JAR + Bar opened May 12 at 179 Park Rd. in West Hartford.
By Ronni Newton
The “JAR” in Jar + Bar is an acronym for “Just Another Restaurant,” but owner Ermal Caushi’s plan is for it to be anything but ordinary.
Offering a wide selection of tapas from throughout the world, JAR is designed to be a local dining spot for families, as well as a popular destination for those looking for a quick bite along with a unique craft cocktail or other type of beverage.
The renovated and flower box-adorned patio will undoubtedly appeal to those who are not quite ready for indoor dining or anyone who loves being outside in the mild weather.
JAR had a “friends and family” soft opening last Monday, and officially welcomed the public on Wednesday with a menu that offers something for everyone.
One side of the menu features salads, and an added protein of chicken, shrimp, or steak could make those a full meal. There’s also a soup of the day and a seven seas soup with mussels, shrimp, and calamari in a tomato broth.
Seafood has a strong presence in the app selection, with calamari on a stick, ceviche, and Vietnamese shrimp wontons among the offerings.
Tapas are the main feature of the menu, and include a multinational array to appeal to the carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and pescatarians – with some options for vegans as well. Baby back ribs, fish and chips, carne asada, daddy’s nachos, a Spanish chorizo tostada, hummus platter, and birria taco pizza are just some of the selections.
The red sangria received a resounding thumbs up from many of those who attended the soft opening, and cocktails like “Two Birds One Stone” and the “Ermule Caushi” (honoring the owner, and featuring Tito’s, strawberry shrub, rhubarb, and ginger beer) were immediately popular as well.
Caushi, who is also an owner of Division West on LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center, described the menu of international tapas as “things I guarantee you haven’t seen around here, what mom makes at home in [those] countries.”
Not including the expanded patio, which seats as many as 40 people, JAR + Bar can accommodate 125 diners, plus 38 at the bar.
The restaurant is Tuesday through Sunday, for dinner only, but Caushi said he intends to add lunch service within a few months.
For more information, cal 860-263-7030.
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