Dining at JER NE

While my husband and I enjoy a fine dining experience, good food will always trump décor, atmosphere and even service in our eyes. Too often we have sat down at a beautifully set table in a lush environment with an attentive wait staff only to be served a meal not deserving of the setting in which it was served. Thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised to enjoy a meal fitting of its surroundings at JER NE, located at the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common.

We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton to take part in their Giveback Getaway Package this past Friday night which included an overnight stay at the hotel and an opportunity to serve the guests at the Friday Night Supper Program at the Arlington Street Church. As the evening was cold and our appetites immense, we opted to dine in at JER NE.

The vaulted angled ceiling flanked by two story windows overlooking Avery Street on one side and a long well stocked bar on the other was a clean and refreshing setting complimentary to the more spacious and inviting décor of the Ritz-Carlton of this millennium. The black marble top tables were elegant and modern, and though more casual than the white linen table clothes of yesteryear, felt well placed within the space.

Our attire was casual, which was entirely acceptable for a Friday night at the Ritz, a far cry from the required jacket and tie for men and no jeans policy for guests of the former Ritz across the parks. And the atmosphere throughout the meal reflected this new style. The wait staff was wonderfully attentive, without ever being smothering. Their accommodating knowledge and genuine amicable tone felt natural and warm, making for a feeling of being well cared for from beginning to end.

And the food, as I mentioned before, was just as we may have hoped it to be. Chef Fabian Ludwig certainly lived up to his reputation. We began with a wonderful array of breads, always a benchmark for me when dining out, accompanied by soft and lightly salted butter. We each had the well stuffed and not the slightest bit greasy crab cakes for starters. We were equally impressed by the garnish as we were with the sweet lump crab meat.  The frisée salad was made with a beautifully light Asian lime dressing and beneath the crab cake was a sweet and complimentary apple coleslaw.

Our inclination to stay with seafood prevailed as I had the diver’s scallops and my husband ordered the grilled salmon. The portions were generous and everything on the plate was delicious, right down to the slow cooked cherry tomato on each plate. And though full before we finished, we could not bear to leave very much behind.

We were coaxed (with very little prodding) to sample a dessert as well. The thankfully small portioned cheesecake was shared between the two of us and was the perfect sweet touch to the seafood dishes that preceded it.

Throughout the meal our sparkling water and wine was replenished without ever running dry and we were never in search of someone to help us as we chatted throughout the meal.

Overall, we were full, relaxed and happy when the meal had ended. Every need had been cared for and as we left, we felt more as if we were leaving a friend’s house rather than a restaurant behind.

Location: 10 Avery St. at the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common, Ladder District, Boston 617.574.7176 ritzcarlton.com