The Bar at Bistro 218 pairs a casual menu with lush libations. 

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson 

One of my favorite restaurants is Bistro 218. Here chef Tom Saab sources the freshest, highest quality, local and regional Non-GMO products and prepares each one to its fullest potential. It is also a favorite of many who live and work in the neighborhood and beyond. So, when he expanded next door and opened Bistro 218’s Bar, he doubled our pleasure. We enjoy The Bar at Bistro 218’s more casual ambiance and menu offerings. 

The Bar’s high-ceilinged, exposed brick interior includes a massive L-shaped bar with a 700 bottle wine cellar. There are tables in the windows and a banquette that lines the brick wall. In addition to The Bar’s dinner menu, lunch is also served here, and the dining room’s dinner menu is also available. We lunch here on shrimp risotto and spend casual evenings with a burger and a beer. And we plan a drink at the Bar before entering the dining room for dinner. 

Tonight, we take seats at The Bar for a cocktail tasting of three of Bistro 218’s specialty libations: Sweet Tallulah, Wayne Rogers, and Lemon Russo with bar manager, Tim O’Rourke. Sweet Tallulah is a light and sparkling wine cocktail that also includes St. Germain, Lillet, a splash of rose water and lemon. It is deep red in color and is served in a Champagne flute with a Bing cherry on bottom. Lemon Russo is a festive, on the rocks, lowball of vodka, lemon, ginger beer with a sprinkling of black pepper. Fizzy notes of lemon and ginger are offset by occasional bites of pepper. Wayne Rogers is a serious spirit for whiskey drinkers. Maker’s Mark, Dom De Canton, muddled orange, angostura and orange bitters blend beautifully in this smooth and mellow mix. Afterwards we decide to stay for an impromptu dinner at the bar—dining on enormous, succulent scallops and watermelon salad paired with Champagne. 


Published in B-Metro Magazine, September 2017

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