Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stuck at the Bar at The Tar Pit


Do we ever go anywhere cool without the Cruisers? Sometimes. But, more often than not, Ms. Cruiser provides us with a good idea, and we happily oblige. We met for drinks and eats at Chef Mark Peel's new venture, The Tar Pit, not long ago.
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There were no tables available. We got cozy at the bar. Very sexy.

Every single drink we had was fabulous. The drinks are where it's at, my friends.

Fever Tree Bitter Lemon soda ($5). Jamaican Firefly -- dark rum, housemade ginger beer, fresh lime juice, simple syrup ($12).
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Housemade ginger beer (on the house for us). Liquorice Whisky Smash -- licorice-infused rye, Benedictine, muddled lemon and mint, simple syrup ($12).
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The before and after of The Flame of Love -- bay leaf-infused vodka, fino sherry, flamed orange peel ($12).
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When you come to The Tar Pit, you must have a drink incorporating the housemade ginger beer. The stuff is killer. Just looking at my own photos makes me want some right now. K-I-L-L-E-R.

The bar menu and regular menu are both available no matter where you sit. Most of our snacks came from the bar menu.

Duck rillette and stilton, caramelized pearl onions, mustard, smoked salt, multigrain toast ($9).
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I've certainly had better, but this was decent. I liked the stinky stilton.

Vitello tonnato -- roast veal with albacore tuna sauce, hard-cooked egg, cornichons, fried capers ($9).
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Not sure why I ate this. I didn't order it. It was not my cup of tea. I'll leave it at that.

Fried oysters, preserved lemon remoulade, crisp ginger ($11).
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Golden goodness on a half shell. Outstanding. Crunch crunch yippee!

Duck slider -- crispy duck confit, buttered soft roll, Cointreau sauce ($12).
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Duck juice dribbled down my chin as I took my first sumptuous bite. Little sandwich. Big flavor. Splendid.

Wild boar meatballs, spatzle, tomato ragu, shaved parmesan ($14).
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These tasted like regular meatballs. They were fine, but I couldn't perceive anything wild boarish about them.

Crab cakes in butter, preserved lemon remoulade, celery root cole slaw ($9).
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Meh. Crab cakes are always tasty, but these were nothing special.

Calamari, lemon wheels, shallot rings, fried parsley rouille ($7).
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Same assessment re the calamari as re the crab cakes.

Braised pork cheeks and ears -- orecchiette pasta, salsa verde, braised beet greens, dandelion greens ($14).
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I would've loved this had it not been so salty. Like tragically salty. Like I-want-to-cry-because-this-had-so-much-potential-otherwise salty.

I dug this little tchotchke at the bar.
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We did have a nice time. But you might have an even better time just drinking here and getting food next door at Cube.


  1. Bar lighting = best photos I've seen of Tar Pit!

  2. i hate when a crabcake is just meh.

  3. Wow, awesome shots Ms. Monkey!!

    BTW, the food looks great, but you had me at ginger beer. I have a thing with ginger beer with lime/mint/whatever. I need to go!

  4. Crispy ginger on oyster = brilliant

    Ginger beer sounds completely divine.

  5. Love the crispy ginger mounded on the oysters- never seen that! I love ginger beer, but I've never had any that was housemade- looks amazing.

  6. All those fancy drinks look delicious.

    I'm putting in my post requests now - Vancouver, Costa Rica, & Chicago.

  7. For a second there I thought the orange peel was an egg yolk! Haha that would have been an interesting drink... Yeah, the bar looked super sexy. It's the lights for sure.

  8. I am such a sucker for housemade ginger beer. It's one of the reasons we frequent our favorite bar/restaurant here.

  9. as always, the photos are gorgeous. definitely a cool-looking joint.

  10. I'm so sad that one dish turned out to be too salty. It looked phenomenal.

  11. Looks like it's time to get my proverbial swerve on.

  12. I would have never guessed that it was a little disappointing. The food looks amazing.

  13. The bar is so purtty! Yay for tasty drinks!

  14. was your bartender perchance... asian? when i went to tar pit for drinks i was met with an asian male valet driver then i walk inside and my mixologist was an asian male. I was like.... hmmm this is like james bond film with nefarious well dressed asians who are possibly out to get me. you know?no? okay. be like that.

  15. i guess i'll stick to campanile for peel-fixes.

    mmm. ginger beer. i love that our meh cafe at school at least has ginger beer.


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