Barque Butcher Bar

Most media events I’m invited to include plenty of food, drinks and mingling with other bloggers. My most recent experience was much more interactive. Zomato invited a large group of users and food bloggers to learn all about smoking with hands on demonstrations in collaboration with Barque Butcher Bar. The night was filled with smoke, spices and a lot of good food.

Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary by Zomato and Barque Butcher Bar. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

Barque Butcher Bar was located a block away from Barque Smokehouse and features a light tapas menu and extensive drink list. The bar opened in May of this year and was designed to almost be a waiting room for diners waiting for a table at the popular Barque Smokehouse, which is 95% of the time. Diners can munch on delectable small dishes and enjoy a drink or two until they’re called back. Personally, I really enjoyed the menu at Barque Butcher Bar and would make a visit just for them.

At the Zomato event, Chef David Neinstein demonstrated how to smoke chicken wings, shared some tips on smoking and showed us how to put together a spice rub. We got a chance to sample wings fresh from the smoker, taste Spanish cider, sample many of the dishes on Barque’s menu and each went home with a bag of spice rub. The Hubby and I just used our rub on a rack of ribs last weekend, smoked for 6 hours and it turned out beautiful. There was a perfect ratio of sweet and salty.

From the menu, we started with samples of the House Terrine, Black Cod with Crispy Rice and Chorizo Ribs. Of the three, the black cod was my favourite. The fish was firm, well cooked and sat on a disc of deep fried rice, an excellent bite of different textures and flavour.

We also got to try the Spring Noodle Salad that was full of microgreens and Asian flavours. I ate more than my fair share of this dish. Meanwhile, The Hubby hogged the smoked olives. The Smoked Venison Tartare was strongly seasoned, served with crostini and a yolky soft boiled egg. Two servings of Waffle Poutine were brought out and disappeared within minutes.

Barque Butcher Bar has a lot to offer. Before 5pm, they operate as a butcher selling a wide variety of pre-made dishes, rubs, sauces and cuts of meat. After 5pm, the kitchen opens. I expect the dining room will be as full as the original smokehouse a block away.

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