The sprawling McKinney Avenue space that once housed Private Social is coming to life once more as Barter, and while the glitz and glam that once occupied the dining room has been replaced by a much more rustic look, a couple things remain the same: Namely, the ownership (brothers Michael and Patrick Halbert) and a top-notch bar courtesy of cocktail maestro Rocco Milano. (The restaurant was originally slated to open tonight, but has been delayed to later this week due to Icepocalypse 2013.)
The space oozes pork, whiskey and masculinity, sporting "Eat More Bacon" pillows, a big ol' Texas flag on the wall, and plenty of rustic, reclaimed wood. Stay tuned for a closer look at Barter's interior, but for now, feast your eyes on the menu: Consulting chef Tim Love's influence is clearly evident with dishes like wild boar ribs and steaks sold by the ounce, and there's plenty of unusual-sounding items like carrot "home fries," tempura bucatini with guanciale and chocolate-habanero-carrot bread pudding. (The kitchen will be run day-to-day by executive chef Andrew Dilda.)
The cocktail lineup looks as impressive as any serious cocktail fan would expect from Mr. Milano, with unusual ingredients like Cointreau Noir and St. George Terroir Gin; there's a small selection of draft cocktails, plus a "Bartender's Choice" option where patrons relay their preferences and get a custom beverage mixed just for them.
Note: This is a working draft of the menu; actual opening menu is subject to changes.