Food & Drink

This bar has bacon flights, bacon lobster rolls, and bourbon aplenty

Published On 01/07/2014 Published On 01/07/2014

Imagine your dream bar, then imagine your dream bar without Kate Upton doing body shots at your table, and you'll have a good idea of what BarBacon in Hell's Kitchen is like. It's a porky strips-haven (with bourbon!) from a chef who's worked at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Danube, and The Breslin, and is making it his mission to do things with bacon that you probably wouldn't be able to do for yourself.

The name 'BarBacon' might drum up images in your head of a kitschily decorated spot with cartoon pigs and memorabilia, but this place dodges that bullet with a U-shaped bar, brick walls, menus on butcher paper, and an open kitchen.

The menu is obviously bacon-centric, but not in the way that involves just slapping bacon on things and calling it a day. Instead, they'll always rotate a bacon tasting menu that aims to highlight a handful of surprisingly distinctive meaty strips that they literally scoured the country for -- including Nueske's from Wisco, Nodine's pepper bacon, and Father's maple bacon from an actual cabin in the middle of nowhere, KY.

They're also kicking up some comfort-classics, like this buttery lobster roll topped with nugs of Nueske's and chive.

They do their bacon grilled cheese with Fontina and Gouda between Amy's Semolina with Golden Raisins and Fennel bread for a little cutting sweetness, and serve the thing with a side of roasted-tomato & eggplant soup.

Shani's BLT is named for the chef's wife, and in addition to the B,L, and T, is topped with A (avocado) and SSUE (sunny-side-up egg). Once broken, the yoke serves as a sort of sauce that "melds everything together".

All Photos: Andrew ZImmer

And since nothing goes better with bacon than the other essential B's -- bourbon and beer (sorry, boobs) -- they're loaded with enough stuff to please the connoisseur and the casual drinker alike, including Elijah Craig 21, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Lagunitas' Little Sumpin' Sumpin', and Six Point's Bengali Tiger.

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1. BarBacon 836 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (Hells Kitchen)

NYC's seen its fair share of single-item centric bars and restos but none captures the zeitgeist more than BarBacon. An ode to everything pork, you'd be remiss to go to this Hell's Kitchen spot and not try a bacon flight, a riff on the omnipresent beer sampler showcasing a selection of four artisanal cured variations on the fatty treat, or at least the bacon guac. Non-bacon options (aka a beer and wine list) are also spot on.