Bar Ferd’nand has expanded. To those of you that might not be familiar with Bar Ferd’nand, it is a little wine shop in the Melrose market. It offers a great selection of old world wines and some new world wines as well. Bar Ferd’nand is owned by Marc Papineau and Matt Dillon (Sitka and Spruce, Corson Building, Bar Sajour, and London Plane). If you have not eaten at any Matt Dillon restaurant, you need to go NOW! I had the pleasure of first meeting Marc in 2008 at the Corson Building when I attended dinner there. The food alone at the Corson Building is amazing, but Marc just takes it over the top with his wine parings. His choices for that night were not from vineyards I had ever heard of (mostly old world), but enjoyed every single one I had…even the white ones. (I prefer reds) What I also remember about that evening, Marc seem to have a story about the vineyard or the winemaker. Which I actually enjoyed. To me it seemed how passionate he is about the wine and that passion resonates in the wines he pours.
Bar Ferd’nand (now referred to Lower Bar Ferd’nand) opened in 2010 in the Melrose Market. It allowed us ordinary people into the mind and wine of Marc. To see and experience wines you normally do not have access to or even knew to look for. On a recent visit to LBF we purchased a Rioja wine that had just recently been their wine society that month. The wine was called Monte Real. I am not good with my wine descriptors. I can just say it was delicious, and you should try it if you can.
In December 2015, Upper Bar Ferd’nand (UPF) opened in Chophouse Row on Capitol Hill. UPF offers the same variety of wines. The wine selection did not seem to be as big as LBF’s selection. However, UPF has a small kitchen that provides shareable plates. UPF has a cozy, intimate, kind of personal feel to it. You can just sit at the bar enjoy a conversation over a lovely glass of wine, while you sit and view into the open concept kitchen watching your food being prepared. Just like you went over to your friend’s house. UPF offers house made cured meats, seafood and meat dishes, and grilled clay pot dishes. They are planning to do flatbreads/pizza in the future. The night we visited Marc was behind the bar and Matt in the kitchen. The Dynamic Duo!!!
We had “BeastMode” and Spot Prawns & Shishito Peppers with green sauce. Now BeastMode is not Marshawn Lynch served on a platter. It is several of chef’s choices (some on the menu and some not) that he puts together for you. Kind of like a little tasting plate of delightful items, and a great way to sample a few of the items on the menu. There was some cured meats, chorizo, pickled veggies, sheep’s milk cheese from Whidbey Island and quince jam (this was so decadent tasting), and cured pork neck and buffalo mozzarella. The spot prawns were good as well. There was a bit of a spice, but not where it overpowered the prawns. The green sauce provided that bit refreshing coolness from the spice.
UPF offers about 5 or so wines for the classes for red and white. The glass price range from $10 -$20. We opted for a bottle of wine from the Loire Valley which complemented our food nicely.
If you are new to wine or wine lover like me, I highly you recommend visit one of the Bar Ferd’nand. You are in for a wine treat and will not be disappointed.