Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bar Pilar and The Question of Quality on a Monday

We dined at Bar Pilar last night. I wasn't astounded. Perhaps it's because it was a Monday night when the b-team gets to practice. Or maybe it's hit or miss with a menu that supposedly changes daily. Who knows. Overall, the small plates menu lacked variety this evening. We sampled the risotto (I love risotto). A light and simple rendition of the classic italian dish, this was accompanied by cubes of firm yellow squash and a grating of parmagianno. Unfortunately it lacked seasoning, as did the other dishes, including the calamari. I liked the presentation on the calamari, however. A whole squid, sauteed, rested on a plate of thick tomato ragu. It was a little tough and the sauce might have been from a jar. But the calamari was fresh, and I loved the idea of slicing into it whole. The strip steak was pretty good--I mean, how can you mess up steak, right? It was glazed with some sort of sweet mustard and served medium-rare (of course) with grilled spring onion. The star of the meal was the soft polenta. It was extra smooth and creamy and topped with a small variety of mushrooms including the funny little enoki variety. A delight.

Bar Pilar made me question eating out on a Monday because sometimes chefs may not try as hard. Is that the reason why many establishments are closed on Mondays? They like to recharge after busy weekends? Thoughts? At any rate, this place serves a purpose. It's a cozy neighborhood bar that offers reasonably priced small plates. There is an amazing variety of beer and a great selection of wine (that changes weekly and is often paired with the ever-changing menu). I like Bar Pilar. I have hope for it. I just won't go on a Monday night again.


hoogrrl said...

any time a restaurant can't maintain its standards on a monday night, I question whether I would go there on any other night. shouldn't matter what night it is. you still pay the same price! if the're lowering their standards on a monday night, then I want a discount!

roganista said...

Perhaps the lowering of standards included the wait staff! Our burley server took away the $20 bottle of unfinished beer without asking. There was still a third of it left. (He commented earlier in the evening that he had not yet tried the beer--guess he did after all.) So a discount and refund are in order.

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