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Bistro 360: Adventurous, Creative Dining from Around the World

There is a lot going on in and around Bistro 360. It’s a restaurant, yes, but it’s also an elegant wine bar, a neighborhood wine and food market, and a source of fresh-made prepared entrees and sides to go.

The theme? A little of everything, from everywhere.

The name of the restaurant, Art Hauptman explains, reflects the global intentions of the offerings. “We have food and drink from around the world,” he said. “We want to give people a sense of what’s possible, but right here in Arlington.”

So you don’t have to go to Armenia to get Armenian string cheese. It’s right there in the case, next to the peanuts and garlic chips from the Philippines. Not far from the trio of tasty dips from New Zealand. Near the Asian-inspired lemongrass pork chops with kimchi puree.

“We’re trying to do interesting things you don’t see all the time,” says Hauptman, a well-traveled and long-time Arlingtonian who has owned the restaurant since it opened in 2014.

Located on a corner between Rosslyn and Courthouse, convenient to both neighborhoods, Bistro 360’s dining room boasts a menu ranging from lamb ragu with Thai basil to pan-roasted Asian duck breast to murg makhani, an original take on Indian butter chicken.

The daring menu lives up to its name: It’s not every restaurant that has shrimp and grits, potato gnocchi and Indonesian nasi goring with shrimp and chicken side by side.

In the wine bar, which also serves cocktails and beer, a menu of exotic nibbles and fresh house-made bread, along with a wide assortment of wines by the glass, keep the international conversation going during happy hour (daily from 4:30 to 7). Free wine tastings take place each Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30. (Many wines are half-price on Wednesdays in the bar and the dining room.)

Small plates available in the bar or dining room include deviled eggs with candied bacon, tuna tempura, Spanish garlic lemon chili shrimp, lamb sliders and PEI mussels, among other savory offerings.

Bistro 360’s chef, Travis Obertach, came to Arlington from North Carolina (which explains the shrimp and grits, we imagine). He says he enjoys the diversity of the clientele in Arlington and the challenge of keeping things seasonal and surprising. Surprising? How about a wonderfully complex fried green tomato with caraway tomato jam, goat cheese, and a morsel of house-cured pork belly?

Obertach also helps with the menu and operation at Hauptman’s other Arlington restaurant, the New Zealand-themed Cassatt’s Kiwi Café and Gallery. Cassatt’s is a casual dining bistro that opened in 2002 for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch in Lee Heights remains the home of the best flat white in Arlington.

In addition to preparing cuisines of the world for two restaurants, Obertach is overseeing the cooking for Hauptman’s newest venture, an events catering service called World’s Fare Catering. For information call 703-577-4124 or email [email protected].

As a convenient neighborhood market, Bistro 360 has some 200 wines, most of them imported, about two dozen cheeses and a refrigerator case that requires some asking for information, for example, do those sweet chili drops (plump berries, actually) go well with miso-glazed salmon?

In any case, it will be an adventure, just the way Art Hauptman intended.

Bistro 360 is located at 1800 Wilson Boulevard; call 703-522-3600 or use OpenTable to make a reservation. Cassatt’s Kiwi Café is at 4536 Lee Highway; call 703-527-3330.

The preceding was a business profile written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by Bistro 360.

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