Art And Soul Opens Today

Pecan crust chicken with creamed spinach and wassail sauce at Art and Soul

My new nominee for greatest bar snack in the city? Art and Soul restaurant, which opens today on Capitol Hill. This Southerner's heart went pitter-patter when I read that the restaurant's bar will offer boiled peanuts and pork cracklins as bar snacks. I love boiled peanuts.

The restaurant, located in the new Liaison Capitol Hill hotel, is the latest project from James Beard award winning chef Art Smith, best known for Table Fifty-Two in Chicago and his former role as Oprah's personal chef.

Maryland native Ryan Morgan, who was most recently executive sous chef at TenPenh, will oversee the kitchen. His mid-Atlantic upbringing combined with Smith's Southern roots shaped the menu. Dishes include the pecan crust chicken, pictured above, Smithfield ham-wrapped rockfish with crab risotto and brown butter sauce, and lamb chops served with charred poached pears and a mint julep sauce.

The wine list emphasizes organic and biodynamic choices with 20 offerings by the glass.

And to go with my boiled peanuts? The bar's signature “Put-Up” martini, a reference to “putting up” or preserving ingredients for the winter. Organic Purus Vodka and dry vermouth are accompanied by house-made “put-ups” like pickled baby carrots, beets, okra, Gibson onions, quail eggs, pimento cheese stuffed olives and watermelon rinds.

Art and Soul
415 New Jersey Ave. NW
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner