Cheap Eats 2010: Bar Pilar

100 great places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: At first glance, this Hemingway-inspired bar is just another craft-cocktail den, but the reason to come is chef Justin Bittner’s small plates, including house-cured charcuterie, 12-hour brined chicken, and creative combinations ranging from corn on the cob with Parmesan to Swiss chard with cherries and blue cheese.

What to get: The menu changes, but recent stars have been buttermilk fried chicken; rice and beans with pickled pork; frisée dressed with lemony vinaigrette and topped with a fried egg; and a version of veal piccata made with delicate sweetbreads.

Best for: A low-key weeknight dinner—the crowds on weekends take away some of the charm.

Insider tip: Sunday is the best night to eat here. There are fewer customers, and the chef is often in the kitchen trying out new menu items—he might send one out and ask for your opinion.

 >> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here 


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.