It looks like a dim French bar — reclaimed wood floors, tufted green banquettes, Venetian plastered walls, and marble tabletops. You expect oysters, moules, and other Franco foods on the menu.
But Bar Poulet, now open at the former Tria Taproom just off 20th and Walnut Streets, is focused on comfort food and champagne — specifically, buckets of fried chicken served beside buckets of bubbly.
The pairing, available for dine-in and takeout, is more than ironic, says Tria’s Jon Myerow, who is behind Bar Poulet with business partner Dave Kwass. Champagne’s acidity makes it a palate-cleanser, and the bubbles cut through rich, heavy foods such as fried chicken and — something you must try — the cauliflower gratin.
Myerow and Kwass retained Karen Regan of Tallulah & Bird to redo the room, which had won a James Beard Award in 2014 for David Whipple and Joshua Otto’s work on the sleek, more minimal Tria Taproom.
They also brought in chef Art Cavaliere, the chef’s chef (and alum of Parc and El Vez) behind two restaurants in East Falls — In Riva (pizza) and Foghorn (fried chicken).
Besides the buckets of chicken pieces, Cavaliere’s offerings include a juicy Vadouvan-spiced, organic crispy chicken sandwich with French onion dip and pickles Provençal on a milk-bread bun and a vegetarian version that subs chicken-fried portobello and maitake mushrooms for the poultry. Myerow contributed the name for Chicken and the Egg, which are chicken tenders topped with a fried egg and “beer-naise” sauce.
Bar, which retained Tria Taproom’s tap system, is stocked with French cocktails and wines. There are a few tables for sidewalk dining out front.
Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.