As one of W. Sixth's newest eateries, Arro serves up delightfully artistic French cuisine.
By Sara Benner
Walking up to the converted warehouse-style restaurant on W. Sixth St., I began to feel nostalgic for the British gastropub that used to be there. Now the space is Arro, a French restaurant with a clean aesthetic and a casual, yet enticing, menu.
The old, red brick building wears a new layer of white paint. Well-dressed 30-somethings, likely just getting off of work, populate the dining room. Walls have been knocked down and the now wide-open space is framed by heavier metal details and large paned windows. The pride and joy of the last restaurant, Haddington’s — a lacquered heavy black bar in the back corner of the restaurant — breathes new life with yellow, brown and blue tiles and a refinished wooden top.
Arro’s food is beautiful, like something from the cover of a magazine. My artfully garnished lobster bisque was brought out by a waiter with perfect Shirley Temple curls. The creamy and not-too-salty soup had a small mound of melt-in-your-mouth lobster hiding beneath the decoratively ladled cream. I wished I could have eaten it with a smaller spoon to make the experience last longer.
For my main course, I ordered roasted duck drizzled with citrus-thyme honey on a bed of turnips, and poached plums that were a deep garnet color. Mr. Temple-waiter did a far better job of describing this dish than I ever will, but here’s my take on it: the flavors played well together. I especially liked the interplay of the duck’s gaminess with the sauerkraut-like turnips. However, I’m not sure if I let my duck get cold in the midst of riveting dinner conversation, or it was a little under-heated before it went out.
To round out the meal, I had some dark chocolate pot de crème, which is a French dessert similar to custard, but thicker and richer. It was topped with crumbled toffee, a little whipped cream and candied orange slivers. Orange and chocolate are always a fantastic combination, and the toffee provided a nice texture to the pudding-like dessert.
In my experience, French food, even casual interpretations of French cuisine, doesn’t come cheap ... unless you’re ordering a crepe from a restaurant that is also equipped with a trailer hitch. Although you can easily spend $30 or more on dinner at Arro, for those on some semblance of a budget, they offer a three-course selection for $25, but with wine parings, bread and charcuterie parings and tantalizing desserts, it can be very hard to keep those purse strings strung.
In sum, Arro serves up visually appealing products and the concept fits right in with the higher-end bar scene of W. Sixth.