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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven

Mon–Tue 5:00pm–11:30pm
Wed–Thu 11:30am–2:30pm
Wed–Thu 5:00pm–11:30pm
Fri–Sat 11:30am–midnight
Sun 11:30am–11:30pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx


Chapel District
254 Crown St.
New Haven, CT
(203) 495-8924
Bar (Brü Room)
Craft beer, top-echelon thin-crust pizza, and ever-irritating service that can’t stop us from loving it

Our position may be controversial, but we won’t beat around the bush, and we won’t apologize for it: the New Haven Pizza Triumvirate needs to expand to include a fourth. Bar is every bit in the same league as Frank Pepe and Sally’s—and it’s better than Modern.

Back in the day, Pepe’s and Sally’s crusts were considered thin. Now, even your mom makes thin-crust pizza, but Bar takes it to the next level. The crust is so delicate that it’s almost invisible, the tomatoes are fresh, and the balance is superb. The white pizza with mashed potato, bacon, and extra garlic is an absolute hoot, one of the first New Haven foods we feed our visitors from afar. You can’t knock it unless you’ve tried it. We also love the spinach-and-bacon and sausage-and-hot-pepper pies.

Prices are reasonable, so why not start with Bar’s classic New American formula salad (greens, sliced pears, caramelized pecans, crumbled blue cheese, and a light vinaigrette—works like a charm), and get a pitcher of microbrewed Pale Ale, a hoppy American classic. Seasonal beers are great, too; the brewmaster here is a genius, a true beer nerd who has been known to lead beer tours of England.

There seems to be a hard-and-fast rule that great New Haven pizza comes with snotty and indifferent service. Bar is no exception, but its approach is different, anyway: instead of charmingly salty old servers, your fate is placed in the hands of a gaggle of self-important hostesses who seem to seat cute guys they know first, intimidating thugs second, and (unless you’re in one of the first two groups) you, after an hour or two.

On weekends, you can throw velvet-rope cover-charge preposterousness into the mix, too (the adjoining club has a crawling pick-up scene). It’s all a recipe for ruining your night before it’s even begun. However, if there’s a long wait, you can always order a pie at the counter and enter the anarchic self-service fray of the bar room, which is preferable, at least, to dealing with that bitchy front of the house. Do keep in mind, however, that Bar pizza has a very short half-life in cool air, so don’t bother with the after-hours slices that are sitting there, asymptoting.

In spite of all this, once you’re seated, Bar has an enjoyable post-hip vibe. The place has long ago graduated into an age when the microbrewery concept is no longer novel, an age when exposed brick and steel pipes are no longer the revelation they were in the early ‘90s. But Bar still wears them well. Now if only they’d start treating their customers like human beings. That principle should be timeless.

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