Art & Soul

Written by on May 30, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

How I heard of this place: My sister emailed me from California to say that a friend of hers was in town for a conference and needed some advice on where to eat dinner. I asked my friend, Stephanie, who was with me at the time, and works near the area. Art & Soul came out without a second thought, not even a pause!

Type of cuisine: “The Capitol Hill restaurant offers guests a seasonal and regionally inspired menu highlighting simple, honest food from local farms. The result of this approach is food that is straightforward and pays tribute to chefs Art Smith and Wes Morton’s southern roots and decades of Southern cooking.” Chef Art, who oversees all aspects of the restaurant, “is the soul of Art and Soul. “I grew up in a small southern town and my cuisine is certainly a reflection of my upbringing. I look forward to offering our guests a little bit of our heart and soul in all of our dishes,” said Chef Art.”

Ambiance: When General Manager, Patrick Chiappetta joined the Art and Soul team, his vision, “united with Chef Art’s and Chef Wes’, led to a redesigned menu and an upgraded culture to the restaurant. This change not only affected the what, but led all to think about the why and the how. Through his efforts, Art and Soul was awarded “Top 100 Wine Lists in the US” by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2011.” “The “art” at Art and Soul includes a series of dramatic oil portraits highlighting “liaisons in history” that helped bring people together, which line the walls in a series by American artist Randy Slack. The featured works measure six by six feet, and include iconic leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Dwight Eisenhower and more. The design of the restaurant features outdoor patio seating and built-in conversation nooks with contemporary lighting that provide an intimate and comfortable space. Sixteen-foot glass walls, and shiny red chairs that accompany square oak tables and a sleek bar, give off a modern feel of stylish urban sophistication.” Their website says it perfectly: “Just steps away from the U.S. Capitol, Art and Soul boasts an atmosphere of relaxed elegance and true southern hospitality.”

Bread & Butter

What I ordered: Without thinking, I was tempted to order one of the three fish dishes on the menu. But when Jimi reminded me that it was a southern meal we were after, we immediately went with the Fried Free Range Chicken for Two ($49)six buttermilk brined dark meat pieces of chicken, served with sides of scallion mashed potatoes, vinegary braised greens with carrots and black pepper gravy.

Fried Chicken for 2

(Later, we had two friends join in the fun and they also ordered: Duck Confit Hoecake ($12) with spring onions, rhubarb preserves, frisee, and the “Dirty Rice” ($18), a risotto of mushroom “bolognese,” garlic, parmigiano, frantoia olive oil.)  For dessert, Jimi and I shared the Art & Soul Baby Cakes ($8) for bite-sized cakes in various flavors: red velvet cake with marzipan mousse, dark chocolate cupcake with rich chocolate ganache frosting, topped with a dried banana chip, a mini chocolate-fresh mint cheesecake, a lemon mereinge topped cupcake and a caramel banana bread topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.


What I loved: The fried chicken. By a long shot. The crispy exterior, extremely juicy interior made me forget my phobia of eating chicken straight off the bone!

Fried Chicken!

Why I loved it: Delicious! A swanky setting, complete with mesh curtains between the bar and the dining room, combined with true comfort food roots cannot be beat!

Cost: Average to high ($18-$39 per dinner entree)

Be Sociable, Share!


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *