Holiday feast at the recommendation of some folks from work.

We show up 45 min early for 7PM reservations. Place is empty, but we opt for a round of spirits at the bar anyway. GF and I get a couple of martinis---decent versions served in oversized glasses you could take a bath in---served with a bowl of perhaps the best potato chips I've ever encountered: freshly made, thin layer of skin on the outside perfectly crisped, tender potato texture on the inside, fairly vicious horseradish-chive concoction for dipping. Fabulous, and dangerously appetite-threatening.

Service throughout the evening is fine with one exception---after somewhat chilly waitress recites specials, Papa-san, who is picking up the tab, inquires about prices of said specials. Waitress, barely able to hide irritation, disappears for ten minutes (place still practically deserted) before returning, finally and somewhat snootily providing some numbers. Papa-san then inquires if veal is milk-fed. Waitress looks as if she is about to explode.

APPS---Half dozen oysters with ponzu dipping sauce; large, gloriously orange mussels in delicious white wine broth (pass the bread please); haricots verts/shiitake mushroom salad special. So far so good. Major disappointment of the evening: oft-heralded fried Ipswich clams not available due to recent East Coast storms.

MAINS---all a la carte. Papa-san's lightly breaded, flavorful veal cutlets; Mama-san's rather plain seared scallops; GF's firm, garlic-laden sauteed cod; yours truly gets unctious, deeply flavored ox-tails (after waitress sternly warns "they're a lot of work". Whatever, lady...). Sides included mashed potatoes (wonderful), roasted asparagus, spinach sauteed with garlic and chile. Food is divided up, passed around, everybody samples everything. Despite some CH posters' warning to stick with meat at this place, everything is quite good.

DESSERTS---Jar's famous chocolate pudding, ice cream sundae with chocolate and caramel sauce. Pudding, although unremarkable looking, is bittersweet and phenomenal.

Place begins to fill up, and is packed by our 9PM departure. Had read some complaints about noise levels before this summer's re-model, but diner cacophany remains somewhat subdued.

Final tab (not including bar foray or tip): All of the above plus four glasses of wine, 1 Remy Martin VSOP (I wasn't driving...)= $235.

Worth a visit, if one does not mind paying these prices for what is essentially comfort food. But, Lord help me, those potato chips...

Link: http://www.thejar.com/

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