Last night we tried the hot new place in our ‘hood: The Carbon Bar. We’d had plans to do so just before the new year but one of our party wasn’t feeling up to it. Turns out the same thing could have (should have, maybe…Nellie was already feeling sick by mid-afternoon) happened last night, but we were determined to finally try this place. We met our friends JP & Sue for an early dinner.
First: the space is amazing. Crazily high ceilings, warehouse-sized floor plate, and little hints of the building’s past lives — Electric Circus writ in neon, Disney figurines, glowing Baby Blue signs, etc. It’s an impressive place, no doubt.
The place has built its reputation on meat. Well, among foodies anyway; it’s also become something of a hot spot for clubby types, but David Lee’s grilling has attracted people — like us — looking for his take on southern bbq. And man, did we get some of that. Here’s what we ploughed through:
- Crisp chicken skins w/ sweet chilli vinegar
- Cabrito Papusa (goat-stuffed masa tortilla, tomatillo salsa, guajillo date jus)
- Charred sea scallops w/ brisket espuma, dill pickle, parsley, rye caraway croutons, mustard, horseradish
- Pit master platter: pork ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork ssäm, jalapeño sausage, roasted turkey, pork crackling
- “Hot Mess”: sweet potato, cheese curds, crema, pickled jalapeño, chopped brisket
- Pork & beans
- CB slaw
Beer (mostly; Nellie drank wine and JP tried to order a Mill Street IPA but was handed a Tankhouse)
- Bellwoods Cat Lady IPA
- Bellwoods Monogamy pale (Mosaic hop)
- Collective Arts Rhyme and Reason extra pale
The starters and sides were good. The platter of meat, however, was spectacular…there wasn’t a single thing on there that wasn’t amazing (well, maybe the pulled pork, but it was still damned good). The brisket might have been the best we’d ever tried, and I would have eaten a pound of that sausage. Unfortunately Nellie had gone from feeling poorly to almost passing out during the meal, so she couldn’t really partake. Given that, despite looks of longing from JP and I, we didn’t even try to finish it. Half of what was left is in my fridge right now, just waiting for me to eat it. Anyway, we had to cut the night short because Nellie needed to get to bed, but it was a pretty impressive first visit. We’ll definitely be going back.
Cover photo by Lisa Ray (yes, that Lisa Ray…she was there last night too)