30 September 2009

Victory lunch at Art & Soul, Washington, DC

I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but it was a victory lunch … celebrating the hiring of a new staff person who will open a Washington office for Land O'Lakes. She picked Art & Soul, and I eagerly agreed.

Art & Soul is in the ‘new’ Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel. The hotel is part of a boutique chain called Affinia. They have hotels in DC, Chicago, and New York City. I’ve never stayed at one.
The décor is flashy and cool. Lots of art, creative lighting, bold color. I’m told it’s becoming the hot new venue for political events in DC.

Jen, my new employee, ordered the fried chicken. She said it’s her favorite and a rare indulgence. I didn’t try a bite. (After all, I just hired her. I’m not going to start picking food off her plate … yet.) The menu calls it ‘Maryland style’ which I suppose refers to the breading on the chicken. It looked very good. Crisp but not at all greasy. It came with a serving of potato salad. That really looked good.

I thought the starters on the menu looked very creative. I was particularly intrigued by the tomato pie, so I ordered that. I was worried that wouldn’t be enough, so I asked about a soup. The server said they had a soup of the day that wasn’t on the menu. So I ordered that, too.

I was very happy with my choices. The soup was tomato and beef, very thick and flavorful. The server’s disclaimer was that it wasn’t a chili, and it wasn’t. As much as I enjoyed the soup, I really liked the tomato pie. The pastry was very flakey and tender. There was a layer of goat cheese on the bottom, topped by ripe, luscious red tomatoes. It was served with a small salad of exotic greens. Truthfully, it would have been enough alone without the soup.

We were starting to run out of time, but they had a peach turnover on the dessert menu, and I couldn’t resist. One order consisted of two turnovers and a scoop of ice cream. Very good.
Art & Soul is a DC eatery that I’ll be returning to on future visits.

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