barley SWINE

By Unknown - 11:43 PM

Barley Swine is another favorite of mine.
Oh boy, is it my kinda restaurant!
It's relaxed, fun, young, intimate, rustic, casual atmosphere & gastronomy-pub kind of place.
The menu is simple with no fancy description just a list of the dish's ingredients printed on chalkboard & cardboard stock, the plating is beautiful & the food is exquisite and mind-blowingly good.
Started by the same owner/Chef Bryce Gilmore behind Odd Duck Farm to Trailer food truck featured on a 2010 episode on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations (& their Smoked Pork Belly Slider is out of this world!) with the mission to provide local, organic, sustainable foods as accompaniment to libations in a relaxed setting. Shortly after, several days before the new year (2011) to be exact, he carried his mission from the trailer to a brick-and-mortar storefront aptly named Barley SWINE as a homage to beer & pork.
Seeing as it has been several months since we visited, Chris & I thought we should head down to S. Lamar Blvd to see what their inventive-ever-changing menus have to offer.

It is conveniently located right next to Henris - cheese, wine & charcuterie - which is a perfect spot to have a glass of wine while waiting to be seated.

Barely SWINE gastropub is unpretentious with its heavily wooden interior & metal pipping accents. The bar is made from salvaged door panels & the tables pushed closed together to encourage communal dining.
Everyone gladly sit elbow-to-elbow to savor their dainty portions full of flavor sourcing fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers.

We were seated at one of the wooden table & when our drinks arrived two seats at the bar opened up...I jumped at the chance to ask the hostess if we can switch seats at the bar because those are the best.

We sipped our drinks. We chatted with each other & the waitress. We watched the chef prepare, taste the food & add the finishing touches before sending the dish out to eager patrons. We, well just me, were starry-eyed.

Because it is a small plate offerings kinda place we ordered half of the menu to share & we were not disappointed.

Crab salad, shrimp, chamomile, galia melon & crispy grains

Eggplant fritters, grilled okra, feta tofu & sesame

Watermelon, grilled bacon, shishito peppers & grits

Cured lamb loin, coffee, summer squash, basil & grapes

Rabbit, chorizo, green tomato, corn & fatty duck liver

We relished every bite of every dish & every morsel was devoured leaving nothing but gleaming white plates behind. Everything was so damn delicious.
And the dessert was the cherry on top.
We went for the special chocolate ganache, sarsprilla, pecan cake & buttermilk gelato.

If you want a fun date spot, give it a go.
If you have a big group of friends & like sharing, give it a go.
If you need somewhere impressive but unpretentious, give it a go.
Out of towners, give it a go.
Basically just give it a go! You'll love it, I promise.
Visit their website here for more info about reservations for big group.
Otherwise, it is first come, first serve basis.

barley SWINE
2024 S. Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704

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