Birch & Barley

Last night Evan took me to Birch and Barley to celebrate my birthday. I’d been dying to go for at least a month. It was amazing. We were both having trouble breathing afterward from being too full but it was a religious experience. I’ll tell you now that the photos will not do the food justice since it was almost pitch black in the place… but you’ll get the idea.
Upstairs is a bar called “Churchkeys” that has a million draft beers. They’re draft menu is literally two pages long. Fun fact: the Washington Monument is 555 feet tall = number of beers on Churchkey’s menu. I had an IPA and the bartender gave it to us for free for my birthday! Great start.
As any good restaurant should, they brought us out bread with a honey butter and spicy mustard sauces. Delicious and all very different. The round one was a garlic parmesan roll, the bread squares were fantastic but I have no idea what they were, and the last was a little pretzel round.
Hand-cut tagliatelle to split, topped with a fried squash blossom and fried green tomatoes.
Not only were the flowers above our table my favorite, but our waiter graduated from UNC in 2009. Small freakin’ world.
I ordered the honey glazed duck breast confit, with wild rice, brandied cherries and pickled radish. So rich and wonderful.
Evan had the halibut on atop a corn and marscapone mixture.
Dessert really put me over the edge. After some debate, we decided on the Cookies and Confections plate, which is their homemade version of classic treats. From left to right: almond joy, oatmeal cream pie, fudgesicle, Hostess cupcake, cereal milk ice cream, Snickers.

Our precious waiter, Eli, surprised us by bringing the fried peach pie on the house “because we were his people” and then found out it was my birthday and BOTH desserts were on the house. Talk about hospitality. This place is strong. In the back of the restaurant there are tables next to an open kitchen. I definitely want to get a seat back there next time, and take notes!


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