First Look: EatBar in Barracks Row

First Look: EatBar in Barracks Row

 Recently opened EatBar is a welcome addition to Barracks Row where you can go for an intimate, nostalgic setting with a diverse menu of food served late, tasty beverages and a free jukebox. 

After a delicious dinner at Garrison, EatBar was my choice for a nightcap as I wanted to try this classy addition to the Barracks Row neighborhood. (If it sounds familiar, it's because they previously had a location in Arlington that closed.) On a Friday night, it was easy to find a four-top in this dimly lit bar where we received table service opposite the wall lined with cassette tapes.  One of my favorite pastimes is playing DJ so I loved that EatBar has a free jukebox for guests. You can't escape the nostalgic vibe in a dark bar with a jukebox and cassettes. I think that's what makes it so charming. 

Our server and the bartender were delightful without being intrusive. Neighborhood Restaurant Group's Brent Kroll does know his wines and here he provides dozens of options by the glass. (Now that it is spring, I'd love to see a sparkling rosé available by the glass.) Always up to try a new cocktail, "Little Miss Dangerous" seemed like an appropriate way to toast to the evening.

Little Miss Dangerous

"Little Miss Dangerous" cocktail at EatBar

"Little Miss Dangerous" cocktail at EatBar

El Dorado 3 year aged rum, Cynar, Lindera Farms Muscadine Vinegar $13

Daniel at Lindera Farms of Marshall, Virginia explained that the Muscadine vinegar is a special batch just for chefs and restaurants. Muscadine was new to me so Daniel's explanation was helpful:

"Muscadine is a native grape here in the US, and native in particular to the midatlantic and northeast. It has a really foxy, earthy and distinct flavor, think concord but with more punch, and considerably less ubiquitous." 

If you do fall for this drink and want to buy the Muscadine vinegar for DIY cocktails, you are in luck because they will feature small batches (and large batches) at Freshfarm Markets at Dupont Circle and Silver Spring once per month.  (Follow Lindera on Twitter for updates on which dates they will be there.) Since EatBar is a member of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, it is not unsurprising to see a number of recipes from the sister restaurants featured on the Lindera Farms recipes website, but there are also several other popular DC establishments that use Lindera products, like Le Diplomate. 

Cynar, owned by Campari, can be served alone or where you would use Campari. The description from Cynar is:

Cynar is an artichoke based bittersweet liqueur known for its versatility and distinctive flavour; its taste is enriched by an infusion of 13 herbs and plants. The name of the drink derives from Cynar scolymus, the botanical name for artichoke, as artichoke leaves lend the distinctive flavour.

"Little Miss Dangerous" didn't remind me of artichokes nor was it overly fruity. In fact, it was well-balanced and not too sweet despite the vinegar or the rum. For the good vibes alone, I'd go back to EatBar, but the drink list makes it even better. I'm so glad to have a fun new date-night spot in Barracks Row.

Too full, I didn't get to indulge in their food menu which is available until 12 midnight (although I found this out from Twitter as it wasn't listed on their website):

When I go back, here is what I would order from their menu:

  • Calabrian Deviled Eggs
  • Fried Smelts + White Aioli
  • Johnnycakes + Lardo, Bitter Greens Pesto
  • Sausage of the Week
  • English Peas + Pea Shoots, Almond Hummus, Tangerine, Za’atar
  • Fries, Herbs, Grilled Lemon Aioli
  • Finocchiona
  • Ricotta Doughnuts

EatBar, 415 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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