A great bar is only great if it has great bar food

With great respect to bartenders around the world, it’s time to recognize the importance of bar food.

Too often, we see the same old uninspiring dishes on a bar menu… charcuterie and cheese board, chicken wings, chips and dip, fries, nachos, etc., etc.

It’s not that I have anything against these very popular dishes. But if you have them on your menu they must be AMAZING!

In the past few weeks I have been inspired with some fantastic dishes:

At Bar Buca in Toronto we ordered Burrata di Buca, pesto-stuffed mozzarella with gremolata and anchovies served with grilled sourdough bread. We devoured it. 

At DBar in Toronto we shared the charcuterie board. Daniel Boulud works with renowned master charcutier Gilles Verot. The selection might include Paté Grand Pere (coarse pork paté with foie gras, truffle and cognac), Fromage de Tête (braised pork cheek and snout set in a pork jelly), Duck aux Agrumes (a jellied terrine with braised duck leg, lemon, orange and grapefruit), Paté en Croute (pork, figs and duck breast), Chicken Liver Mousse and Saucisson Sec (dry pork sausage with black pepper, garlic and red wine). 

At the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, British Columbia, I sat in at the raw bar overlooking the packed, vibrant lobby lounge and ordered from a sushi menu most Japanese restaurants would be proud of. 

As more and more people are choosing to eat dinner in a bar, differentiating yourself with a high-quality, well-executed bar menu will give you a competitive advantage. Additionally, as beverage is typically your profit-driver, retaining your guests for longer periods will increase your revenues and bottom line.