As a west side resident, it’s a special occasion for me to make the trek downtown. I heard about the Must Wine Bar through a friend, so I decided to check out the menu online. They had me at buffalo shrimp and grits, vegetarian “hamburger” helper and fluffernutter.
The bar scene was an eclectic mix of downtown artists, after work financial types and probably a few west siders looking for a good bar without pretense. As soon as I walked in I knew this was a place where I could get in a lot of trouble. The inviting bar and attractive wait staff was a good start, but I was truly sold when the owner and sommelier started us off with two of her favorite beers. Yes, you heard me right. The owner actually knows a thing or two about good wine and beer. She’s not just buying what the local wine rep tells her is in season. In fact, she made a point to omit any beers one might recognize in order to encourage patrons to step outside of their comfort zone. Based on the headache I have this morning, I believe I stepped out of my comfort zone one too many times at Must. Needless to say, I will be online today trying to track down the Duchess de Bourgone.
The food is the perfect mix of comfort and refinement. The mushroom sliders are a MUST. I make brussel sprouts every week in my own home, and I still found their stone ground mustard version innovative and worth a restaurant price tag. I went sans bacon on our sprouts, but I imagine that would have made the dish a home run. If you are looking to relive a childhood memory, the vegetarian “hamburger” helper is a lot of fun and perfect with a Belgian dark ale.
There are a lot of new restaurants popping up around downtown, but I think this one has staying power. If you are lucky enough to call it your local bar, the Must will definitely be a staple in your dining repertoire. For west siders like me, I have a new reason to make my way downtown.
Oh, the wallpaper is the bathroom is nice too!
Pros: beer selection, food, atmosphere and wallpaper
Cons: not within walking distance of my home