Drink Here: Bar 58 & Bistro

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Last night I caught up with a friend over a few tasters of wine at 58 Degrees & Holding Co. in Midtown. Located on 18th just off Capitol, 58 Degrees (or is it properly called Bar 58 & Bistro? Whatever.) is immediately welcoming, with coolly candlelit interiors, wide windows, and an aroma as oaky as a California chard. Mid-century mod couches and tufted benches provide the perfect perch for sipping any of their extensive collections of wines. From light-as-air whites to rich, smoky reds, the list offers something for every taste (at reasonable to splurge-ish prices), provided by knowledgeable, attentive, friendly staff.

I’m no wine expert, but I know what I like – and, more to the point – what I feel like – on any given day. Yesterday, I was looking for a sweet, drinkable white. (Click here for their menu – though I recall the prices being $1 higher on at least some of the selections last night.) I started with a Viognier that, while good, was a bit drier than I normally enjoy. It had a spice to it that was pleasant, but not necessarily what I was looking for. My friend won the first round with a JJ Cristoffel “Urziger Wurtzgarten” Kabinett Riesling from Germany that was sweet, soft, and perfect. My second round was a Gewurtztraminer, my friend’s a Chablis- but the real highlight was the Rinaldi “Bug Juice” Moscato d’Asti. The name alone should make Italian wine fans swoon. And it tasted like a bit o’sunshine in a class. Definitely motivation to return.

We paired our tastes with the cheese plate, pictured above. A creamy goat cheese, appropriately stinky bleu, mild manchego, and buttery brie accompanied a nicely spiced chutney and some salty nuts. Served with tissue-thin slices of bread, the $16 plate was filling and well presented.

Whether or not you’re into wine, 58 Degrees (and its companion wine shop) is worth the visit. The staff is helpful and free of the pretension that can make you run faster than you can say “Sideways was way overrated.” 58 Degrees is not overrated. Take a date or a friend and check it out.

1 Comment so far

  1. Joe (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

    58 Degrees is a great experience. What midtown really needs is a real winery.



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