It’s time again for Vox Populi, when we turn the blog over to you, the loyal reader, to give us your opinion on an area restaurant. This edition features a Y&H favorite, mcclive, one of the most thorough and trusted voices in all of Restaurant Rater-land.
Here’s his take on EatBar:
EatBar has been through some transformations, like a younger sibling to its connected restaurant Tallula who cannot decide what it wants to be for itself. The latest apparition of EatBar calls itself a gastropub, with its focus squarely on wine. The comprehensive wine list is heavy on Old World selections, with some excellent lesser-seen choices from Austria and Portugal, and is very light on California. All wines are available by the glass, half-glass, and 10-ounce beaker (It’s a gimmick. But it’s fine), though, seemingly, not by the bottle.
The food has some pub grub aspects, like the now-required gourmet burger, along with onion rings, paninis, tacos, and wings. But all with a twist, you know, gastropub grub, the kind that makes it all the rage to order a burger because it’s a special expensive foodie burger. Except for the wings, none has any sharp sauce that might clash with wine. The menu’s focus seems to be on small plates, with a handful of “suppers” options, most priced not much more than the small choices. One good supper is the “big bowl of steamed Maine mussels”, which indeed is large. The broth is wonderful, but you’ll need more bread to soak it up. The crisp and tasty EatFrites are a good compliment. For the same price as the mussels, you can get the charred octopus appetizer, but the quantity contrast is striking. The octopus, though a bit too charred and dry, was delicious, and yet its small size was a downer. Another choice that puts the “small” in “small plates” is the poached shrimp with red onion and pine nuts. You get three shrimp. Cold. But really good. The house-roasted olives appetizer is one of the few items whose quantity may last you for the evening.
EatBar’s vibe is somewhere between a wine bar and your friend’s underdecorated loft, with tiny tables and lots of couches among the brick. It works, but it’s hard to tell why. It still has an in-crowd feel to it, and is always full, yet it’s hard to feel uncomfortable there. One problem of the laid-back mood is the service; it’s hard to tell who’s in charge of your table, if you should order from the bar or flag someone, anyone, down. Expect some delays. Still, you could pick worse places to hang.
Do you agree with mcclive? Disagree? Well then get over to our Restaurant Rater section and start making your opinion heard!