100 Best Restaurants 2011: Bar Pilar

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

Every neighborhood should have a place like this brick-walled faux dive packed with NPR types and off-duty chefs. And not just for the interesting beer selection and esoteric cocktails (try the Bees’ Knees: gin, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup). Chef Justin Bittner churns out an ever-changing menu of easy-on-the-wallet hits.

He’s especially good with vegetables, as shown by a summer sauté of chanterelles and sweet corn and an any-season bowl of roasted potatoes with malt aïoli. Feel-good food includes a bar snack of fried pigs’ ears with lime, a rich bowl of pho, and crisp fried chicken. Adventurous eaters, take note: All offal dishes are $4 during weeknight happy hour.

Also good: Skillet of mussels with white wine and grilled bread; lamb hot dog with mustard and shallots; rice and beans with pickled pork; grilled prawns with lemon and olive oil; corn on the cob with Parmesan.

Open Monday through Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants


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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.