| 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