Bar Pilar

4.5
294 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Contemporary American
Inspired by Ernest Hemingway and named for his beloved boat, Pilar is a neighborhood restaurant that has been a mainstay of 14th street for over a decade. Executive Chef Jesse Miller helms the kitchen turning out an eclectic menu inspired by local farms and New American cuisine with a focus on seasonal organic produce. The simple yet inventive dishes change frequently, but that’s part of the adventure! Complementing the cooking is a beverage program including cocktails which also rotate seasonally, ranging in taste and complexity from classics like the perfect Old Fashioned to signature concoctions using house made tonics and elixirs. Spanning two floors, Pilar has a variety of spaces to suit your mood. Our first floor bar offers up a casual, comfortable space to down a few drinks in dimly-lit, vintage-inspired surroundings. Head upstairs and you'll find an intimate dining room along with a cozy corner cocktail bar perfect for date night or catching up with old friends.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.4

A classic that can be used for dates or heavy drinking. Maybe even at the same time. The food’s great too.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 294 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
MC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

the food here is surprisingly good. Their stracchiatelli is hand pulled cheese made in house and is like a cheesy butter = SO DELICIOUS.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just Fabulous.

Report
Helpful
AF
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Bar Pilar is a great brunch spot. I love the Hemingway-inspired decor but, more importantly, the brunch cocktails are some of the best I’ve had!

Report
Helpful
n
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Interesting menu. Great drinks and good food, but the portion sizes and prices were ridiculous. Spaghetti squash pad Thai was $17 (no protein) and the serving was so small it was insulting. I ordered the duck, and the portion of the meat itself was adequate but the sides it came with were not. Again, food was good, but I won't return and wouldn't recommend it as there is no shortage of places with amazing food and better portion sizes in DC metro. Also the service was kinda meh. Food came out quickly once we ordered it, but our server was slow getting to us, and wasn't very inviting.

Report
Helpful
U
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

A bit empty for dinner during the week, bit nice atmosphere

Report
Helpful
AD
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Delicious, fresh food and a great price too! Their brunch is my favorite for friends in town!

Report
Helpful
BL
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

We had a reservation for Saturday brunch. We were not approached by our server until several minutes after we had arrived. It took another 30+ minutes to get the drinks we ordered and another ~30 minutes for our food. The food was excellent but the service was subpar at best.

Report
Helpful
JW
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was excellent, I was a little weary because it seemed like more of a bar but the blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes were delicious and my friends enjoyed their meals as well. A nice brunch option.

Report
Helpful
LN
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I just love this place! For anyone that loves good healthy interesting food, this is the place to go--either at the bar or at a table. Their salads, small plates, and main dishes are so very good. About the only place I know that is both healthy, delicious, interesting and not over-priced.

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

Everything was nice except at the end of meal a random waiter or manager cane up and asked us to leave because we weren’t actively ordering more drinks and he said he had another group coming in. We were with a group and talking and I’ve literally never in my life been asked by a restaurant to leave. So I would have rested it higher but I just thought that was weird. We spent a lot of money there. Waitress was really good though

Report
Helpful
R
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

This was a nice enough place for dinner and drinks but it smells downstairs like a bar when you walk in, which is offputting and the food really needs a rethink.

Report
Helpful
LH
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Bar Pilar is a cozy neighborhood spot. The menu changes seasonally. Sometimes, the menu is stellar and other times it falls short. For this visit, a lot of things fell short. The food was good, but overpriced--for that much, I can go down the street to Le Diplomate and have a consistently amazing meal with better service. While our server was kind and jovial, neither she nor the hostess abided my many attempts to remind them we were celebrating my partner's birthday. While I get a restaurant is busy on Valentine's Day, I explicitly wrote it was her birthday on my reservation, alerted the hostess, and talked about it three separate times my server came to the table. Neither open table nor Bar Pilar facilitated anything to do with the occasion. I decided not to get dessert and took my partner to the Tabard Inn for a nightcap and creme brûlée where we were treated like regulars.

Report
Helpful
SM
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hidden gem. The food & drinks here always impress.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Had the Saturday Brunch. Food was amazing. French toast delicious. Fast friendly & efficient service

Report
Helpful
m
Omaha
5 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wait staff was amazing - they gave great recommendations and the brunch menu was dreamy. Everything we ordered was excellent. Already excited to go back!

Report
Helpful
A
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

OK overall, but far from great. Tables too close, service was good but not refined, food was hit or miss. In my opinion tried to be too clever with the ingredients and sometimes failed as a result.

Report
Helpful
OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very attentive service. Good menu, food was solid. Great for brunch.

Report
Helpful
PG
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was incredible. Server was very acommodating and friendly. We went durin restaurant week so prices were very reasonable - cant speak to how they normally are.

Report
Helpful
KD
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 5

During restaurant week, the place was packed and not very well managed. The hostess and waiter were VERY pleasant but were so busy taking care of the full house that our 3 course meal took 3 hours. The food was poor and not tasteful. It could have been the volume of business but I would not recommend this restaurant to a friend....

Report
Helpful
JD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

The menu is

Report
Helpful
CM
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

I’ve been to brunch here twice. The fact that it is essentially bottomless but that you have so many choices of drinks under that is a big sell. The food is great too! My only complaints are that it is a little expensive and both times the waitress basically disappeared after the first drink, which made getting your moneys worth out of bottomless drinks difficult.

Report
Helpful
R
Richmond
11 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Went here for brunch. We received the food before out "unlimited" drinks, but we only ended up getting one drink since it took forever to get them. Food was good, just smaller portions. My friend had to get another dish after the tacos.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing and our server was the bartender upstairs he was fantastic!

Report
Helpful
EP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We were supposed to have to order off a prix fixe menu because our reservation was upstairs, but I had specifically selected the restaurant because they had an option not to do prix fixe without realizing that was restricted to downstairs tables. The waiter immediately looked into moving us (a larger group) downstairs and eventually let us order a-la-carte, even though we weren't supposed to be allowed. It was very accommodating and saved a lot of stress given the different budgets of my guests.

Report
Helpful
G
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Honestly everything tasted amazing. Our water was attentive and had a great personality. We had went for brunch, we’re definitely going back for dinner

Report
Helpful
DJ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went with my Dad while he was in town and we had a great time! The Pilar’s Stracciatella cheese was quite possibly the most delicious cheese I've ever had!

Report
Helpful
CG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great place to meet a friend first and a date second. Server was attentive and friendly, food and drinks were good and served promptly. Happy hour until 7:30 is a great deal, otherwise cocktails outside of HH are a bit pricey, even for DC. Would definitely recommend for a good date or everyday night out!

Report
Helpful
S
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

The pastrami was served with more than 50% fat. The flavor was good, but a little sweet for my palette. The osso buco was good but also on the sweet side. Desserts were very sweet but that seems to be a theme.
Cocktails were great.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional food and cozy atmosphere. Friendly staff and great for groups!

Report
Helpful
t
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I enjoyed it, but I don’t support restaurants that serve foie gras, so I won’t be back.

Report
Helpful
DT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good food and fast service. They should mention the dishes can be a bit spicy, but still it was very delicious.

Report
Helpful
W
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely blow away. Amazing food. Service was incredible.

Report
Helpful
KB
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I would NOT go here for brunch. I love this place for drinks at the bar but that’s it. The bottomless stuff is suuuuper watered down and the food is average. Super disappointed. Cannot recommend

Report
Helpful
CS
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always one of my go to's in the city. The food is always outstanding, friendly & knowledgeable staff, cocktails are always good.

Report
Helpful
CJ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Went for brunch with friends and had a great time. The food was excellent. Our waitress was hard to get ahold of at times, but other than that it was an enjoyable experience.

Report
Helpful
J
Manchester
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Overall - lovely venue. Disappointed with the portion size considering the price and food was Luke warm when served.

Report
Helpful
AO
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, fun drinks! Cool vibe, especially upstairs

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

We always have a great experience at Bar Pilar! From creating be dishes to lovely cocktails and all fresh and delicious. There’s no doubt we will continue to come back and enjoy the food and festive atmosphere. Thanks!

Report
Helpful
MC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Taste is paramount when it comes to their food and the bartenders/waiters are personable/friendly.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Jazmine was phenominal. I felt bad for the amount of tables she had to deal with. Overall managed to accomodate all of us and was very pleasant. Food was great so props to the chef.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
8

Tweets by Bar Pilar