7.10.2006

Bar Pilar's New Menu Debuts Wednesday

Bar Pilar is set to unveil its new menu Wednesday. Created by executive chef Barton Seaver and new chef de cuisine Joshua Whigham, the menu will feature 10 to 15 items that will change daily to reflect what's fresh at the markets. Dishes will range in price from $4 to $8.

Seaver, who also heads the kitchen at Café Saint-Ex and is a trained sommelier, has put together a well-priced selection of wines by the glass to complement the menu, in addition to a reserve list featuring lesser known bottles.

On Bar Pilar's new menu, diners may find dishes like beet carpaccio with goat cheese, mint and pine nut; crispy polenta with smoked corn and basil; tilefish crudo with orange oil and celery; Manila clams "a la plancha" with red wine and rosemary; and lamb merguez with spicy cucumber and red onion.

Seafood will be sourced from sustainable fisheries, while a good deal of other ingredients will come from local family farms. The menu also features charcuterie and cheese plates.

For dessert, pastry chef Lizzy Evelyn, also of Saint-Ex, has created three-bite "tastes" for $3 apiece.

Bar Pilar
1833 14th St. NW
202.265.1751

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aw, shit, are they going for a tapas menu?

Amanda said...

Are you anti small plate? I understand that they're going for a wine bar feel with food you can graze on or make a meal out of.

PalacePool said...

I am definately anti-small plate. There may be good stuff, but ultimately you end up paying the same amount for two pieces of asparagas, a mini chorizo and some hommos that you would for a mid priced steak.

The concept must work though, or the changes wouldnt occur.

Sandy said...

I love small plates because I get to try different things without getting too filled up. In the end, it usually costs the same as a traditional meal. Can't wait to try the new menu at Pilar!

Amanda said...

I agree with you, Sandy. But I know small plates don't suit everyone's taste. I hate to commit to one or two foods, say a big steak or piece of fish, and find trying a few more tastes more satisfying. But I realize some people find it harder to fill up and would rather have a full meal placed in front of them at once.

In the words of Anthony Bourdain: "after two bites, you’re eating because you should. The experience, the flavour/texture experience is pretty much over. It’s a lot like cocaine, actually. The first hit is good, after that you’re chasing the high."

Anonymous said...

I dont care if they are tapas, woodchips or lobster, as long as Seaver delivers it! And he serves it up w/a wine paring to boot - cannot go wrong! New menu may be worth a trip to the nation's capital!

anonymous - 07/10 12:34 said...

I am only anti small-plate for a bar with "Bar" in the title ;-) One of the refreshing things about the place was its "tater-tot" image.

Granted, I'm not a tater-fan, but serving that on the menu was a message about the atmosphere.

Going the chichi route (and don't tell me that beet carpaccio with goat cheese, mint and pine nut isn't chichi) is a complete revision of their image. This will bring a clientele that already overserved by the neighborhood, at the expense of the neighborhood's sorely-lacking "Tater-Tot" mentality.

The city is crawling with small plates - - where's my meatloaf??

Anonymous said...

Tater Tots RIP. sigh.

Anonymous said...

indeed! The best aspect of this place is the laid-back,neighborhood feel. The small plates approach doesn't fit the current "tater-tot" vibe. However, I applaud the improved wine selection!

Amanda said...

I think the laid-back, neighborhood feel is more a result of the atmosphere, decor and crowd/neighborhood than the presence of tater tots. So hopefully that will remain in tact with more incentive to order dinner to cushion all those Viking beers (or great glasses of wine, as it were).

Anonymous said...

You can still go to polly's, stetson's, playbill, the saloon, cue ball, and many, many other places that are anti chichi. The anti chichi environment isn't undersevered by any means in the nieghborhood. I go to those plces and they are rarely packed. The problem with the old Bar Pilar food was not the atmosphere or menu itself. It was how bad the food actually was. I can cook better, and I am a horrible cook. At some plces that can be a novelty, but the food at bar pilar could not achieve novelty status.

Anonymous said...

So the guy builds Saint Ex as a nice bar with simple bistro fare and it turns into an overpriced slopshop peddling $21 plates of free-range cruelty-free tofu. So he opens Pilar to have a nice place to hang out and eat simple food, and that too turns chichi. WTF?

And sorry but Pollys? They're the ones who started the trend of $9 burgers with no fries. No thanks.

It's called culinary gentrification. And they can keep it.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how simple, fresh yummy food is "chichi". Maybe because I grew up with this kind of food in an Italian family. I think this is cool food, unpretentious and guilt-free (local, organic). Have you **SEEN** the chorizo and beans?? It is sausag beans (granted, damn good, locally made sausage).

I think people just don't know how to eat. Sorry, that's harsh, but my inner-Italian said it. Get over it people, its the real food revolution. Out with greasy tatertots and in with grilled fish and fresh greens (what my poor [and I mean poor] grandma grew up on).