Marc’s GChat Status Expanded

The Best Dinner of My Life

I love Restaurant Week for obvious reasons.  It gives everyone an opportunity to eat at some of the best restaurants in DC for a set price of $35.  Expensive?  I guess, but absolutely 100% well worth it no matter where you go.  The restaurants don’t serve the cheapest and worst things on the menu.  Most if not all roll out the red carpet because they want to be the place you call on those occasions where a nice dinner is in order.

Last night I went to Art and Soul with my friends Amanda, Jason, and Jackie.  Art and Soul was opened by Chef Art Smith, who recently appeared on Top Chef Masters and was Oprah’s personal chef.  According to the website;

The menu is a blend of Chef Art’s cooking heritage – Southern roots and decades of southern cooking

The meal was absolutely amazing. To begin the meal, the waiter brings out “skillet bread” which is exactly what it sounds like, bread cooked in a skillet. It was some of the best bread I have ever had. It tasted like a biscuit but had the texture and feel of a croissant.

In between bread and our “beginners” we all decided to try some of the restaurant’s cocktails. They are radically different than what you would find at a normal restaurant; with many inspired by the southern roots of the restaurant. I went with the Blackberry Mojito, which was incredible. My friend Jason got the Country Kool-Aid, which is pretty much what it sounds like (except no actual Kool-Aid makes its way into the drink). Jackie and Amanda got something called the “Pinky Swear.” I would never order that drink because I don’t think I could live with myself, but if you like cocktails with a wine base then you would like this. The coolest part about the cocktails is the copious amount of fruit that they include in the glasses, which also happen to be jars with handles (happy Jackie?).

As a “beginner” I opted for the Country Caesar Salad (grilled romaine hearts, shaved parmesan, croutons), minus the anchovies on the side. I’m not usually one to finish off a salad when I go out to eat, but I devoured this one. The dressing was perfect, and they give you half a heart of lettuce that you chop up yourself before beginning to eat. The salad also includes a deviled egg on the side that was exceptionally good.

The “middle” (read: entree) might have been the best part of the meal. I had the Chicken, which included a goat cheese dropped biscuit, roasted vegetables, and chicken gravy. I am not lying when I say this was the best entree I have ever had (excluding steak from a steak house, which I put in its own category). The chicken was cooked perfectly (on the bone, even better) and the gravy was the best I have ever tasted. I think I might kidnap Art and force him to make goat cheese dropped biscuits for me every day from now to eternity. Jackie got the Ravioloi with seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs, and a butter sauce of some sort. Without a doubt the best ravioli I have ever had (are you noticing a trend here?). Jason rounded off the entrees with the Country Pork Chop with charred stone fruit relish, and a sweet onion broth. Pork Chop isn’t my favorite but I would have finished his if I had ordered it. We also shared a side of buttermilk mashed potatoes, which blended perfectly with the chicken and the gravy.

The meal ended with dessert, and all four of us got the chocolate cheese cake with chocolate sauce. Not a whole lot of explanation of the dessert is required, and it was also very good.

I laid in bed last night in a food coma daze until I went to sleep. I loved this meal. As I mentioned earlier, I put dinner at steak houses in a different category by themselves, and because of that last night’s dinner at Art and Soul was the best I have ever had. I’m searching my calendar for upcoming events that may allow me to revisit the restaurant with family and friends (Labor Day? Arbor Day? Yom Kippur celebration at Art and Soul? That one might be tough). If you happen to be going to the restaurant, I will pay you for an invite. I can’t wait to go back.


August 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. What did amanda eat? and why did you leave that part out?

    Comment by Uptin | August 26, 2009

  2. She had the chicken, same as me.

    Comment by marcsgchat | August 26, 2009

  3. Come visit me in the South if you want reas Southern food. When are the fun posts coming back?

    Comment by Ross | August 26, 2009

  4. When I have something fun to write about. Any suggestions?

    Comment by marcsgchat | August 26, 2009

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