Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bar #54 Humble Wine Bar

When a bar does really well, it tends to lead it to make new baby bars. Sometimes this creates clones of the original bar leading to a franchise by the same name. Other times these baby bars are created as unique new versions or concepts of the original bar, possibly even being completely different. A number of our newest bars to open in Lakewood over the past year were the offspring of other successful bars. Congratulations Lakewood, it's a wine bar! Bar #54 is Humble Wine Bar to be exact.

OK, let's get it out of the way: yes there aren't beers on tap and it's expensive. But a cheap wine bar with Coors on tap is hardly a recipe for success.

On this wintery February evening parking was not readily available in the giant shopping plaza parking lot. There were mountains of snow waiting to melt taking up a 5th of the lot and the neighboring bar was having their all you can eat buffet. The bar's back entrance was a long hallway with a sign to point the way to enjoy ourselves on National Wine Day.
Humble Bar has a classy look of an older pub with a very clean and comfortable feel. There was a long bar you could sit at with a great view of their flaming pizza oven. The bar was busy but with no wait. As with Deagan's, the staff is encouraged to show off their tattoos. The waitress was friendly and encouraged questions. Our friends slowly arrived over the next hour keeping our waitress on her toes and even leading us to require an extra table. The Humble Bar staff never had a problem taking care of us.
Humble Bar carries a variety of food. They are primarily appetizers, including a cheese board, antipasti and salads, and small pizzas. The most noticeable characteristic of their food is they are fresh, light and of a higher quality ingredients. The brussels sprouts weren't in stock, which we didn't find out till we ordered them a half hour into our visit. I started off with their Prosciutto Caprese, which consisted of alternating slices of spiraled mozzarella and prosciutto, and heirloom tomatoes. It was a great combination that I inhaled and recommend. Kelly went with a single cheese on their board. It had a selection of bread and crackers along with her chosen humboldt fog goat cheese out of California. I thought it had a nice combination of sweet, creamy, farts and mold...but in a good way. The margherita and spicy sopressata pizzas were both excellent. The margherita had the edge, with the delicious heirloom tomatoes to the spicy sopressata, which wasn't spicy.
Obviously they had lots of good wine. We went with their weaker options. I started off with a bottle of Chimay Red. It was a refreshing red ale that relies more on fizz than on its subtle taste. I followed it with their BFF Old Fashioned. It's a normal old fashioned with a splash of breakfast. Bacon bourbon, maple syrup and even piece of bacon on the tooth pick make it a great drink option. There was also an olive instead of a cherry on the tooth pick for unexplained reasons. Kelly had Cleveland sunset mead. I thought it tasted like a sour wine mixed with pear juice. Kelly said it tasted like a liquified version of Jennie's Ice Cream's Cherry Goat Cheese.
There were two small TVs in the far corners of the bar. I only bring it up because the one by us played Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2 and, I think Ben Hur.

I had a nice time at Humble Wine Bar. It's an easy environment to talk to your friends. The light foods allow you, not to feel burdened down by what's in your belly, without loosing out on quality and taste. Their drink list gives everyone something they can really enjoy. Other than apparently running out of brussels sprouts and cherries we didn't have any bumps during our time there. If you are on a budget, plan around their happy hour; this was my largest bill of the blog. Overall, the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. For those who want a higher level of wine bar that also allows one to be relaxed and actually enjoy your food, drink and company, Bar #54, Humble Wine Bar is for you.

15400 Detroit Ave

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