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F Bar - my review

VinnyRW | Feb 23, 2011 07:40 PM

This is my review of F Bar. I heard good comments about this restaurant, so gave it a try. (This is also my first review on chowhound, so feedback welcome!)

Overall assessment
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Positives: (1) very good food, (2) interesting dining room architecture, (3) lively ambiance
Negatives: (1) cramped seating, (2) some service hiccups
Price: We spent $90 for two people, before tax and tip. We had one salad, two casseroles, one beer and two glasses of wine.
Overall: For the upper-middle price point, F Bar delivers reasonable value. Comfort food, bistro style, moderate sized portions. Worth a return visit for a date or casual gathering of friends. Not ideal for a business dinner – too noisy and too cramped.

Ambiance
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Less formal than Ferreira, but equally fun environment. It was wonderful to walk into this busy restaurant on a cold winter night and see a bustling crowd. What a fun place to be hanging out - feels like you're in an all-glass hip and happening railway dining car parked on the sidewalk outside of Place des Arts. It's nice to be mingling with the crowd, but the tables were too tighly spaced in this narrow restaurant - I felt like I was hitting the person behind me all through my meal.

Food
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See attached photos. The calamari salad was very nice with green beans, arugula, tomatoes, potatoes and a zesty dressing. Calamari was tender, but I wish there was more of it in the salad. We ordered two casseroles – one with halibut seasoned with a raisin butter sherry sauce and the other with beef short ribs and clams. Both were prepared very nicely. The short ribs sauce was delightfully rich and meaty tasting, and not too salty as some meat sauces sometimes are. The ribs were braised to the point where the meat fell off the bones. The halibut was not overcooked and the fragrant sweetness of sherry-raisin sauce was a great foil against the salty-briny taste of the halibut. Nice thick cut piece of fish.

Question: do they serve casseroles year round, or only in the winter months? I am hoping they have something more seasonably suited on the menu to the summer months when the terrasse is open.

Service
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Service was friendly, but not great. The waiter forgot our order and had to come back to our table twice to refresh his memory. He also seemed to be waiting on too many tables to deliver ideal levels of service.

Other
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This must be a great place to eat during the summer festivals. Huge terrasse area. Bonus points for the cute little bar, with a busy crowd of people around the entire time we were there. Nice place to hang out. It was 11pm on a Tuesday night by the time we left and the place was still over half full.

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