Lounge menu until 12:30 a.m.
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Element Restaurant Review: The concept behind Element overturns that old adage about “too many cooks in the kitchen.” In a beautifully rehabbed industrial building, executive chef Brian Hardesty invited a team of peers to swap ideas and regularly shake up the menu. Certainly there’s no shortage of inspiration: duck breast with duck scrapple, scallops with pumpkin and mole, beet pasta, goat shoulder with egg and chilies. And one of the tastiest dishes is duck fried chicken with a maple waffle, bacon syrup and napa slaw. But the burger and barbecued short ribs are no less tasty for their simplicity. The open kitchen lets customers watch the action on the main floor; upstairs in the lounge, a quieter mood prevails. Both levels open to west-facing patios, perfect for escaping from downtown’s hustle and bustle over lunch or soaking up a sunset with a local craft beer or cocktail like the Savoy 75 (gin, lemon, mint and sparkling wine). Late-night lounge hours make this a good destination for nibbles of cheese, charcuterie or chicken wings, or a dessert such as crème brûlée or lime curd with meringue.