Tired of your weekly routine of restaurant rounds and sticking with the usual path to inebriation? Head over to Barley Swine for a makeover to your palate, courtesy of Chef Bryce Gilmore. Named for Gilmore’s fondness of pork and beer, Barley Swine is a not just a restaurant/bar, but an entire experience.
The new brick and mortar space on 2024 South Lamar is the incarnation of Gilmore’s original Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, with the same great tastes and a much bigger space. A small but cozy, rustic yet modern setting with communal seating and an open kitchen makes it the perfect place to share fantastic food and drink. And not only does this inviting eatery boast a complete collection of local brews and wines, but the ingredients are also local and farm-grown, so much so that the menu changes seasonally with the harvest.
If you’re not big on beer and/or pork, Barley Swine will change your mind. I’ve never been a fan of scallops, but the small plate with grilled scallops and pancetta on a bed of cauliflower puree was one of my favorites. The presentation was impeccable and the scallop was cooked to perfection, interacting beautifully with the pancetta and puree.
Another stand-out was the sweetbreads dish with caramelized Brussels sprouts and truly life-changing bacon, all resting on a creamy garlic and almond puree. The flavor was amazing, and as with many plates, the helpful staff recommended getting a bite of everything with this one – and they were spot on.
The beer is paired perfectly with each small plate, enhancing the presence of hidden ingredients or providing a wonderfully smooth, calming complement to the strength of some of the flavors. My personal favorite was the grilled baby octopus with chorizo and white beans, which was paired with Brooklyn Local 1 Strong Pale Ale. The octopus is marinated with various spices and grilled, then topped with oregano breadcrumbs, making for a flavorful ensemble which the white beans’ neutrality complements. FULL REVIEW