After being opened for almost a year, I finally made it to Liquid Art House L.A.H. in Back Bay. A former investment banker, Ruta Laukien created a location which combined art and food in an ambitious 10,000 sq foot venture at 100 Arlington Street.
Walking through the main doors, one of the first things you are struck by is how high the ceilings are and trendily grande the space is. A huge round bar is the center point of the restaurant with an enormous, incredibly striking Chihuly-like purple glass chandelier hanging down. The back wall of the bar area is adorned with a mural of a woman, which has graffiti on saying “compared to what?” This whole space is a totally unique and quite a socially compelling concept for Boston.
We had reservations for the restaurant but as this was a quiet Wednesday it had quite a lot open seating. We decided to sit at a high-top retro looking white round table in the bar area. The kitchen is open to patrons to view. There are two dining rooms on either side of the bar area. Everything is surrounded by pieces of art, which creates an interactive experience giving you more to talk about, whether you find it appealing or not. The whole space is very avant-garde and an ultra-cool hotspot to see and be seen in.
Now to the food. As we were sat in the bar area we were offered two menus to choose from. The bar menu offers snacks, bites and dumplings, which I had already heard were very good so they were on our list to order. The restaurant menu offers heartier starters, entrées and communal roasts. Many items looked quite appealing to both myself and my friend, Stacey.
Our waiter gave us time to decide while we ordered a bottle of Idiart Sancerre to share. After much deliberation we settled on the Tuna Tartare, which is a tasty delicately chopped mild sushi grade tuna with earthy shiitake mushrooms and a sesame vinaigrette. A great way to start.
We followed the tartare with an appetizer portion of the Lamb and Semolina dumplings. By far my favorite dish of the whole evening. Shredded, juicy and tender lamb combines nicely with the briney taste of olives and sweetness of cranberries. Definitely not a combination I would think would marry well but they do.
We sat around for a while longer sipping wine and chatting about the art when a complimentary plate each of a quinoa salad joined our table. I am not sure if this is standard practice or they knew I had a blog but either way I always enjoy gifts of food. Unfortunately, the salad fell a little flat in taste and didn’t wow us as much as we wanted given how beautiful it looked on the plate.
We focused back on the menu and decided to pick another appetizer and entrée to share for our main dishes. After we ordered another complimentary dish arrived. This time a white fish, which I believe was cod. Again, sadly not our favorite. The fish was overcooked and extremely dry while the potatoes were undercooked. It did have a nice pepper sauce. As with all the dishes we had, the presentation was a work of mouth-watering art.
Our entrée(s) arrived of Faroe Island Salmon, This is a tasty dish and I do love salmon, however it was just too oily and I wasn’t a fan of the egg custard.
For our second entrée, another appetizer, we thoroughly enjoyed the duck confit. Perfectly crispy skin and rich tasting duck confit. Combining bites of duck with the sweetness of dates made this dish uniquely joyful.
Our evening ended with a sweet treat of salted caramel and macarons, both of which delighted us.
While we did not fully enjoy some of our food, we truly enjoyed our experience at L.A.H. and I do know I will be back to enjoy many of their appetizers in the future. This restaurant/gallery has a lot to offer from their wine and cocktails to fabulous dumplings and appetizers, amazing people watching and of course awe inspiring artwork.