Walk by Bar Pilar and you wouldn't look twice, at least I never did and neither did my friend Andy, who came with me to dinner. What a mistake!
This brightly-colored, 2-story, American bar and grill located off of 14th Street between S and T Streets NW will surprise you. Reservations were set for dinner, I walk in and see a bar (duh!) not impressed, then I head upstairs and think to myself, ok, ok, I'm listening.
Andy and I order the chicken liver and sriracha pâté as well as the Szechuan-style pork.
First the pâté. Pâté traces its origins from France and is typically made from any kind of meat, fish or liver and fat. The chicken liver and sriracha pâté at Bar Pilar was exquisite. It was light, not too spicy, and the bread was grilled and buttered well.
The Szechuan-style pork shank, like most Szechuan-styled dishes from the province of Sichuan in southwestern China, packed enough flavor to occasionally raise your temperature. Underneath the shank, the plate was layered with the aromatic, Indian basmati rice. All of the flavors- the ginger, the chili, the garlic- came together to give this popular style of Chinese cuisine an authentic southwestern Chinese flavor.
At Bar Pilar, the dishes change based on the availability of fresh, seasonal, organic and local produce. Freshness Andy and I could taste.
P.S. Bar Pilar, at this American bar and grill, the Chinese and French would feel at home.
As a little boy I would repeatedly say, "A mí me gusta comer y dormir." "I like to eat and to sleep."