Nosh: Liquid Art House serves up some art appreciation with its dishes

Liquid Art House. Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian
Liquid Art House. Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian

There’s a riot of pinks and reds here, and oranges and yellows there. But this eye candy isn’t part of Liquid Art House’s current art exhibit. These slashes and stabs of vibrant colors are collected on the rhubarb-rosewater custard and the “canvas of baby carrots,” respectively. Their considerable visual stimulation is equaled by the bold flavors, though: rhubarb and rose and raspberry; carrot and coconut and kale.

The artwork in this gallery and restaurant, set in a beautiful art deco building on a Back Bay intersection where six streets meet, changes every couple of months, and comes from an array of international artists. The rhubarb-rosewater custard is the work of dessert whiz Giselle Miller (Deuxave). Another sweet, coconut semifreddo, lines up cool blond elements to equal vibrant flavor effect as the red plate: lemon verbena, lime, anise, and hyssop layer the dish.

The canvas of baby carrots is chef Rachel Klein’s work. This Manhattan via Brooklyn native cut a swathe through Boston kitchens from the Seaport Hotel to the Mandarin Oriental. Among her new dishes at Liquid Art House are some proven favorites: the selection of Asian dumplings echoes Klein’s time at the late OM in Harvard Square. The wild mushroom variety with hints of chive sits in a luscious porcini cream sauce.

But it’s not all plate painting: there’s substantial whole animal roasts (book those in advance), a steak section—Klein uses Never, Ever meats raised without antibiotics, hormones, or animal by-products—with mix and match sauces and sides. Among the fish entrees, a Faroe Islands salmon with dill oil pairs baby pink fish with orange salmon roe topping bright yellow quail egg yolks forming a soft, pastel array.

Unafraid to be uptown, Back Bay and glitzy, this palatial space has soaring ceilings, a giant Gorgon-like chandelier, and a central circular bar for some liquid arts. Comfort zones include a Mod decorated siting-room with cushions and couches. Also try Jack’s mamaliga: super-creamy corn porridge with a hint of honey and piquant sheep’s cheese. Jack is Rachel’s father, but dad’s version wasn’t like this. Klein tells Metro, “We sexed it up a bit.” Something that can be said of much of the menu.

If you go
Liquid Art House
Entrees: $25-$78
100 Arlington St., Boston


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