Sunday, February 19, 2012


Marcel Duchamp was a french artist associated with the Surrealist and Dadaist movements. His work frequently took mundane objects and images and twisted them slightly. Examples include an image of the Mona Lisa on which he put a mustache and goatee and an image in which a unicycle is set on a bar stool. The restaurant Duchamp tries to take Duchamp's spirit and apply it to a restaurant taking fairly straightforward dishes and adding a twist. The space shares some of that energy. The room has several wooden and blockish tables with clear plastic chairs. The front of the room is painted a dark green, the middle has an antique brick wall and old windows, and the back was done in hardwood. There are several small shadowboxes hanging on the walls with representations of Duchamp's work. The menu is kind of eclectic with some Spanish, French, and Italian influences but was a little surprising was seeing the burger on the menu among the other items that might be considered fine dining dishes so this was to be my main course. I started out with grilled octopus. There were three octopi on the plate and the were served with a side salad containing watermelon radishes, olives, chickpeas, blood oranges, and arugula and a romesco sauce underneath. The octopus was well grilled and and the side salad provided textural variety with some crunch and chew with the various elements. The blood orange provided some color to match with the romesco sauce with a touch of sweetness. It was a nice start.
Duchamp is actually on their second chef. While the menu of the first chef was a little more eclectic, it still had the burger on the menu and Duchamp was recognized for their burgers. The first chef has since left to open the Butcher and the Burger and while the new chef has changed the menu somewhat, but the burger has remained on the menu. The burger on this menu contained a nice thick burger cooked medium-rare and served with the standard lettuce and tomato but the cheese used was havarti. I like havarti but I wouldn't normally think of using it on a burger. The bun was also very good. It was very crusty with a nice soft interior. It actually worked pretty well. The semi-soft cheese was buttery and slightly sweet with a slight tartness to it. Ketchup and mayo were served on the side. They were both house-made. The "ketchup" was a tomato remoulade, a aioli based sauce with tomatoes, capers, and garlic, and the mayo was a house-made truffle mayo. While they might have been good for the burger, they were also good for the Romano shoestring potatoes that were served on the side. For dessert, I went with something light, an apple cider sorbet. It was served with Granny Smith Apples. It was light, tart, cidery and good and the Granny Smith apples provided a nice complement and a variety of texture.

I like Duchamp. It provides a nice variety to the standard bistro fare and the burger is still really good. It's a lot of fun and I will be back.

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