Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The late Private Social will open on December 11 as Barter
Co-owner Patrick Halbert says you won't recognize it.
DALLAS There's been little time to lament the closing of Private Social/PS in Uptown Dallas. Since shuttering the restaurant in July, brothers and co-owners Patrick and Michael Halbert have gutted the space and rebranded it as Barter, which they describe as a “more approachable” restaurant that focuses on Dallas cuisine.
Barter is slated to begin dinner service Wednesday, December 11.
“We represent Dallas by showing how diverse the community actually is, how the food scene actually is developing,” Patrick said by phone recently.
That includes “go-to American items” like cheeseburgers, sandwiches and steaks, as well as fresh takes on old classics, he said. Prime examples include Barter’s fried bologna sandwich, which is served on Texas toast with sour pickles and chips, and the chili soft-shell crab fajitas.
The Halberts consulted with celebrity chef Tim Love to devise the menu, and his touch can be seen in items like the wild boar ribs with homemade barbecue sauce and a variety of in-house sausages.
And now a word about the restaurant name: Tenderloin, ribeye and New York strip steaks come with the option to “barter by the ounce,” meaning patrons can choose the size they want, with a minimum four ounces for tenderloin and eight ounces for ribeye and strip. Guests do not actually barter for the meat, but Patrick said the idea is to embrace Dallas’ history as a trading post while offering a customizable meal.
That history also acts as the theme of Barter. The 5,200 square feet of restaurant was redesigned with wood and rustic-looking metal, Einstein light bulbs and 19th century photographs of Dallas from the Dallas Public Library. The Halberts added a cork floor and an exposed brick wall, which changed the layout and flow of the space. The restaurant now has an indoor/outdoor bar. Even the front door is in a new place.
Perhaps the most drastic difference between Private Social and Barter is the price of dishes. The majority of the food is now under $15, with the exception of entrees like the red snapper ($26), lamb chops ($29) and chicken thighs ($22). Steak by the ounce is available at market price. Patrick’s hope is this will make Barter more approachable and attract a larger volume of hungry patrons.
One thing that hasn’t changed is local mixologist Rocco Milano’s presence behind the bar. Barter offers more than 60 wines, 20 beers and spirit flights, as well as four craft cocktails on draft. Additionally, the restaurant designates a cocktail “Book of the Month” from which bartenders spotlight classic drinks to “experience what other people were doing at other times and other places,” Patrick said.
This month, they are pulling recipes from The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury, published in 1948. Book cocktails run $9 apiece (see full menu below). Other specialty cocktails range from $9-12 each.
The restaurant is open from 5-10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 5-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Barter is closed Sundays for now. The owners hope to open for lunch and Sunday brunch in about a month.Follow @tineywristwatch
See more stories in:
- Mysterious restaurant called Remedy to open on Greenville Avenue
- Theater review: We Will Rock You will blow your mind, and your speakers
- OMG: Adam Lambert and Queen will rock Dallas, together, in July
- Theater review: The [Expletive] with the Hat is masterful and funny, wise and appalling
- Review: Queen musical We Will Rock You has just the right camp and swagger