Art Smith’s Renovated ‘Art and Soul’ Reopens in DC


The “Bean” Wall

Art Smith’s Southern-inspired restaurant in The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel is refreshed and reopened for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.  In addition to a complete redesign of the restaurant and bar interiors, Smith and Executive Chef Wes Morton have rebuilt the menu with new offerings. The cooking at Art and Soul reflects a devotion to quality and responsibility made possible by partnerships with like-minded farmers, artisans and growers who provide products that are sustainably sourced, whenever possible.


The renovated Art and Soul dining room.

“We carefully choose suppliers, for everything from food to fabric, who meet the vision of quality and integrity we have for the new Art and Soul,” said Chef/Owner Art Smith. “We want guests to feel as good about our business practices as they do about the food we serve, so we are proud to partner with family-owned and operated companies. Geechie Boy Market and Mill supplies the restaurant’s grits, Butcher & Baker custom-made our uniforms, and we serve spirits from small-batch distillers like Smooth Ambler Spirits from Maxwelton, West Virginia.”

Menu Enhancements 
New sections called “For the Table” and “Pots” encourage family-style dining on classics from Deviled Eggs to Pork Rinds, and shareable entrees such as Seafood Gumbo with gulf shrimp, blue crab and oysters, and a hearty Duck and Rice Bean Stew. The Meat & Cheese Board lets guests choose up to 10 items from a list that includes Morton’s housemade Spanish Chorizo, Pork Pate and 24-Month Ham, as well as American cheeses like Jasper Hill Farms Winnimere and Rogue River Caveman Blue alongside house-brined pickles. A dish of Heritage Pork is served with marjoram sausage and hoppin’ john, and rich bone marrow enhances the Red Wine Braised Short Rib.

Art Smith’s signature dishes, Fried Free Range Chicken and Waffles and Shrimp & Grits, and Chef Wes’s housemade Gottamatchie hot sauce will always remain. And some old classics have been given an update … the Bacon Corn Bread is baked and served in a tin can.

Using various natural and rustic elements, Seattle-based Hospitality Design firm, Dawson Design Associates has created a contemporary urban market feel to complement the approachable new farm-to-table menu.

Carpeting has been replaced by handsome herringbone wood flooring throughout the restaurant, bar and lobby, while new light fixtures, textured wall treatments, custom graphics, wall dividers and screens frame the dining room. Free-standing tables have replaced banquettes and complement the urban market ambiance. A playful wall sculpture comprised of different types of beans stretches along one side of the restaurant as a nod to Southern cooking.

About the Author

Michael Birchenall is Editor and Publisher of Foodservice Monthly, a regional trade publication covering the foodservice industry of the Mid-Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, VA). Foodservice Monthly has been recognized as the Restaurant Association of Maryland's Allied Industry Member of the Year and by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington as the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year.

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  1. Really like the new look Birchenall! Keep up the great work!

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