What a really nice surprise! From the reviews I'd read elsewhere, I was expecting some low-light, high-noise, trying-to-be-hip sort of place where people would be congregated trying to look stylish and attractive and yet somehow nonchalant. I guess I was expecting a bar. Well, it IS a bar, but it's a wine bar-- and since I've never BEEN to a wine bar before, this was a whole new experience for me.
Yes, there is an actual bar with stools and a counter. Yes, there are scads of wine bottles in said bar, as well as displays of them along the walls. There are also tables and comfy little places to sit and enjoy their offerings, which as it turns out were an interesting cross section of wines-- domestic and imported-- purveyed by people who actually know what they're selling. None of that "let me go ask Paul; he knows more about wine than I do" or "...well, I've never actually TRIED any of the wine we sell, but this one's really popular." This is like tasting at a winery, where you're told the wine is full-bodied, jammy, with spicy undertone--only there's nice food to go along with the wine: cheese and fruit platters; antipasto; hummus; salads; panini-- with fresh, quality ingredients and proper crusty bread. The small antipasto may be fine for two people who aren't particularly hungry (it's one slice each of mortadella, turkey and salami, about five different cheeses-- I think that night ours were pepper jack, asiago, goat, brie and gouda--a generous serving of Kalamata olives and baguette, grapes and sliced pear) -- but for us it necessitated the addition of hummus and more baguette. We topped off the evening by sharing an excellent, gooey and satisfying Chocolate Loving Cake, which we indeed ended up loving.
Highly recommended for a leisurely bite before the theatre (It's only a few minutes drive from the Old Globe, our destination that evening.) Jake's and theatre-- a perfect coupling!
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