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Dinner Du Jour

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.

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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.

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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.

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In sum, Arro serves up visually appealing products and the concept fits right in with the higher-end bar scene of W. Sixth.

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