Cheap Eats 2012: Bar Pilar

Cheap Eats 2012: Bar Pilar
Chef Justin Bittner’s small-plates menu changes weekly and reads like a farmers-market shopping list. Photographs by Chris Leaman.

Cheap Eats 2012

Hourlong waits are common at many of the no-reservations restaurants along DC’s 14th Street corridor. But things just got a bit easier at this exposed-brick grazer’s paradise—a new upstairs dining room has doubled its seating capacity. Chef Justin Bittner’s small-plates menu changes weekly and reads like a farmers-market shopping list—an early-spring dinner might include lemony grilled ramps, while late summer brings a lovely sauté of chanterelle mushrooms and sweet corn. Bittner is equally deft with anything porcine, whether lime-spritzed fried pig’s ears, slow-roasted pork shoulder, or a “bacon buddy” sandwich that should be prescribed for hangovers.

Also good: Roasted potatoes with malt aïoli; beet salad with citrus; mussels with white wine and shallots; fried chicken; buttermilk pie; Moscow Mule cocktail.

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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.