Trend Alert: Ball Jars in Restaurants
Where There Are Ball Jars, There Is Artisan Hipness
Drinking out of a canning jar, formerly only a college occurrence, used to go hand-in-hand with thoughts like: "Are these hippies going to give me scabies?" and "If tofu can absorb any taste, could we go with a good one?" That was around the turn of the century, though, and things have changed. These days, when a girl in a high-waisted jumpsuit plunks a Ball jar down in front of me—whether it's full of wine or chicken liver mousse—I think, "I must be very hip and bohemian. Thank God I turned out so cool."
Using Ball jars as serving vessels affects a feeling of old-fashioned, homey utilitarianess, and it's the perfect identifier of a certain kind of restaurant. The New York Times may call it "Brooklyn's New Culinary Movement," but I'm going with "Ball Jar Places," a shorthand for what I've been saying until now.
"How about that new restaurant with the sustainable-local-free-range artisan whatever-refurbished wood-heritage pork-Sixpoint beer-old-fashioned cocktails-no reservations-house-cured-cash only-everyone in plaid-maybe I'll meet a carpenter!" Ball Jar Places will save me a lot of time.
Ball jars of various sizes are being put to the following tasks around town:
- Beer, wine, and cocktails at Roberta's Pizza
- Beer at The General Greene
- Chicken liver mousse at Vinegar Hill House
- Chicken liver pate, whipped lardo, pork rillettes and rillons at Marlow and Daughters
- Pickles at Momofuku Noodle Bar
- Duck rillettes at David Chang's recent free lunch contest
- And even a slow-poached egg with lobster in the Bar Room at The Modern
I can make fun all I want, but overall, I like Ball Jar Places. I'm their target audience (if on the poor side), and I'm OK with that. If you feel similarly, and want to go as far as turning your own home into a veritable Ball Jar Place, you can buy a case of 12 jelly jars (perfect for wine or whiskey) at Fishs Eddy for $17.