Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Cook and the Bear in West Hartford

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We finally made it! The Cook and The Bear is one restaurant I had been waiting and waiting to have an opportunity to visit. I loved the origins of this great collaboration between Millwright's chef and owner Tyler Anderson and the talented Jamie McDonald of Bear's Smokehouse. 

The Cook and The Bear - Table Setting
Made on Premise BBQ sauces
served in cute lil' honey bears

The duo first came together at a farm to table dinner, and then paired up in a series of pop up dinners. The sheer popularity of these dinners demanded a permanent pairing, and hence, the inception of "The Cook and The Bear" resulted in a win win!

Small and cozy and located in the heart of West Hartford's popular Blue Back Square, the Cook and the Bear continues to win over the locals and offers up a casual barbecue menu in a fun setting. 

Fresh Pickling Going' On!

Patrons order off a cute clipboard menu that features small bites, salads, sandwiches, snacks, entrees after 5pm, and smoked meats, sides, and combos.

The Cook and the Bear Clipboard Menu
The Cook and the Bear Clipboard Menu

A small but satisfying beer, wine, and cocktail menu is also available that features some fabulous specials!

So many of the cocktails at The Cook and The Bear are made with fresh ingredients. The marinated cherries served in many of the drinks are marinated on premise in bourbon and are incredibly delicious! So good that I thought they were made of chocolate!

Drinks at the Cook and the Bear
Drinks at the Cook and the Bear
(Left) Draft Beer.   (Right) 90s 2.0 Appletini 

Wendy from CT Lifestyles and I shared this fun cocktail found below - the Tom Selleck! It was fruity-juicy, potent, and oh so tasty! And it was served up in a fresh scooped out pineapple. 

Another great thing about their cocktail menu is that there are 'mocktails' available of several of their offerings - for those that want the flavor but not the 'punch'!

After sipping on some cocktails we moved on to our appetizers and starters enjoying everything we sampled! A simply MUST ORDER when you visit are the bacon wrapped dates! 

The Cook and The Bear Grilled Corn
Grilled Corn, parmesan, poblano

The Cook and The Bear Bacon Wrapped Dates
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Chorizo Stuffed - Spiced Yogurt 

The Cook and The Bear Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
Everything Bagel Spice

The Cook and The Bear Pork Rillette and Fried Green Tomatoes
Crispy Pork Rillette - Fried Green Tomato
Sauce Choron

The Cook and The Bear Burnt End Sliders
Burnt End Sliders
Flavors of French Onion Soup 

The Cook and The Bear Chicken Wings
Charcoal Roasted Chicken Wings
Sesame Seeds - Buttermilk Dressing

Believe it or not - after sharing all those starters we found a little bit of room to move on to some smoked meats and proteins. We sampled some delicious thick cut pastrami, chicken, short ribs, and briskets.

The Cook and The Smoked Meats
Chicken-Smoked and Grilled
Smoked Brisket

Did someone say BURGER??? 

The Cook and The Bear Rodeo Burger
The Rodeo Burger
Wagu Beef - Cheesy Sauce - Onion Rings

And accompanying our proteins we ordered an assortment of sides. 

Traditional in their origins, but each had such an interesting twist. Wonderful flavors to add to our meal! Mac and Cheese Gratin, Broccoli Casserole with Rodeo Cheese and Crispy Shallots, Cabbage and Fennel Slaw, and Grits with Fennel Jam. 

Hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to it would be that amazing Broccoli Casserole!

Well, our dinner wouldn't be complete without dessert, and The Cook and The Bear rose to the occasion with some seasonal happy endings! 

Think of flavors like pumpkin pie, and apple spice, and you've got  just a bit of an inkling of what's in store for you at this incredible new barbecue restaurant!

Be sure you visit The Cook and the Bear soon!

The Cook and The Bear

50 Memorial Road
Blue Back Square
West Hartford, CT

DISCLAIMER: We were invited to this sampling by members of The Cook and the bear's management and marketing team, however, all views and opinions are our own.

© Home Place 2017


  1. Great photos, looks delicious!

  2. Thank you Jessica! Everything was so good and we are so excited to watch Chef Anderson compete on Top Chef this year!


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