The Barque Butcher Bar
I was a little weary when Navin suggested a barbecue restaurant as our next food adventure. To understand this fully, you'll need to know that I am not a fan of meat. If there's one seafood option on the menu, I am likely to choose that one. That being said I fully enjoyed my experience at Barque and hope to return soon.
Located in the hip neighborhood of Roncesvalles. There are two Barque restaurants just 100m from each other: The Smokehouse and the Butcher Bar. As I understand, the Smokehouse is the original and it carries a full menu as well as brunch. The Butcher Bar offers some of the Smokehouse's pub-like fare as well as seasoned, uncooked barbecue for you to serve at home.
The Barque Smokehouse was fully booked on this particular Friday (which is how we ended up at the Butcher Bar). Note: book ahead both are extremely popular
Let's start with the little details:
The Bar has an industrial art deco sort of feel. The furniture is eclectic, the lighting low, it's elevated but comfortable - very fitting for Roncesvalles. At the table you're greeted with a little skillet of party mix (A quirkly little amuse bouche). The server then offers you complimentary sparkling or flat water (sparkling water is rarely free *bonus points*). At this point, I am already impressed.
I like Cesar's very much, but Navin and I both agree we could do without either of our beverages. Although done very well, compared to Barque's other offerings: they were standard and could be skipped altogether. I wouldn't miss them!
What She Order?! (No fish fillet):
- Cajun Fried Shrimp (only seafood on the menu! told you!)
- Smoked Lamb Shoulder
- Smoked Chicken Wings w/ Barque dry rub
- Leek and Potato Salad
Everything was so bomb. If we had any room we would've ordered more food #firstworldproblems. Barque takes barbecue classics and elevates them to another level. The chicken wings were juicy and tender, but the dry rub was sweet and salty #bravo! The potato salad had these little crunchy capers on top that added such a unique texture. The Cajun Shrimp was probably my favorite dish, it was crunch and juicy with a substantial amount of shrimp. My least favorite was the lamb and it had nothing to do with the quality or taste - It was also delicious, but a bit plain compared to it's peers.
Here's the part I found genius: If you order 1/4 of meat it could be turned into a taco "combo". By doing so, they provide you with 4 tortillas and all the fixings. Why has no one ever thought to do this before ?! #genius
I honestly cannot wait to go back and I cannot rave about this place more.
check-it-ch-ch-check-it-check it out (: