Bar Pilar

4.5
378 Reviews
$30 and under
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 Clarissa Aguilar 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.

Support Bar Pilar during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 378 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
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HB
HaileyB
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I didn't catch the name of our waiter, but he was wonderful - he mentioned that they were short-staffed, but only to explain the occasional delay. Food and drinks were great, can't wait to go again!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall1food3service3ambience3

I booked an outdoor table for 12:30pm brunch to celebrate my birthday with friends. We ended up waiting 1 hour and 30 minutes to be seated after being told multiple times we’d be seated in 20 minutes, 10 more minutes, etc. In normal times, we would have left after the first 20 minutes passed, but given the limited availability of seating at all restaurants (due to the pandemic), we took our chances and hoped it’d truly be a quick turn around. We had a reservation after all. Unfortunately, due to this experience, I’m not planning to return to Bar Pilar. All of my birthday plans had to be rearranged or canceled due to the 1 hour and 30 minute delay at brunch. Call me crazy, but when I make a reservation I expect to be at a table close to the time of the reservation. The staff were kind & apologetic, but did not offer anything for the inconvenience. Having to wait so long when we had a reservation is just bizarre and not an experience I wish to repeat, especially for such a special occasion.

M
Maria
Pittsburgh
5 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

An unassuming venue with a decent variety of food and drink selections on the menu. Great for a chill night out. Good bang for your buck.

AT
AnnaT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Great place for dinner that is not too fancy in a fun atmosphere on 14th street.

TJ
vipTheJeffOwens
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience! A must try for everyone!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food5service2ambience5

The food was very good. Had an egg white omelet that was delicious. Service was a little slow for bottomless brunch. But the waits staff was very apologetic. There clearly was not enough staff for the area.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience5

Great brunch deal—especially outside! Service was sub par. Far too few people on staff. Waiter who did help us was super nice.

P
vipPatch
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2021
Overall1food2service2ambience5

I usually LOVE this place! Their food is always out of this world. For some reason they had just one server cover all the tables during a Sunday brunch rush. The server could not have been nicer. What a great guy!! I think the rush pulled the food quality down. Our food was stale and not hot. We got take out on the way home and ate after, which was fine. We knew they were slammed. Our drinks were great, but there was a good wait to receive bottomless drinks. Great place! Please hire another server for brunch. Yay Bar Pilar, excellent spot!!! <3

Bar Pilar
Responded 6 days ago

Thank you, Patch. Unfortunately, there are times where servers call out...and we guarantee that this issue won't happen again. Hope to see you back soon!

Report
R
Ryan
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanks Kevin!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

They were clearly understaffed. It took over 15 minutes before a server approached us, 30 minutes between rounds of drinks, and once our food came out, no one asked if we needed anything until
I flagged down the waiter at the bar. If this was a COVID-related instance, I’d understand, but we’ve been doing this for 9 months.

RP
RocioP
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good food and an amazing waitress!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was great sourthern food.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Pancakes were not that great, server ignored our table for over half an hour during a bottomless brunch. We ordered our first round of food 40 minutes after we got there. I think it’d be ideal for them to hire another server or two. The service was nice, it was just sparse.

S
Sarah
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience5

Some of our orders were forgotten, had to ask to comp the meal. Drinks are good but incredibly overpriced. Waited a really long time for food and service.

GM
vipGM12
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great brunch. Cozy vibes and the staff was super friendly. Bottomless option is 10/10.

CM
ChelseaM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Bar Pilar has a great selection of delicious cocktails. The service was good but the waitstaff seemed stretched thin. They definitely did their best to handle a busy Friday night and were very polite. Overall a cozy and fun spot!

JF
JessicaFreshica
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Absolutely loved brunch at Bar Pilar! The bartender/host/server Kevin was great but because he was the only man on the floor there was some waiting time...but worth it for the Bloody Mary and "Yoga Pants" mimosa. We had a wonderful Eggs Benedict, breakfast burrito, and bowl of fresh fruit. The cinnamon bun was disappointing - clearly a leftover from the day before - but it was removed from the check and I will try it again on the next visit. Would have preferred a little more spacing between tables but then again if I was so worried about COVID I would stay at home :)

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Was tad concerned upon entering, empty, and too quite for me. A first date was looking like a disaster, however by the end of the evening a perfect evening with a lovely and stunningly beautiful lady. Great cocktails and service from bartender (Pedro)

Will remember this evening for a long time and maybe forever.

SM
SeanM
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my 4th visit to Bar Pilar, first since the start of the pandemic. Food and service always have been and continues to be excellent!

NC
vipNotCsitsma
Washington DC
81 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience3

I know restaurants are trying their best during Covid, but some suggestions would help for a better dining experience at Bar Pilar. The OPEN TABLE information should be better updated for this restaurant. It doesn’t take much effort to do this. The information should state that there are no heaters provided at the outdoor tables. Also, the online menu does not contain a single item that is provided on the menu presented at dinner. It is 100% wrong. I know Covid menus change daily but the online menu is completely stale. I relied on it in making my reservation. Therefore, my dining experience was not what I expected.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible food and service

H
vipHarrison
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience4

The food was below average and the service was not very good. They also don’t have a drink menu, so all drink orders are 100% your responsibility.

TL
vipTameraL
Washington DC
150 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Beyond bizarre to ask to review a restaurant that was closed due to the virus, after being asked to confirm we'll be there. Not trusting this ask, I called the restaurant and sure enough, they were closed as is everyone else.

K
vipKimw
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Surprised with the quality after walking into this speak-easy like bar scene. Great tunes, unique dishes, very fresh and tasty. My only complaint is the kale salad was more like a rice bowl than salad- very little kale and way too much rice.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Fun drinks and good atmosphere. Egg whites salmon omelette was amazing.

SW
SamW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience4

We’re not very fussy, but this was a terrible brunch experience. The food was very mediocre. We had a reservation but waited an hour and a half for food. My biscuit was so bad - biscuits that come in a can are better. My friend’s lemon pancakes didn’t taste of lemon at all. One drink was super alcoholic, the others not at all, though they were good. The server barely attended us and was so unfriendly. The hostess was also very unfriendly. And we were one of 5 tables eating a slow brunch.

A
vipAndy
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent. Food and very fun atmosphere. Friendly waiter.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Got last minute Valentine’s reservations, and it was lovely! Food and drinks were really good, it was very busy but no complaints on service, all the staff were very kind and it’s a really cool spot! Would definitely come back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food5service1ambience2

We ordered from the Valentines Day Prixe Fix menu, two appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, 2 glasses of sparkling wine. They were not that busy when we arrived (6:10) but service was still very slow. They apologized for how long it took to bring out our wine. When the appetizers finally arrived, one was the wrong thing. I had to ask for someone to have our waiter come to the table - he had disappeared after taking our order. We shared the other appetizer and then waited and waited. Finally the second appetizer arrived (liver pate). We were only half way through it when the entrees arrived. Again one of them was wrong! The server left the salmon (the correct entree) sitting on the table getting cold (liver pate and salmon do NOT go well together) until I asked again for our missing in action waiter. He took it back to the kitchen for a fresh plate to come out when our second entre was ready. At that point the hostess stopped to ask how our dinner was so far and I told her. She was very apologetic and said she would comp our dinners. She also offered another glass of wine. The entrees did not arrive until 7:25 and we had 8:00 tickets at the theater next door. When the second glass of wine never arrived, and our waiter was perpetually missing in action, I asked another waitress if she would get it. She said they probably had run out of cold sparkling rose and did I want to wait until some was chilled. I said I would take cava instead and then the rose appeared. Our waiter stopped by at 7:40 to ask if we wanted our check and I said we had ordered dessert as part of the price fix dinner. He left and came back at 7:47 to say it would be about 10 min. I told him for the 4th time that we had 8:00 tickets for the theater. He shrugged his shoulders and we left. Except for the hostess it was the worst service ever!!

S
vipScreech
Washington DC
45 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Birthday dinner was quite tasty

VH
VishalH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Food was subpar. Chicken wasn't cooked well. Drinks were good, bartender definitely made them well. The ambiance of the restaurant was nice. I would maybe go back for drinks only.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

I come to Bar Pilar about once per month, it is one of my favorite restaurants and I often bring people visiting from out of town because of the really good menu, it’s intimate yet eclectic setting and friendly service.
I was really disappointed this time and kind of embarrassed with my guest. The service was so slow that I went up to ask where our waiter was. He came and took our order but our entree salmon came out 15 minutes before our starter hush puppies and Brussels sprouts. They did apologize but it really ruined the flow of the dinner. We elected to just end things there and move on.
I’ll think twice before going back.

MC
vipMichelleC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

All the food was barely room temperature, definitely nowhere near warm.

s
steak
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent food and service, cozy atmosphere, great drinks- all in all a wonderful dining experience!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food3service1ambience3

Great restaurant! Unfortunately did not receive the best service, as the wait staff often forgot our request or served couples who had been seated after us. We didn't feel like a priority as much as we would have liked. Still, a great restaurant with good food!

R
vipRoxaroni
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect — the service, the wine suggestions, the food. Just know they have larger portions, especially if you’re used to typical DC small plates restaurants with tiny portions. I can’t wait to go back with more people and a bigger appetite.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I made a reservation. Arrived and they told us they couldn’t accommodate us because they were closing the upstairs tables. No apology. No attempt to seat us elsewhere. We left. Terrible service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience3

The food was good but the service was awful. Hostess and server were very rude to us.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I ordered the “Pilar Salad” and on the menu it said that it came with

SW
SWDC
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I successfully made a reservation for New Year's Day and received a confirmation email, but upon arriving at Bar Pilar the restaurant was closed and I was forced to find an alternative brunch spot at the last second.

FAQs

Bar Pilar is rated 4.5 stars by 378 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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