Review of Bar Pilar: DC's Finest Gastropub
Whether you are going for happy hour or a celebratory meal, Bar Pilar is a destination and an experience. The cocktails reflect real craft and the innovative dishes from Chef Jesse Miller make Bar Pilar a stand out instead of just "another bar on 14th Street".
Summer Menu is 10/10
When you're too hot to think about cooking but crave the flavors of the summer, go to Bar Pilar. The grilled asparagus, charred octopus and deviled eggs are better than anything you'd find in someone's backyard. Everything is good here. It's not just one thing. And that includes the service from the bartenders to the servers, they are on their game.
Soft Shell Crab with Coconut Curry Ramen
Soft shell crab season is short so this dish won't last long. Go while you can and get it because the flavors are on point. If you don't mind sharing, this hearty dish has plenty to go around with a rich coconut broth.
The charred octopus with sea island peas, dill yogurt, and a green olive tapenade brilliantly encompasses the flavors of the Mediterranean.
Deviled Duck Egg
My boyfriend is a deviled egg aficionado. You probably didn't know that was a thing but it's his jam. Topped with bacon and salmon roe, the deviled duck eggs are a delight.
Chef Miller is bringing grilled asparagus back. The ramp pesto and ricotta brighten this summer classic.
Green Circle Farms Fried Chicken Slider
Removing the fried chicken from the menu has been the source of some controversy, but thankfully, it is back in the form of a slider. Logan Hollers at BYT captures the dish well:
Bar Pilar fries up mini chicken thighs until they’re crunchy and golden-brown, then throws them on pillowy, subtly sweet buns.
Slab of Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
Named one of the six best meals to share in DC by the Washingtonian, the pork shoulder is sizable and juicy. The North Carolinan among our group thought it could have done with more vinegar. The parker house buns tasted like they had been reheated in the microwave, which at 8:00pm on a Sunday made sense. The cole slaw had enough vinegar for me to cut the pork. There was enough leftover to provide for several days of lunch sandwiches.
Cheers to Good Cocktails
No but seriously, these cocktails are the best. $11 is practically a steal these days and these are the real deal. My favorites:
Spider Bite: This is sparkling wine, absinthe and anise and the combo is brilliant. We're told that this is a play on Death in the Afternoon (absinthe and champagne), a favorite cocktail of Hemingway.
The Mom Expert: This drink has rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, campari, lemon and simple syrup. Someone at Bar Pilar must love campari as much as I do.
Kickstart My Heart: I had to try this drink because I love bourbon, sparkling wine and bitters. It also has orgeat, which I learned is almond syrup. It was so good that I had to get two.
If you don't like cocktails, you can't go wrong with the wine or craft beers at Bar Pilar. They have something for everyone!
Go for happy hour.
Along with Copycat Co. on H Street, Bar Pilar has the best craft cocktails you will find in DC. During happy hour, you can get a real good cocktail for only $5 and they also have food specials (+1). Keep cool on their patio with an Italian Ice Slushie, which is like a boozy Rita's. It's not too sweet thanks to the campari. You can get the famous chicken slider for only $3. Also only $3 are the togarashi chips and dip. This toasted sesame onion dip is an adult version of french onion dip. The homemade chips are fresh and crisp without being too crunchy. If you're lucky enough to get Brian as your bartender, you've done good. He's my favorite drinkslayer in DC.
Happy Hour Menu
May 20, 2016 Food Menu
Sadly I didn't snap a pic of the menu for June which is not up on their website yet, but this has many of the same dishes I mentioned above. Missing from the May menu is the soft shell crab ramen.