Bar Pilar miniaturizes fine dining

With a name like Bar Pilar (1833 14th St. NW), you might expect typical bar bites of nachos and mozzarella sticks. But this bar does not have your typical snacks — rather, it has miniaturized fine dining into small plates of delicious flavor.

The pork shoulder, served on a trencher of garlic bread ($12), is tender, with deep flavor from its all-day roasting and a balanced texture. And the strip steak ($12), served with whipped potatoes, comes from Painted Hills Ranch in Oregon, a collection of ranchers who came together to raise quality beef with minimal processing and no artificial ingredients.

Meat is far from the only menu offering, though. There is a wide array for veggie lovers, including brown-sugar-roasted spaghetti squash, sautéed broccoli and cauliflower with herbs and crispy roasted potatoes with malt aioli.

For starters, try the chilled and marinated olives served alongside goat cheese bruschetta. The olives’ marinade has a mild spice that adds a nice touch to the flavor, and the creamy goat cheese on crisp toast pairs nicely.

You can enjoy all of this fine food in one of the trendiest settings around. Tucked into a cozy space right off of U Street, Bar Pilar buzzes with the chatter of neighborhood regulars catching up with the bartender and friends laughing at tables surrounding the bar.

The dim lighting and warm brick and orange of the walls makes this place feel homey — just probably a cooler home than yours.