I think I might be a little behind on keeping up with blog stuff…whoops! With Josh starting back at school and adjusting our schedules, I have been kind of out of it lately. Just when we get in a routine and I feel like we have it all together, something seems to change again. That’s just life, right?!
For Josh’s birthday (yes, that was over a month ago), we finally had the chance to have dinner at Service Bar. It’s been on my expansive list of places to eat for quite awhile now and for whatever reason, we kept not going. And after eating there, I am very sad we waited so long to try it out! It is most definitely our new favorite restaurant.
Service Bar is the restaurant at Middle West Spirits distillery. As soon as we walked in, I knew I loved it- the decor, the large mirrored bar on the back wall, the cozy booths and tables set up close to one another for enjoying each other’s company. The chef, we learned while looking over the menus, is inspired by his midwestern upbringing and his Bangladeshi roots resulting (in my opinion) Ah.Maz.Ing food. I really enjoyed that Service Bar has a standard menu that usually stays the same, while also offering a “Secret Kitchen Menu” which changes as the chef decides. Even though everything on the standard menu sounded amazing, we ended up ordering from the secret menu because that’s just way more fun!
For an appetizer, we ordered the pull apart garlic bread with radish spread. I was very surprised how much I actually loved something that sounded so simple. It was a flavor bomb. The bread had a nice crunch on the outside, but was so soft on the inside. The radish spread was light and creamy and paired so well with the garlic flavor.
We had eaten our appetizer and were enjoying our drinks while our main courses were being prepared. We kind of noticed it seemed to be taking a while, but we were there on a Friday night at 6 pm, so I didn’t really think anything much about it. We were certainly in no rush. Our waiter was so kind and apparently felt bad because he offered to bring us a cheesy brisket crunch while we waited. We were definitely not turning that offer down! Let me just tell you, it was everything I have ever wanted a Taco Bell cheesy gordita crunch to be and beyond. What made it so good was that it had a crispy corn tortilla wrapped in Indian fry bread. And that was then filled with house made queso, crispy lettuce, tender smoked brisket, and smoked cheddar cheese. I have been ruined to Taco Bell and will only be able to eat Service Bar’s cheesy brisket crunch from now on. We ate it so fast, I didn’t even think to take a picture.
Josh ordered the shrimp and grits for his main course. Don’t be fooled into thinking it was anything ordinary, though. The shrimp and grits was actually a tiger prawn Malai Curry, saffron coconut rice grits, crispy taro beresta, and panch phoron pickled eggplant. It was so much better than I’ll ever be able to describe. The best part of the whole dish was the eggplant. It melted in my mouth and had the most delectable flavor.
I ordered the hand cut noodles- Old Beijing Zha Jiang noodles with pork cheek, cucumber, and long bean. The vegetables were the perfect crunchy complement to the tender pork cheek and chewy, delicious noodles. I’m a sucker for noodles every time. And I’ve yet to be disappointed.
For dessert, we had the chocolate cake. It was an adorable miniature cake the perfect size for two people. And we got to decorate it ourselves! We were given individual cups with icing, raspberry sauce, and fried cocoa nibs, so we could put the cake together however we wanted. The cake was moist and had a wonderful chocolate flavor which paired well with the sweet of the icing and the tartness of the fruit. And the cocoa nibs added a great texture and crunch. It was such a fun way to end our experience at Service Bar!
We are both already looking forward to the next special occasion we have to celebrate at Service Bar!
PS- this is, as always, all just my opinion!