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Rodell Rallies 'Round Tar & Roses

Kirchner's chicken oysters

Kirchner's chicken oystersPhoto: Tar & Roses

Besha Rodell is swept away by Tar & Roses, labeling the wine list "inviting and exciting," the room beautiful, and Andrew Kirschner's take on "kinda-Spanish, kinda-New American" small plates, charcuterie, cheese plates, and market-stalking cooking "especially appealing." Here "the journey is more cleverly curated than at many other restaurants traversing the same path," she writes, satisfied to see "veggies prepared with as much thought as their protein counterparts and presented with as much love." There are a couple of small stumbles, but nothing to deter from the enjoyment of small plates and a "very cool wine list," though she sounds uninspired by the rote cordiality of the servers.

Rodell is starting to tire of seeing the same old menus around town as everybody else is, but understands that Kirschner is among the best to tackle the species, "doing the food of right now" and doing it well. Quoth she: "Tar & Roses could be a fiction, a well-placed detail in a Jonathan Franzen novel, which stands as a metaphor for the tastes and aspirations of a generation of locavore diners with a yen for small plates." She concludes that the restaurant is enjoyable, but "no game changer — whether that matters to you will dictate how much you care about this restaurant." [LAW]

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