Reach a certain age – say, when “responsibility” is heard much more often than “recess” – and the dining experience changes. Neon-colored flavors in fanciful shapes are replaced with nostalgia, and the allure of food becomes more about its substance rather than its style. At Barton G., childhood whimsy meets adult palates in an invigorating setting where imagination triumphs.
At dinner, the sleek decor of this West Hollywood restaurant glows under dim lights that make the tables and surrounding plush chairs feel intimate. Flashes of sparklers and sheens of passing entrees will catch your gaze over the list of cocktails, and that’s the point: Each item on the menu has a theatrical element that draws on its ingredients. Start with the signature drink to get the idea. The Sabrinatini’s orange vodka and watermelon liqueur can be swirled with a Champagne swizzle stick made with liquid nitrogen. Bite into the accompanying chocolate monkey as the popular lobster pop tart appetizer is served from a retro toaster.
Excitement will continue at the sight of the charbroiled filet mignon, which is shadowed by an oversized fork rising from its platter. Dip truffle fries into bone marrow herb butter, and then insist on dessert. The pot pie garden features six different flavors, like pecan and banana cream pie, and is delivered in individual flower pots.
And just like your childhood-self would have guessed, it comes with a small shovel, too.
Photo courtesy of Wagstaff Worldwide.