Birch and Barley: Fantastic Brews and Flavors

Apologies for the lack of posts as of late- personal things keep getting in the way of my blogging career :-).  Here’s a post I started two weeks before the craziness happened:

Last night I had the pleasure of dining with some close girl friends of mine at the 14th street haven of Birch and Barley. I had expected to go to Churchkey, the upstairs bar portion, but was pleasantly surprised when a table opened up!

The place is pretty well-known for its brews- the menu is segmented by flavors which I greatly appreciated, and being a Belgian fan I found myself contemplating selections under the Fruit and Spice category. My friends and I went with two of their newer selections Saison and Dulle Teve (means “mad bitch” in Beglian, we appreciated that) and they also happened to be 9.0% alcohol so it was a very fun meal to say the least.

We ordered the Dragon Creek Scallops with celery root and green grapes. To be honest, the presentation was lovely, and flavor pairings were great, but the scallops were a little overcooked for my taste and pretty small.

We were very pleased with the selection of bread that they brought to the table- a combination of soft rolls, herb bread and and almost a kind of pretzel bread. The spreads of butter and mustard were absolutely delicious.

I ordered a side of the truffled herbed mac & cheese to split with the table. The truffle flavor was fairly subtle, but I loved how the dish had a lot of texture- with cheddar cracker crumbs sprinkled on top.

The main dish we had was hands down spectacular. Under the pasta section, it was cavatelli pasta stuffed with ricotta and mixed with braised pork rib. Definitely not a light meal for ladies haha, but we were absolutely sated by this pasta creation.

Recommended for: First dates, dinner with friends, twenty-somethings, professionals, hearty meals.

Pros: Trendy ambiance, filling meals, wide variety (flatbreads, meat, fish, pasta), tasting menu, great beer selection, upstairs bar Churchkey has many similar sides and snacks.

Cons: Small, crowded (reservations or call ahead), if you’re a family- not kid-friendly.