1. souse, n.5: 3. A drunkard. slang (chiefly U.S.). (OED)
  2. white souse, n.1: A blog for literature, politics, science, and the occasional cocktail.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Good red wine; bad white linen

Last night we also visited Block 7, a new wine bar that is soft-opening behind our house. It was also the after-party spot for "White Linen Nights" up in the Heights neighborhood, which meant the place was filled with ladies and gents in wrinkled-yet-expensive looking chinos, skirts, and blazers. Very, VERY creepy. (Apparently there was some kind of dust-up with a group of Linenites complaining about a failure to properly enforce the guest list, but that's neither here nor there.)

What was also wierd, but in a very pleasing way, was how friendly the management and staff were, and the remarkable range of wines they carry at retail price. The restaurant/bar is attached to the wine shop, and you can walk back and forth between them, selecting, sorting, and tasting. We had a couple of U.S. Sauvignon Blancs for less than $15 a bottle (!) and after a long discussion with one of the owners, Michael Housewright, he steered us toward an awesome, lightly chilled and slightly fizzy and fruity Barollo that wasn't listed (instead of one of the pinot noirs I'd been angling for). It was a great wine for a hot, muggy night. If you go, ask to be served by Davy Jones -- a tattoo-sheathed front man (whose band, I hope, is called "The Lockers") and a very gracious waiter.

I wasn't blown away by the food, though they're still working up to their full menu, and I didn't get to try the venison Sloppy Joe on Challah that was eying me (I was full of homemade tapas from our earlier engagement, see below). I also saw Bobby Heugel checking the place out -- he's the English grad student cum Mixology entrepreneur who started up Anvil. You know, the same old story.

I didn't get a chance to ask Michael what brought his place about, or even what Block 7 is named for, though I think he's started it with his wife, who was also there smoothing down those wrinkly white-worsted patrons (couldn't resist). But I've a feeling there'll be many more opportunities to get the skinny.


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