Bar Pilar

4.4
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324 reviews
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$30 and under
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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.
What 324 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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F
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Great food, large portions, and food comes out relatively fast. It is very loud.

A
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very eclectic, adorable atmosphere. Food was fantastic, overall a great night out.

D
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and drinks at Bar Pilar were excellent, but the upstairs dining area was very noisy. At multiple times my date and I could not hear each other and had to repeat what we were saying. There appeared to be a large gathering there on Friday night, though, so perhaps the noise level was unusual.

GL
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service

AT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 4 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Gathered some friends for a flexible birthday drinks/happy hour evening. Staff was SUPER helpful will how we set things up, split the bill, etc. Great event spot!

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 2 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always has a nice environment and fantastic food.

MA
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We had happy hours. Banh mi and shrimp tacos were amazing! The sex on the beach was strong and hit the right spot before going to party next door! I would do it again.

g
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

We used to go to Bar Pilar fairly frequently for dinner, but we haven't been in some time because the quality of the food had declined. We decided to see if things had improved this weekend, and we went for brunch. The decline continues. There are so many places with good food in 14th Street, that you shouldn't bother with Bar Pilar any longer. The person who greets you at the door also needs some lessons in how to be friendly and welcoming.

MP
N. Ireland
4 reviews
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Bel bar e ristorantino sulla 14 th Street, che tra l'altro pullula di posticino.
Bel menù vario, così come la carta dei vini. Il pastrami era squisito. Le porzioni sono abbondanti, noi ad esempio eravamo in due ed abbiamo preso due starters e due piatti principali e siamo arrivati veramente sazi alla fine della cena.
Conto in linea con la media di simili locali a Washington, oltretutto con una bottiglia di vino. Anche i cocktail sembravano ottimi, noi però non abbiamo preso nulla al bancone.

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KO
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friends will not be getting bar pilar. My friend have not earned bar pilar. My friends do not deserve bar pilar.

PS
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Throughly enjoyed brunch - it was delicious. The service was also very good.

GH
1 review
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Its was ok, expensive, food selection was limited and was given no decision hiw my meat was to be cooked, beer was warm .

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 28 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent brunch selection and delicious, reasonably priced food.

RT
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Tasty brunch spot with just enough of a variety to satisfy everyone in the group.

JA
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 21 July 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

The restaurant was in a good location and had a pretty expansive menu. The main issue was that our waitress was super rude. Our dining experience was fine in the beginning and she seemed nice enough to explain the menu. However, my friend asked if a certain dish was spicy- and she definitively said no, even after my friend was super specific that she was very sensitive to spice. The food came, and was way too spicy. Then at the end, we were trying to just get the waitresses attention (it was crazy crowded, she hadn’t checked in on us in a while, and it was super loud). My friend gave her a friendly wave (did not snap, did not act disrespectfully) and the waitress got super upset. She was was like “did you wave at me?!?” Super upset. We explained that it was not meant to be rude, but she just was like “I was coming toward you, I see no reason for you to WAVE at me...” it was uncomfortable and she was quite frankly, crazy rude. I would never, ever recommend this place to any friends given how rude the waitress was (the food was just okay).

J
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on 12 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Bar Pilar so much. Always an excellent and interesting menu available, lots of veg options and interesting cocktails.

OT
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic brunch and great service!

SH
1 review
Dined on 28 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service food and presentation. That said was very pricey.

GN
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

i asked about the breakfast bowl and the server said “reading is fundamental” but after reading the menu again there was no mention of a breakfast bowl

S
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 21 April 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

I was so excited to try this place and what a disappointment. You can find better brunch food and drinks almost anywhere else. I got mimosas and it was basically just juice. They serve it in a mason jar which sounds cute but is what I think leads to it being so weak. I ordered the French toast supremo and do not recommend it. French toast should never be a sandwich- they should consider changing to waffles. The French toast was soaked in syrup which caused it to have a custard taste. The bacon was not really cooked and the eggs didn’t have any cheese that I could find. I basically didn’t eat it. The service was just bad. It is not the servers fault - he was doing his best- but there was only one server in a packed place. We waited an hour before he checked on us. It took FOREVER for any extra drinks. I will not be going back and do not recommend it. In a city where brunch is such a huge thing, you’d think they’d be better.

HK
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on 20 April 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was fantastic, and the servers were extremely friendly. Some mistakes with entrees coming early and incorrect drink orders, but people were so nice that it was not an issue.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 3 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We stopped in here before a show. Just some beer and a “simple bar food”, well I was in for a treat. The host/server was super pleasant and helpful. She informed us that the chef is creative and likes to mix it up. We are vegetarian and found the menu impressive! Everything was great! We shared strawberry arugula salad, veggie fritters with tamarind, spaghetti squash pad Thai, and gnocchi with peas, goat cheese and chanterelles. The menu changes, so don’t get too attached but oh my goodness, it was the best meal in ages!

n
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on 2 April 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Low key setting, delicious fresh food, interesting flavors, and solid service.

TB
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Hard to believe that a place touting its brunch doesn't serve decaf coffee!! Remember to ask for the salad dressing and maple syrup to be on the side unless you like tons put on your food.

MR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 30 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friends visiting from out of town.

d
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 30 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, unusual menu. We say upstairs for early dinner before a concert. Casual, inviting atmosphere. Will definitely come again.

AM
1 review
Dined on 30 March 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

It was pretty good, but it was marketed as an American restaurant. It's really Asian fusion, with such menu options as Wagyu steak, Bok Choy Stir fry, and Udon Dashi. The food was quite salty, but tolerable. It was also much more casual than I was expected, which is mostly on me. All in all, not what I was expecting, but not bad.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

OUR WAITRESS WAS THE BEST EVER

MC
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 22 March 2019
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.

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

Just Fabulous.

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AF
1 review
Dined on 9 March 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!

n
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on 8 March 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.

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

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

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

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

BL
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on 2 March 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.

JW
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on 24 February 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.

LN
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 23 February 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.

OT
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on 23 February 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

R
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 14 February 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.

LH
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 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.

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