Judging Restaurants – Bar Pilar


I think of Bar Pilar as more of a bar than a restaurant but there have been some comments lately lauding the food. We briefly discussed the spot when we looked at the best tapas type restaurants in the city. But I figured I’d ask more folks specifically about Bar Pilar located at 1833 14th Street, NW. What do you think of the food here?

I dig the transom:


32 Comment

  • The food at Bar Pilar is really really good. The small plate/portions are perfect because you can order multiple items without over-ordering/over-eating. Fine dining food in small portions at the right price. Homemade desserts rock. A foodie favorite – not for the tater tot, mini-burger crowd. (I do not work for Bar Pilar nor know the owners…)

  • I take that back. I like tater tots and mini-burgers. I meant the food at Pilar is not for adults who still eat like 8 year olds (plain pizza and hamburgers only diet.)

  • The Brunch menu is not huge but what they have is really really good.

  • The menu is excellent. It’s so great for sharing amongst a few people … over a few drinks.

  • there’s just one “L” in “Pilar”. it’s right there in the pictures you took. c’mon, pop, if you’re taking this full-time, you gotta edit! 🙂

  • I’ve been told this is a bar that has a mostly lesbian clientele, is this correct, or incorrect?

  • I LOVE Bar Pilar.

    It’s a go-to place for us.

    Really tasty small plates always — great for post-theater, post-work, or when just looking for a great meal.

  • I liked them when back when they sold the deepfried tater tots, but I like them now, too. I don’t care for tapas at all, but these guys do it right and at the right price point.

  • One of my favorite restaurants in the city. Fine dining quality food in a bar atmosphere and at bar prices. It’s not for everyone, there is often a wait for a table, it is crowded and loud and when you do get your table there will likely be people hovering around waiting for you to finish, but it is hands down one of my favorite nights out in DC. Great beer, wine and cocktails too. (I don’t know the owners or work there, etc.)

  • 3 words: Bacon Bloody Mary

    And the sauteed wild mushroom dish. And their sweetbreads (sadly off the menu when we stopped by recently; hopefully they’ll be back soon). One of my favorite spots for a drink and a quick bite. It’s sad to see Adam move on, but it looks like they are continuing the tasty cocktail tradition admirably.

  • Great food, great atmosphere. One of the best options around U Street / Logan, without a doubt.

  • Fantastic place for a really good and relatively cheap brunch. Only issue for me is that it is a little too dark inside for brunch dining so definitely try to get one of the outdoor tables if the weather is agreeable.

  • what IMGoph says. and what monkeyrotica says.

  • Great food and an excellent wine list.

  • @ anon 12:42… uh… incorrect.

  • Kind of correct, actually.

  • the tapas are okay, but i liked it better (and went more often) when they had the old menu (tater tots, fancy grilled cheese/tomato soup, mmm).

  • not that there’s anything wrong with it

  • This is a great place to eat! The chef uses a lot of local and seasonal ingredients, so the menu undergoes a good deal of changes over the year. Generally the dishes are simple, but expertly prepared and made with fresh ingredients. The Marcona Almonds and the White Anchovies are to die for- They also have an interesting list of cocktails and a solid beer list. One of my absolute favorites in town!

  • Everytime I have been there it has been packed and it is tiny as is leaving me and my signifigant other behind that column where they stack chairs feeling claustrophobic. It has been awhile so maybe it has chilled out a little since then. I have only gone there before a show at the Black Cat so that explains alot.

  • Sadly, I feel like the cooking has gone downhill in the past couple months. I used to love it, and now I like it. I still go a couple times a month, but am less excited each time. That said, the chicken liver pate is always what I order as soon as I sit.

  • We love Bar P. The brunches are exceptional and perfectly priced. Pancake sandwich anyone! THe Sausage in cream sauce is a hit. It is dark but if you’ve overindulged the night before the dimness, and quiet are appreciated. Their Blood Mary’s are the best in the city and Jason behind the bar is great. (No prior or other affiliation to him or owners). It’s my #1 choice of the places on 14th St.

  • I agree with the commenters who preferred the old menu. Their menu used to feature good quality, tasty twists on typical bar food (the rolled tacos were my favorite) and now its just another overpriced tapas menu. I live three blocks away from Bar Pilar and I used to go there every week but now I only go a couple times a year. I miss the way they were…

  • Yeah, old menu with the burgers n tots n rolled tacos was the shit. Their menu now is overpriced “tapas” that try way way way too hard.

    My ideal evening wasn’t a walk on the beach but some tots and Viking beer while watching Spanish dubbed movies from the 90s at Bar Pilar. Those were the days…

  • i miss the tater tots

  • lordscarlet

    I miss the old menu as well. It used to be the closest we had to a neighborhood bar. Luckily Stoney’s had filled that spot, but I would prefer to have more than one option.

  • its one of my favorite bars in the city.
    but i rarely eat there. i like tapas generally, but theirs don’t it for me. mostly i just like the feel of the place.

  • For those who are missing the burgers, as someone noted, you can definitely get a HELL of a burger at Stoney’s a few blocks away …

  • I LOVE Bar Pilar. I did not live here when the apparently greatly mourned tater tot & hamburger menu was in existence, and admittedly I’m not much of a tater/burger chick anyway, but I thoroughly enjoy their dishes. It’s just really delicious, wonderfully flavored simple food with awesome ingredients. I try to go there as much as possible.

  • We’ve been there a few times and always recommend it. It does get crowded for dinner and you have to shark for chairs which gets stressful and can be pricey for small plates but that’s probably due to the bottle of wine with dinner and dessert.

  • Agree with all the posters that the food is great. Still I get that itchy feeling that I’ve just entered a scene and it makes me want to go home and cook for myself without waiting in line to eat!! Still if you are willing to brave the crowds, it’s worth it. Maybe I’m just getting old…

  • I like there dishes but the fact that two girls who were there for the bar sat down at our table while we were eating dinner was more then a bit awkward. The layout of the place is just horrible.

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