First Look at Barbarian With a 6-Course Menu

The steak tartare hosts an entire forest of flavors, with microgreens and mini mushrooms popping up from the patty.

Writer: Karla Walsh

Pretzels and wings are perfect for a casual afternoon of beer and conversation with friends. But imagine a brewery where you’re greeted with an amuse-bouche orb of white chocolate filled with fruit juice and a kick of chili pepper. After popping that bite, you spot dishes on the menu that sound simple but are far from it.

Chef Jacob Demars’ take on “brewery food” is totally different from anything you may have eaten near any large metal fermentation tanks – and different from anything I’ve ever seen served in Waukee. This unique experience can now be yours on Sunday nights at Kinship Brewing Co., 255 N.W. Sunrise Drive, where Barbarian Restaurant debuted on Jan. 15.

My friends and I dove into the six-course chef’s tasting menu ($75). Beyond the amuse-bouch, we were most surprised and delighted by:

  Drink variety. You can pair your Barbarian fare with a Kinship beer, cocktail, spirit-free mixed drink (try the Nojito) or glass of wine, like the Spanish red La Traca Bobal (our table’s favorite).

 

  Nostalgia. If you ever had a chance to dine at Demars’ R I Restaurant in Windsor Heights, you’ll recall dishes like risotto carbonara, Cape Ann baked stuffed clams and a playful apple dessert that looks like a Red Delicious but is actually vanilla custard that’s encased in white chocolate and tastes like apple pie.

 

  DetailsThe plating is eye-catching, as you can see on Instagram @barbarianrestaurant, but the garnishes aren’t just for looks. The microgreens, itty-bitty pickled beech mushrooms and swooshes of sauce elevate the flavors. Case in point: the Brussels sprouts and beets, with carrot ribbons, a barely-there-but-beautiful orange-peel puree and a white chocolate mousse.

 

  Value. The kitchen may dial in the portion sizes and pricing as business ramps up, but with three small plates, a light soup, an entree and a dessert at $75 (compared with $23-$30 for a single entree), the chef’s tasting is certainly the way to go if you take your appetite and sense of adventure.


Barbarian Restaurant is open Sundays at Kinship Brewing Co. Tables are booked for the next few weeks, but keep an eye onResy for any cancellations. March tables will be released soon.

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