Bar Q Has the Biggest (risotto) Balls in Cornwall Ontario – Restaurant Review by Jamie Gilcig

risotto ballsCFN– It’s always great to get a new eatery here in Cornwall Ontario; especially when you have a Chef that’s not afraid to be different and creative like Chef Christian Barque and his team at Bar Q which opened last week at the corner of Pitt Street and First.  (The entrance is on First Street – don’t be confused by the locked door on Pitt)

In a  way it’s a homecoming for Mr. Barque as he was part of the Fusion Grill that was previously in the space.

That’s about as close to Fusion as Bar Q gets as they did a truly lovely redesign.   Frankly the only real beef (pardon the pun) about Bar Q is that it doesn’t seat that many people and you really should call for reservations if you wish to eat there most nights.  It’s got a warm cosy feel which truly will be appreciated in the Fall and Winter not that Spring and Summer don’t work.  It’s cosy and almost cliquey as demand so far out strips space.

The menu is focused on basics done in Mr. Barque’s style.   I had the Risotto Balls ($9.00 )pictured above which had a lovely warm and comfort food feel mixed with a fusion of flavours from the sausage, chipotle sauce and tomato base.   As Stephanie the Manager shared you have to cut them and cut them again to get the full mix of flavour with each bite.

flank bar q

For my entree I chose beef flank steak with some lovely lobster and fingerling potato salad.  ($25)   Bar Q knows it’s meat as it’s basically a steak and seafood house.   As lovely and refreshing were the cold fingerling potatoes and my favorite beets; the steak was the star.   Flank steak is not the easiest meat to work with and after marinating in Truffle oil and expertly prepared it was truly worth the experience.

It was lovely seeing Rachel who used to be at Schnitzels working the floor.   Service is huge when you’re paying a premium at a restaurant and there was no shortage of staff on the floor even though the space isn’t that large.    My wait time was not terribly long and the food arrived as anticipated.

My one peeve was the wine list which I did not find terribly expansive and was disappointed that the only wine available by the glass was from Ontario (I’m not a huge Ontario wine fan) but this is more my own peccadillo than a fault of  Bar Q.

A few other tiny issues ( I wasn’t a fan of their cutlery and napkin) that all new restaurants usually go through, but for Cornwall Ontario it’s a great addition to the downtown strip that surely will be stiff competition for Table 21 and Schnitzels.

My entree and appy were $45 with tip & tax (I pay for all of my food when reviewing)  so the Bar (get it, bar 🙂 ) is set high for Bar Q.   They will have to perform as consistently  well as they did this Friday night at their price points.

Their monster steak has been raved about by esteemed local food diva Miss Steak already as well by other foodies locally.

Bar Q is open Tue – Sat: 5:00 pm – 12:00 am and for lunch Wed-Friday.

Reservations are a must (613) 935-3337.


Presentation – 3
Value 3
Service 3.5
Zing and Wow – 4
Overall – 3.5 out of 5
Glasses of Red Wine!



  1. You make me want to try it,sounds & looks scrumpdillious!!!

  2. Thank you Jamie for the most deserved comment about Chef Barque’s monster steak. It is absolutely delicious! If you are a moderate eater, then you may wish to ask for some to be taken home. My friend had their “Veal Cheeks” and said they were to die for. Marinated and slow cooked to perfection…melted in your mouth!
    I peeked through the glass door leading to their kitchen to watch
    both chefs Shane and Chris move in perfect harmony to get the dishes served up to perfection. What a team!
    The meal was complemented with a bottle of Ontario red wine which we both thought was a perfect match.
    Servers and waiters all were appropriately attired which added to the beautiful ambiance of the whole experience. I would rate it higher than you Jamie and give them 4 out of 5 glasses of wine.

  3. Author

    Miss Steak I have to give out ratings based on all restaurants; not just in Cornwall. I hope my next review of Bar Q results in higher ratings!

  4. Really enjoyed my steak but I really missed not having a baked potato. Happy to see Ontario wine being featured.

  5. glad to see there is another grill place in Cornwall. Will have to check it out. Also glad to see Ontario is featured for wine

  6. Thanks CFN for making me aware of this new restaurant in Cornwall. We have reservations for this evening to try it. Hope to be back with our group feedback soon!

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