WORDS BY ALYSSA STEVENSON, IMAGES BY WILL MILNE
Remember when there was a Subway and some less-than-memorable Tex-Mex on the corner of Oak and Locust? Yeah, we were happy to erase those things from our memory, too. Thankfully, the doors are now open at Barley and Board, the fancy, new wood-laden brewpub. The space officially opens today, Wednesday, August 12th. Read on for more.
Barley and Board comes to Denton courtesy of the same guys who brought us Lone Star Attitude on the Square with the influence of local band Midlake's front man, Eric Pulido, and Paschall Bar's Jeremy Dean. Barley and Board is both well designed, incredibly beautiful and thankfully comes with a menu that lives up to the surroundings. The tufted leather booths, hand painted murals, thoughtfully chosen light fixtures and textiled booth backs will both impart the Denton style and flair we've been hoping for and make you forget all about that sandwich shop that caused a bit of a ruckus way back when.
Starting with cocktail's, we've tried quite a few (no surprise there, as Denton is basically fueled by coffee and cocktails), and so far have yet to meet one we didn't like. The Strawberry Sour is beautifully fresh with sage and citrus tones and the Lacey is a gorgeous layered cocktail with a tequila twist that doesn't disappoint. Our favorite, however was the Honey Hole. It's flavorful without being cloyingly sweet and is a perfect after-dinner drink. Not to mention the fact that they have a great craft beer list on hand, and knowledgeable staff to go right along with it to help guide you to your perfect beverage with your order.
Speaking of orders, let's talk food. The starters are perfect for sharing. If we could recommend just one thing, we would make sure you don't leave without trying the bacon wrapped Medjool dates. These dates are stuffed full of chorizo, wrapped in bacon and served over a beautiful mellow sauce that is just perfection from top to bottom. Luckily, you don't have to stop at just one though, because to miss out on the bone marrow would be just a shame. If you're with a crowd, you can't go wrong sharing one of the cheese and charcuterie boards. We went big, with the Mother Board and enjoyed an array of prosciutto, house-made pickles, a triple cream brie, horseradish/pecan cheddar, smoked candied peaches, and some beautiful mustards and we were in no way disappointed.
While in the future you may find us at Barley and Board filling up on cheese boards and sipping on cocktails, we dare you to look over the main courses and not find something totally tantalizing. We've been a few times so far, but we have to say the dish that stood out amongst it all was the pork tenderloin. The pork was perfectly cooked, moist, and lightly smoky. It paired perfectly with the zesty citrus punched corn. We also believe the B&B burger is worth mentioning. We heard one patron harkened it to a most glorious version of a cult classic burger, with the patty being well salted and the bun being beautifully buttered.
If you're still hungry after all of this - which, we don't judge if you are - we can't recommend the panna cotta dessert enough. It is light, herbal, and soft without being runny with an almost savory hint of buttermilk. It is surrounded by stewed blackberries with basil and candied orange peel that impart just the right amount of sweetness and make for a perfectly lovely ending to the meal.
More than anything, we're pretty pumped to have another great restaurant that feels a little more "grown up" to enjoy on the square. From the service to the decor to the menu with dishes we'd drive to Dallas for, Barley and Board will not disappoint. Date night, here we come.