Friday, April 5, 2013

ArtBar in East Cambridge

Ever since I started blogging, it's been incredible to "meet" so many wonderful people through social media - and to then meet them offline is always an added bonus. So, when a Twitter friend, Amanda, asked if I'd be interested in joining her for drinks and a light dinner at ArtBar earlier this week (Amanda works for the Royal Sonesta Hotel, which ArtBar is located in), I happily said yes.

We decided to sit at the bar, and our bartender John was incredibly gregarious and amusing. The atmosphere at ArtBar is classy and sophisticated, yet comfortable for a not-classy-and-unsophisticated individual like myself.

I decided to order a glass of pinot grigio, and then we ordered a bunch of appetizers to enjoy between the two of us. (ArtBar had just released their new spring menu the day before we dined there).

First up was the Local Cheese Plate ($16), as well as the Burrata with Tomato Jam ($12).

The cheese plate was served with honey, a dried cherry fruit compote, spiced almonds, and crostini. The fresh burrata normally is served with an applewood smoked bacon, but we just asked for no bacon on our's. Both dishes were simple, elegant, and clearly prepared with high quality ingredients.

Another appetizer we tried was the Sweet Potato Tots with Spicy Banana Ketchup ($8)

The sweet potato mixed with the sweet-and-spicy ketchup was an unexpected yet successful combination. I would seriously go back to ArtBar for this appetizer alone.

For my entree, Amanda recommended I get the Spring Vegetable Stew with Beluga Lentils and Polenta Croutons ($18).

While eating this stew, I commented to Amanda that this is the type of meal I could eat everyday for the rest of my life. It was incredibly well-seasoned, the vegetables and lentils were cooked perfectly, and the polenta croutons provided a necessary crunch and heartiness to the dish. 

Although we contemplated skipping dessert thanks to our full stomachs, John encouraged us to try the Cappuccino Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich with Mascarpone Ice Cream and Kahlua Caramel Sauce ($6). I mean, how can you not order that??

ArtBar's pastry chef is vegan, so she is known for her vegan desserts - but she is also known for her non-vegan desserts, and this ice cream sandwich is proof. For starters, the Kahlua caramel sauce (which bartender John recommends dunking your sandwich in - we drizzled it over the tops of our's) was served in a homemade chocolate cup. The Mascarpone ice cream was surprisingly light and wonderfully creamy, and everything combined with the cappuccino fudge brownie was ideally decadent. I'm not a big dessert person, yet I managed to eat every last bite of this one. 

Overall, we had a fantastic meal at ArtBar. I am eager to return when the weather is warmer to enjoy their outdoor patio, which overlooks the Charles River!

Have you ever been to ArtBar before? If yes, what's your review?

This meal was complimentary, but, as always, the opinions expressed in this post are honest and 100 percent my own. 

Artbar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Urbanspoon


  1. This sounds like the perfect evening! I just adore ArtBar, those sweet potato tots are some of my favorite!

  2. I love ArtBar, especially during patio season. They have such creative cocktails there, and the food is tasty! That lentil-vegetable dish you had sounds wonderful!

    1. It was really good! The leftovers were tasty, too. ;)

  3. I've actually never been to ArtBar! But I've only heard good things. I want to go now just for the cheese plate!

  4. ooh, i tried something of theirs and was totally not impressed, but now i'm drooling over that burrata and spring veggie stew!

    1. Sorry to hear you weren't impressed the first time! But the spring stew alone is worth trying, for sure.

  5. I never realized the patry chef was vegan! Those tots look sooo good!

  6. I love ArtBar! It's definitely a favorite.

  7. I'm a big fan of ArtBar, especially sitting on the patio. That ice cream sandwich needs to happen right now.