Some restaurants aren’t about the food. When the gorgeous dining room is a courtyard with a high glass ceiling, lush greenery, a sparkling chandelier and gray couches, as Three Arts Café in the new Restoration Hardware showroom in the Gold Coast is, you’re there to be seen. It’s the kind of restaurant where the food doesn’t need to be good—but thankfully it is, with a menu from Brendan Sodikoff’s Hogsalt.
Like all sceney places—and Sodikoff burger joints—you will wait to get in. On a Sunday at 3pm, I couldn’t swing the 90-minute wait. My date and I returned on a Tuesday at 12:45pm and spent the hour wait wandering through Restoration Hardware’s five floors, marveling at the giant white couches and wondering whose life they fit into. The answer: the pairs of ladies having leisurely lunches at Three Arts.
The menu features some Sodikoff hallmarks—Doughnut Vault doughnuts, a shaved vegetable salad, Delice de Bourgogne cheese with jam, and, of course, a great burger. The menu is mostly sandwiches and vegetable dishes, and while a plate of charred carrots and Brussels sprouts with pistachio pesto needs some zip, a gem lettuce salad tossed with crumbled goat cheese and green goddess dressing is refreshing.
The only thing that doesn’t glitter is the service. Food arrived at our tiny end table in rapid succession, leaving us to play Tetris with the plates. Dessert took more than 20 minutes, a long wait for a weekday lunch. But the trio of housemade chocolate chip cookies, warm and sprinkled with sea salt, were perfect, proving that Three Arts’ beauty is more than skin deep.
Atmosphere: The former Three Arts Club is a striking building and it’s seamlessly transformed into a glitzy showroom and restaurant.
What to eat: The burger isn’t the same as the famed Au Cheval patty, but it’s excellent—the patty is thicker, the Dijonnaise and onions are applied with a heavier hand, and it comes with a side of fries. Split one along with the burrata, drizzled with oil and vinegar and served with sweet roasted tomatoes. End with the chocolate chip cookies.
What to drink: The bellini is bright and peachy, and wines and beers are also available. A full coffee bar serves espresso drinks, iced coffee on draft and tea from Rare Tea Cellar.
Where to sit: Seating includes a mix of low tables and couches and regular tables and chairs, though with long waits, you’ll likely need to sit wherever the host puts you.