WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — This week on Restaurant Road Trip, Chef Plum is taking you on a culinary adventure to West Hartford, CT. The Cook & The Bear is a chef inspired BBQ restaurant nestled in Blue Back Square.
The new West Hartford hot spot is the brainchild of James Beard Award-Winning Chef, Tyler Anderson, and BBQ Pitmaster, Jamie “The Bear” McDonald of Bear’s Smokehouse. Chef Anderson explains the menu:
Half of it is vegetarian actually, and 85% of the menu is gluten free. We do a chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon from the smoker.
Beyond the unique cuisine, the bar is stocked with a wide selection of bourbons:
So as you can see, like half this restaurant was built to be a bar. So when you come in you sort of make a decision: Am I drinking, or eating or doing both? But we wanted this to feel like fun, late-night. We have a great head “Cocktologist”, I call him.
Chef Plum and Chef Anderson went back into the kitchen:
We didn’t want this to be a fancy restaurant and have fancy things. We wanted people to be able to come in and afford it. Obviously we sell a lot of Mac n’ Cheese, ’cause its a barbecue restaurant. Three cheese Mac n’ Cheese, with like a garlic crumble. This comes in from a whole hog. This is from a farm like 15 miles away.
I wanted to do something where you eat with your hands, where you sit-down, where its loud, where its casual, where its messy… and where its just fun. And this is that.
Be sure to support the local businesses who make this show happen: Ergo Chef Knives, Asylum Distillery, and the CT Chef’s Challenge to benefit Optimus Healthcare. Do you have an idea for a place for us to visit on ‘Restaurant Road Trip?’ Visit us on Facebook to let us know, tweet Chef Plum, or email us.