Unlike former tenant Be’Wiched Deli, Snack Bar’s space is dark, intimate, and designed for grazing. Try the Parmesan cheese waffle topped with prosciutto di Parma shavings. What a crazy dish—imagine the deep flavor of a Cheez-It, or cheese bread, in the body of a soft and fluffy waffle. Contrast that with the salty, rich prosciutto. It’s cool.
Then get yourself a plate of the fried eggplant, paired with just enough rosemary-infused honey. Really a sophisticated flavor combination—but fun, breezy, easy to enjoy.
The pickled cauliflower salad didn’t quite live up to its name. The bowl featured roasted cauliflower as well, and I had anticipated a little more of a pickled pop. Muted, fresh, lively—there are worse problems to have. That said, you know that the man behind Bar La Grassa, arguably the city’s most successful homemade pasta restaurant, is going to nail the noodle.
Sweet-potato gnocchi pillows—light and fluffy enough to put Mike Lindell to shame—melted in my mouth. Absolute perfection for $12. The menu is organized in a slightly confusing way, although the servers helped guide us, advising how much we should order for our group. Prices give you a clue as to which things are a little more entrée-like (although nothing is really a large portion).
The price points, overall, are quite reasonable. Two absolutely perfectly prepared, plump scallops for $15 feels about right. But because you’re playing the small-plates game, it’s easy for your bill to skyrocket over the $100 line for two people. You don’t have to eat that way, of course. You can come in, get a snack, a slice of pizza, and a salad, and be out for $25.
And about that pizza: It’s really good. The original concept for Snack Bar was pizza by the slice. Now, because of all the other quality items on the menu, I wonder if the pie gets overshadowed. Becker’s team preps three different pizzas with dough, sauce, and cheese. This way, they can quickly top individual slices and throw them in an oven. Four dollars will get you a slice with sauce and mozzarella cheese. Then, choose from 25 toppings. Clams, Calabrian chilis, Bar La Grassa sausage, asiago, octopus!
So, overall, this is a nice place to snack and drink. You’ll find great, easy-drinking, quickly-served batched cocktails (try the margarita riff, Matcha Menudo) and an interesting wine-by-the-glass list, too. I really loved everything I tried. Yet I was left a little wanting. Snack Bar is an awesome restaurant for the neighborhood. And I mean that in the best way. The neighborhood is going to love it. If I lived nearby, I’d be there a couple times a month, probably. But is it worth driving to as a destination—passing up Bar La Grassa, Borough, Smack Shack, Spoon and Stable? Not really.
It’s not a criticism, as I don’t think Snack Bar is really designed to be a destination. The name is brilliant in that regard: “Snack Bar” sounds like a casual spot you’d spin by for a bite, and yet it exceeds your expectations at every turn.