Wednesday, January 30, 2013

winter at ArtBar

| 1 | Botany Bay, square one, drambuie, amargo bitters, elemakule tiki bitters, grapefruit 
| 2 | All Natural Meatballs, harissa tomato sauce, stone ground polenta, crumbled feta 
| 3 | Winter Froth, spiced rum, egg white, ginger simple, lemon, balsamic vinegar
| 4 | Lentil Fritters, curried mushroom ragu, tzatiki  
| 5 | Rocket Greens, golden raisins, whipped ricotta, pine nut brittle
| 6 | Charred Octopus, chorizo vinaigrette, butterscotch beans, spiced carrot puree 

| 7 |  Winter Vegetable Stew, roasted farro, butternut squash, pesto aioli 
| 8 | #5, house espresso-infused bourbon, amaretto, campari, mole bitters 
| 9 | Georges Bank Scallops, roasted beets, quinoa and bacon salad  
| 10 | Duck Breast, confit of duck leg ragu, sweet potato gnocchi, pomegranate, red chilli jus 
| 11 | Tom & Jerry, coronet brandy, egg, demerara, nutmeg, spiced rum, steamed milk 
| 12 | Moroccan Bastilla, saffron ice Cream, honey winter spice flower water
| 13 | Due Cheese and Cranberry Strudel, fall fruit compote and pomegranate coulis

The other night, I got to sample the new winter menu at ArtBar. The bar program here is outstanding and the food really something special. Between the two of us, Amanda and I drank six excellent and interesting cocktails, and still there are so many more that looked appealing. The use of balsamic vinegar in the Winter Froth ($11) was pretty fantastic, giving a tart zing to contrasting ingredients of egg white and spiced rum.  Another gem proves to be the #5 ($11) where an awesome espresso infused bourbon blends with campari and amarretto for equally bitter, sweet and nutty flavors. 

The chef sent out his favorite dishes and after eating our way through 10 or so plates, nearly ever single one I would order again. The cast iron skillet of Meatballs ($10) were a highlight among the starters, flavorful and moist with hearty polenta and thick cubes of tangy feta cheese. The Charred Octopus ($13) was also particularly tasty. The Winter Vegetable Stew ($18) and Seared Scallops ($27) alike were outstanding, the former boasting chewy farro and impossibly tender butternut squash drizzled in a creamy pesto aioli, the latter nicely seared and complimenting golden beets and plump pearls of quinoa. The Duck Breast ($25) and accompanying confit ragu were both perfectly executed, the entire dish comes together really well with the chewy sweet potato gnocci and juicy pomegranate. As far as desserts are concerned, pick the Strudel! Overall though, it was all about the the preceding repertoire of drinks and hearty entrees that stood out at ArtBar on this freezing winter evening.

*this tasting was complimentary, all opinions are my own 


  1. omgosh so much good food! those meatballs- yum!

  2. I am such a fan of ArtBar. I think they have done an amazing job of making it more than a hotel stopover. I cannot wait to taste the new menu!

  3. Did you just LOVE the Tom & Jerry?! We got to try one before Elizabeth left and I fell in love.

  4. Despite only living about 10 minutes away from ArtBar, I have still never been there. I've always heard great things, though! Their cocktails alone look incredible.

  5. I love ArtBar! I need to get back there.

  6. Lovely! I still can't believe I haven't been yet. Looking at your photos, I realize that that's really a shame.

  7. It has been way too long since I've been to ArtBar. I definitely never think to go in the winter...but you've motivated me!

  8. hmmm, i tried something of theirs at the food fest, but wasn't impressed. this makes me want to give it a fair shot! that winter froth looks wonderful, as do those meatballs :)

  9. The Winter Froth sounds amazing, and all the new winter menu items look so good!

  10. Wow, everything looks amazing! I'd love to try the winter froth!

  11. The ArtBar's creative execution of amazing foods is matched by your delicious photographs and your enticing synopsis! This is a must do!

  12. I love that ArtBar has seasonal menus - this is a great review... and I'm especially intrigued by the lentil fritters!

  13. I just went to ArtBar for the first time a few weeks ago and although I didnt think much of the atmosphere. Very quiet and no people, I absolutely loved the food. This new menu looks great - especially the Charred Octopus and meatballs.