Jarred Food Worth Eating

Restaurants are serving five-star yumminess right out of the jar.

Jars are having their moment—or, rather, having it all over again. The grandfather, the mason jar, was invented in 1858 and has enjoyed surges in popularity. Today, restaurants are using this glass vessel to express the “homemade-ness” of their dishes.

The clam chowder at GT Fish & Oyster may come in a jar but, besides this deviation, the New England version remains fairly traditional, with house-made oyster crackers and smoked bacon. GT stands for James Beard-nominated chef Giuseppe Tentori, whose cooking packs the crowds into the Chicago seafood eatery.

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“Things in a jar” is a dedicated section of the menu at Chicago cocktail spot Billy Sunday. Jarred “things” include flavorful spreads like crab, tomato, and brandade upgraded with smoked whitefish, fried capers, and pickled pistachios. Most other specialties come in glass, too; the amaro selection is GQ famous.

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Oakland’s Haven switches up what’s in the jar. Once, it was a deliciously rich chicken liver mousse. Currently, it is a chocolate pudding layered with cardamom shortbread and pine-nut ice cream… just to make pudding even more of an obsession.

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A “seasonal mason jars” section tops the menu at Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln. Fall items include the festive gingerbread butter, as well as pimento cheese with pickled cherry peppers and house crackers.

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Newport Beach’s The Beachcomber Café at Crystal Cove brings the ocean to the jar with the Big Bad Bloody Mary. It’s also a lesson in how much fits: the drink itself, plus shrimp, a vegetable garden, and a jumbo crab claw.

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