At the center of every table at El Pilon Restaurant stands a mortar and pestle, an homage to the Dominican culinary tradition of grinding fresh herbs and spices. Customers cluster around these tables to enjoy a menu of traditional Dominican cuisine made with fresh vegetables and meats. The kitchen crew grills fish such as red snapper and pollock or simmers it in coconut sauce as they fry pork chops alongside steak or chicken. Cauldrons filled with traditional stews alternate ingredients depending on the day. Some days, dishes include oxtail or goat, and other days spare ribs and chicken fill pots. Customers may bring their own adult beverages to pair with their meal or to bribe other tables for their leftovers.
The minimalist eatery holds about 10 two-top tables, plus room at the mosaic counter for five diners. The earth tones of the countertop tiles reflect the bronze tin-stamped ceiling and the stone accented wall that supports a flat-screen television and fireplace. On a chalkboard above the counter, a welcome message does double duty, greeting diners and demonstrating the proper way to write a cursive W.