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104 NE 2nd Ave. (1st St.) Send to Phone
The folks behind NIU Kitchen heat things up with neighboring charcoal-centric Arson.


Dinner Mon.-Sat.

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Even as cities re-open select businesses, some restaurants may remain temporarily closed due to COVID-19. In some cases, dine-in, takeout or delivery may be available. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its operational status.

Arson Restaurant Review

About the restaurant: Not-so-hidden-gem NIU Kitchen has easily become the best place to eat in downtown. Those who crave chef Deme Lomas’ modern Catalan cooking and go there on a Friday night sans reservations will likely have to settle for dining at Arson, which is just two doors away and gives guests a different taste of what Lomas has to offer. With slightly more room and seats than NIU Kitchen, Arson is giving the talented toque a chance to experiment with even more flavors, techniques and cuisines.

Food & Drinks: The menu utilizes a handful of Italian and Asian ingredients, and the emphasis is on the Josper grill, Spain's claim to charcoal-burning fame. Out of it come dishes like Patagonian lamb chops with cauliflower purée and mint oil; duck two ways (charbroiled and cured) with apple textures and honey mustard bread; and tagliatelle with cuttlefish doused in its corresponding squid ink, piquant tomato sofrito and tangy aïoli. Look for octopus with a whipped star anise foam and tomato gelatin that delights the palate. Partner and general manager Karina Iglesias is, like at NIU Kitchen, the brains behind the wine selection, which has labels that range from Uruguay to South Africa and, of course, Spain. The oven/grill hybrid is even used for dessert, namely the BBQ banana brownie with condensed milk.

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