You’d be forgiven for thinking this was the latest Hogsalt venture from Brendan Sodikoff. It hits some of his trademark flourishes: expertly chosen menu fonts, a stealth opening, a bi-level setup similar to Bavette’s. It’s not his doing, though. Instead, the executive chef is Jeff Pikus, formerly of Maude’s Liquor Bar, and management includes another ex-Hogsalter.
Bar Marta is more of an homage to Hogsalt’s coolness than a rip-off. Pikus’s menu is tidy and thoughtful, with a smattering of seafood, a handful of interesting salads and gussied-up vegetables, half a dozen meaty mains, and a trio of hand-cut pastas. You’re unlikely to pick a dud. Not everything works: Seating is cramped and service inconsistent. Nonetheless, there’s an undeniable appeal.