Small and intimate should never be mistaken for underwhelming and a.kitchen&bar is proof. The lower case letters of its name are hardly an accident. If anything, they display a cool confidence in the quality of the food without the arrogance and fatal mistake of overly complicated menus and techniques which plague so many other restaurants. On separate visits we enjoyed :
― eggplant cutlet sandwich with basil mayonnaise and ricotta
― seared albacore tuna with new potatoes and clam vinaigrette
― smoked onion soup
― white bean hummus with duck confit and preserved lemon
Chef de Cuisine Jon Nodler could be accused of flying too close to the sun when it comes to serving eggplant, a vegetable that is rarely prepared well in most restaurants. As a result, its delicate flavors and texture are woefully under appreciated. Nodler easily succeeds where others fail as the eggplant cutlet sandwich is nothing short of fantastic, and is well paired with the smoked onion soup as a starter. The surprises hardly end there. The signature cocktails, “a.mericano” and “ashes to ashes” are knockouts, cocktails that are so perfectly prepared and served, a.bar could easily rest its laurels on them and them alone. The former is made with Cocchi Torino, aperol, angostura, and soda; the latter, with Fernet Branca, and the holy trinity of palate pleasers, i.e., honey, lemon and ginger. The service, from the moment you walk in, is impeccable.