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8.4
DC

Bar Pilar

PHOTOS: M. Benson

The first draft of this review was nothing but fire emojis, but apparently that wasn't “descriptive” enough. Even after we threw in a few hundred emojis, we felt like it was still lacking in the helpfulness department. Regardless, you can understand our feelings. A mainstay on 14th Street from before it was the dining hotspot it is today, Bar Pilar is the model for any place that wants to be a neighborhood classic.

We’ll never tire of coming here, because they make it impossible to. The menu, focused on familiar but inventive American food, changes weekly, and we’ve been known to come in multiple times in the same week to get a second helping of a dish before it slips off into the Bar Pilar graveyard.

A dimly lit, but not stuffy, two-level spot, this works double duty as a date choice and as a drink-too-much-with-your-friends choice. Because while we’re huge fans of the food, we’re equally as high on the drinks. The cocktails are built for people who like booze, not sweet sodas with a hint of alcohol.

The food is somewhere in between small plates and entree-sized. Try to order something from each section of the menu (Snacks, Starters, Veggies, and Protein) with your group to get a good sampling of what they have to offer. But no matter what you order, make sure you get some of that Bar Pilar [fire emoji] in your life soon.

Food Rundown

Goi Ga Salad

Some people want a plate of grease and fat to fight a hangover, but we say go with this for the big, bold, bright flavors to wake you up after a long night.

Grits

Comes with a half stick of melting butter on top, so we can't recommend ordering this with your brunch more highly. A note on brunch: they offer a bellini menu where the first drink costs $12 and each subsequent one costs $1. We heartily recommend both the brunch and the bellini menu.

Korean Short Ribs

A Korean version of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I feel sorry for you if that sentence doesn’t get you excited.

Chorizo and Duck Egg over Polenta

Does a duck egg really taste different than a chicken’s? Who's to say? All I know is that this is delicious, regardless of what type of egg they use.

Wild Boar

This comes with smoked foie gras, a mustardy sauce and currants (what grown ups call raisins). It’s our favorite thing here and if there is any version of it on the menu, put more happiness into the world and order it.

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