By the time we arrived at 5:55 on a Friday evening in May, the line wrapped around the corner and the door had not even opened yet. Lucky for us, our friends arrived at 5:45 and had secured a place. We were seated at the communal table which we shared with 4 others, but that was not a problem--we were happy to have made it in (no reservations accepted). The menu offers small plates and the suggestion is to order 3 plates per person to be satisfied. Since there were 10 regular menu items and 2 specials, we ordered the entire menu and split each item four ways. We enjoyed every dish, but the standouts were the scallops, pork belly (of course) and lamb rib eye. The scallops were served with brussel sprouts, roasted peanuts and grapefruit—an unusual but perfect combination. The pork belly was well executed, served with zucchini, pine nuts and nicoise olives. The lamb was accompanied by green tomato, fried chickpea cake and mushrooms. The menu has changed since my visit (seasonal ingredients are king) but be assured you will find an incarnation of the lamb as well as other stellar items not mentioned. The service was attentive yet relaxed--nothing stuffy going on here. The beer menu is extensive as one would imagine from the name barley. We had no room for dessert, but felt perfectly comfortable and well fed--sounds like a good excuse for a second visit. Barley Swine is easily the best restaurant in Austin right now, confirming all the accolades being bestowed upon Bryce Gilmore. (Cathy)
The love of food and how it can bring people together led to the creation of this blog. As a mother of two grown boys, who have left the nest and occasionally return, I noticed a common occurrence-- there is usually someone at home who is hungry.
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