My friend and I tried Jar for the first time last night. The Japanese yams with creme fraiche (side) and the butterscotch pudding (dessert) were amazing. I would go back just to eat those. Wow! The tempura squash blossoms (special appetizer) were also great. I'm not a huge fan of tempura, but they were perfectly battered. My friend also really enjoyed the crab and shrimp cakes (special appetizer).
For entrees, we had the pot roast and the rib eye. They were both good, but not as outstanding as the rest, although the creamy horseradish sauce was very good. My friend had the banana cream pie. It's one of her favorite desserts. She liked it, but didn't think it was the best she ever had.
The service was wonderful. Our waiter was attentive but not overbearing. The total was about $160 for two appetizers, two entrees, one side, two desserts, one martini, tax and tip. All in all, it was a great dinner. I would go back again, and I don't feel that way very often about restaurants.
I brought out of town guests to Jar last Monday night and it was an amazing experience. A bit loud for the tables seated near the front of the room near the bar but very pleasant in the back where we were seated. The ambience was great, modern and elegant but also warm and inviting. The service, like norton44 said, was attentive and but unintrusive.
We started with the Spelt Montepulciano which is a Tuscan red. We loved it and for $42 per bottle it is one of the cheaper ones on the menu. The sommelier later mentioned that it is the best red for the value on the menu.
There were 6 of us so I got to try a lot of different dishes. I also had the squash blossoms which were beautifully cooked, not mushy or too greasy. We also had the heirloom tomato salad and the lobster cocktail which were excellent as well. The arugula and peach salad was good but lacked in presentation and the portions did seem a little small compared to the other appetizer dishes. Since it was Monday, we also asked if we could sample some of the cold cuts they were serving at the bar for Mozzarella Mondays. The salumi platter complemented the salads nicely.
At our table, the lamb shank with star anise was the hit of the evening: succulent and well seasoned. We also had the rib eye, skirt steak and the kansas city steak. Both the rib eye and the kc steak were very large and more than enough to share between two people (I agree with norton44 that the horseradish sauce is excellent with the steak). The steaks were all great but my favorites were the sides. The pea tendrils sauteed with garlic was perfect. The mashed potatoes were luxiorious.
We ended with chocolate pudding, ice cream and strawberry shortcake. All were good but I am not a dessert person so I was much more impressed with the first two courses.
In all, we spent $459 for appetizer and entree for 6 people and two bottles of wine. It was a great evening over all (and not to mention that we were eating dinner with the greats of the restaurant world...tom colicchio with his family were sitting on our left, suzzane goin and guests were at a table to our right, and gail simmons of Food and Wine magazine was at the bar).