The first time you look up at Mason Bar, located at 2701 Guillot St., you might not even realize what you're seeing. In what looks like an old, abandoned brownstone from the outside, Mason, led by underground Chef David Anthony Temple (yeah, DAT one) is open and comfortable on the inside. Featuring rich black paneling, extremely high white ceilings, beautiful cathedral windows, high-style framed posters, colorful art and gilded mirrors, this spot screams high class.
Speaking of which, the menu at Mason Bar is certainly set up to be highbrow. Wines start at $9 per glass and zoom upward from there. Menu prices range from $4 to $17 for "snacks" and shared plates, all the way up to $24 for a Waygu Flat Iron Steak or Seared Hawaiian Walu. Locally sourced and vegetarian-friendly menu items were plentiful, and delightfully unexpected for a place with "bar" in its name.
A BBQ Siracha Pork Wing menu item made me question exactly what part of the pig was the wing, but my sparkling sense of humor was only mildly appreciated. Oh well. Accompaniments sounded as inventive as the Prohibition-era drinks one might expect at a bar manned by an ex Cedars Social 'tender: Absinthe Butter and Maker's Mark Honey Butter? I think I'm drunk already. Tchoupitoulas Bread Puddin', Gumbo and Creole Chicken & Biscuits showcase Louisiana's strong influence on the menu.
Even though Mason was very much in a soft open period when we visited, the place was full of folks eager to grab a bite or a drink -- by 6:30 pm. After hopefully working out a few kinks over the weekend, Mason's full-menu service started last night, and you should expect to see a bit of magic. I mean, if he can make pigs fly, what else might Chef DAT have up his sleeve?