Atmosphere: Crowbar is a tiny space with a few tables against the far wall and the rest of the seating around the bar. We were initially told it would be at least 30min to get in as a large group had snagged all of the tables. Fortunately we persevered and went back 10 min later after realizing that others restaurant in the area (the always-packed Solvio Volpe and ever-popular Faux Bourgeois) were also at capacity and we managed to get the two bar stools facing the semi-open kitchen. In my mind, they are the best seats in the house, right next to the heater which was key on this cold winter's night, and with a prime view of the chef prepping our dishes. I was a fan of the decor as well, with spirit and champagne bottles behind the bar, and even a saber knife to open the bottles with! The super-chill vibe is great for a low-key drink and meal any night of the week.
Service: Crowbar has a small but mighty team, with just one chef in the kitchen, one bartender and a few others to do all of the other jobs. They clearly have a pretty good system worked out, as we were seated, served drinks and had food in front of us in near record time. We were asked several times how we were doing and how we were enjoying everything, and they gave us great menu suggestions. For a small crew, these guys got it together.
Food: Crowbar has a small menu that changes very frequently (often weekly) with 8-10 small plates and 2-3 larger plates, all mean to share. There is also "dealer's choice" pasta and risotto options, and we were told that the chef has ins with some of the pasta makers in the city. There is a nice mix of veg, fish and meat dishes to please just about any diner. The dishes we enjoyed were all very easy to split between the two of us.
Suffice it to say that all of the dishes we shared (6 in total) were amazing. Both the conception and the execution were spot on. It is pretty remarkable that one chef could pull all of this off solo. What talent! Here is a sneak peek, minus the delicious vegetarian winter pasta with buckwheat noodles, potato and cabbage in a creamy sauce which we dove into before snapping a picture.
"Nicky Santoro"- Cachaca, becherovka, beetroot, lime, mint bitters
Grilled endive- salsa bolzanina
Albacore tuna- cured and smoked, cucumber salad, castelvetrano
Scallop Tonnato- sweetbreads, fried capers, evoo
Salted chocolate chip cookies- chantilly cream
Crowbar far exceeded our expectations and it is certainly in the running to become on our new Friday night haunts with its super chill and casual vibe. It adds to an already great food scene, and is the perfect compliment to the more upscale Solvio Volpe and Faux Bourgeois. Crowbar's food can compete with the best of the best in Vancouver, and should not overlooked. This is a place I will definitely find myself again soon!