Kieran Kearns is the chef behind the new menu at The Charles Bar, The Dover Arms Pub and Colony – all owned by local entertainment company Blueprint. He has created a new style of menu, something that incorporates casual bar bites with more elaborate, heartier dishes. He’s also passionate about local and organic ingredients.
Another thing Chef Kearns is passionate about is food parings. You’ll be seeing a lot of those at The Charles Bar in the coming months. Speaking of pairings, let me introduce you to The Beer Pickles ($7.50) these beer battered pickle spears, are tangy and savoury and go perfect with a cold beer. The pickles come with a lemon dill yogurt dip and they’re perfect for sharing.
Let’s start with the casual bites first: this fall The Charles Bar is debuting a Pork Belly Flatbread ($13.25). The crispy crust is the perfect canvas for this flatbread that features slow roasted shredded pork belly (felt more like plain pulled pork and not pork belly, just the same, it was delicious), smoked mozzarella, pan seared corn, pickled red onions, shaved scallions, shaved jalapeños in a chipotle cilantro yogurt. This is another good dish for sharing.
Looking for something a bit heartier? Try the Pistachio Crusted Chicken Parmesan ($17.00) This fresh take on an old Italian favourite, The chicken has a sun dried tomato and pistachio crush, which keeps the chicken moist and juicy. The chicken is then topped with shaved Grana Padano cheese; but the real winner was the tomato sauce made with certified San Marzano tomatoes. The sauce had a sweetness that only comes from those tomatoes, and it was delicious. it’s served with roasted garlic potatoes and awesome beets. So good.
Another new menu item that it’s sure to delight dinners at The Charles Bar this fall are the Bourbon BBQ Half Ribs ($15.50). These are the same ribs that earned The Charles bar the runner up spot at this year’s Gastown BBQ and Chili Festival. A lot of customers have been asking for the ribs since then, so for Chef Kearns it was a no brainer to add them to this season’s menu. The ribs are tangy, tender and are paired with a sesame cilantro slaw, house-made hickory sticks and fresh cut Kennebec fries. This dish definitely raises the bar in gastropub dining.
For dessert, there’s the Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse ($7.00) – a mousse so creamy and delectable that it’s only made better with a graham crust and drizzled with caramel chai sauce.
No need to skip dessert if you’re on a gluten-free diet. The Charles Bar is featuring a Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie ($6.00).
You can try any of these items at all three establishments. Follow The Charles Bar on Twitter: @TheCharlesBar