Occupying Ponzu’s former space and steps away from tourist central, Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen opened almost exactly six weeks ago, unwrapping Chron bar star Kevin Diedrich along with it. Former Ponzu chef Adam Carpenter stayed on, switching gears to locavoric bar bites. Some might say its just the thing to soak up Diedrich's Negronis on tap. On that subject, are kegged cockatils a trend in the making? Does a gastropub still work in 2011? To the Early Word for glimmers of truth.
The Booze News: SFBG's Virginia Miller predicts Jasper's "is going to be a drink destination, no doubt about it." She describes the cocktails as "well-crafted yet un-fussy" and notes "Jasper's will be the first known bar to have Bols Genever on draft!" SFoodie describes most of the drinks as "lush yet delicate" and slaps reluctant praise on the Soda Jerk: "the charm of the passionfruit with a slight edge of orange bitterness from the Campari was just too enjoyable." [SFBG, SFoodie]
The Negronis-on-Tap News: Alcademics tries one and says "it tasted just like a Negroni, but, you know, more fun." [Alcademics]
The Food News: W. Blake Gray calls the bar's mini burger "perhaps the perfect bar snack;" its accompanying pickles: "palate wake-up calls." On the other side of the coin, Washington mussels are a "misfire." Impressively, "In addition to sausage, Jasper's is making a lot of food items in house: pretzels, sauerkraut, pretzel doughnuts, and even ice cream." Virginia Miller gives a shout to the Berkshire pork riblettes and calls the bar food "satisfying." [SFoodie, SFBG]
The Service News: SFoodie notes "[Chef Adam] Carpenter being out of the kitchen wasting time on us doesn't seem to affect the orders of anyone around us." And as far as the bar goes, "business was brisk, it never felt hectic -- and if the staff can pull that off on a first night, it bodes well for the future." Inside Scoop adds "...since we’re not at a rodeo or on a farm in Oklahoma, you can easily spot servers, who wear an eye-catching (and personalized) array of plaid shirts." But after asking for ketchup six times, Yelper Joshua G. has a different take: "the slow, overall carefree attitude of the staff trumps the food." [SFoodie, ISSF, Yelp]
The Price News: Zagat calls the menu "midpriced San Francisco–style tavern fare." SFist mentions it could have been "Among the new bars...in contention for one of our top ten favorite $10 cocktail spots." [Zagat]
The Nuts-To-Go News: One of the locals walks in: "She brings in her own bottle of Vitamin Water and mixes it with her glass of white wine. Then she orders a bowl of spicy nuts ($4), tastes one, and gets a to-go box. We've been going to bars for years and have never seen anyone get a bowl of nuts to go." [SFoodie]
The Ambiance News: SFoodie "love[s] the bar design," adding "When Jasper's gets satellite TV hooked up, this will be a great place to watch Carlos Beltran hit homers for the Giants." The Tender gets a chuckle from the quotes about booze on Jasper's coaster. “Jason B. counters: "The decor suggested an intimate dining establishment. The prices suggested high-end cuisine. The bathroom suggested a litter box." [SFoodie, The Tender, Yelp]
Care to join the conversation? Drop a line in the tip jar, or leave a comment below.