Monday, July 9, 2012
Arlington, VA 2220
EatBar is the Siamese twin sister restaurant of Tallula (shares the same kitchen and located right next door, get it? get it?). I had read on Eater DC that there was recently a chef change at the restaurant and decided to go try it out since it's pretty close to my apartment and I drive by it practically every day of my life. Now, I don't know if changing chefs, in this instance, is a good or bad thing AND I'm not really familiar with the chefs in the DC area, but the article said that the new chef would be including things like roasted bone marrow and peanut crusted oysters. Yeah. Come get some, son.
The menu looks to be just a collection of small plates divided into six types: snacks, veggies, bits & pieces, land, sea and sweets. There were actually plenty of items that I wanted to sample like the corn on the cob with chili lime creme fraiche or the homemade pork rinds but unfortunately those two things will have to wait for another visit. I ended up initially ordering the smoked mushrooms with a blue cheese fondue and shaved scallions, the roasted marrow bone with a peanut & quinoa salad and pickled corn, and the peanut crusted oysters. Believe or not, those weren't quite enough so after I was done, I tacked on a EatBar baby burger with truffle, truffle mayo and balsamic onions. I also got a cask ale which has always been a favorite of mine with its slightly sweet and comforting notes.
I've always loved bone marrow but I had been eating like sh*t lately so I was afraid that the bone marrow would be the first step towards a coronary and yet I couldn't resist ordering it and hoping for the best and that's exactly what I got. While the marrow is given star billing on the menu, this is really a salad of quinoa (it's a grain, who knew? i didn't but there's this thing called the interwebs...), pickled corn, and the menu says peanuts, though I didn't notice them. There was only a little bit of marrow, all told about a teaspoon, and was more of a quiet enrichment to the dish than anything. This was fine with me as the corn was refreshingly light, the quinoa provided great texture and you still got just the right amount of savory marrow.
I was still hungry so I got the baby burger. It's basically a slider with truffle mayo, some truffles and pickled onions on a toasted bun. So, richness on top of more richness with some added rich flavors with a hint of sweetness. I would write more about it but it didn't last long enough. So, while I really enjoyed the truffle/mayo/burger combination, what made this unique was the intermittent sweetness that came out of the onions. If it didn't have that, then it probably would be too much without the much needed balance from the onions.
I was full so couldn't order dessert but I hear that the waffles with ice cream is pretty spectacular. It seems between that and the pork rinds and the corn on the cob, I have a whole other meal already planned out for my next visit to Eat Bar. I don't know how much Eat Bar has changed with the new chef but I do know that the menu is full of exciting choices. If this meal is an indication of what's to come then I'm all for chef changes all the time. Also, if this is evidence of the type of food that is coming out of Eat Bar then I can't wait to see what happens at Tallula.