Oh, this place. Wine Market Bistro reminds me of Waterfront Kitchen, where the food is average in taste and above average in price. I haven’t even had a chance to get to the service yet – which drags this place down. We are at a “Meh.”
For starters, we arrived at the bar around 6 hoping to get some happy hour deals. The bar was full, but not packed and the bartender seemed in the weeds. It took her about 10 minutes to give us a menu and another 10 minutes to get our wine order. I think it was about another 10 minutes before we got the food menus and she never did tell us the happy hour specials. Once our fourth arrived and we still couldn’t get her attention we opted for a table.
The service improved – but please be forewarned… They cannot transfer your check with happy hour prices, even if you have been sitting at the bar during happy hour for your drinks. Pay before you move – I mean if you can get the bartenders attention. Apparently 12 folks are too much…
The server for the table was more attentive than the bartender… at least while he was waiting for us to order. We started with the Brussels Sprouts; this place used to be my favorite – I liked the way they hit all the flavors. There is sweetness with the red grapes, saltiness with the bacon and a little spice from the walnuts. This time though, the star – the sprouts – were a little underdone. I like them to be a little crispy, but I want to taste the sweetness, not the cabbage.
For dinner, I went with the Crispy Calamari Salad. It was good. Calamari was cooked well, crispy and not gummy. They serve it on top of a bed of bibb lettuce mixed with a salsa verde and shaved celery. I liked the addition of the sliced pepperoncini and the marinated chickpeas. They both added to the texture and flavor profile. I’d order this again, but I would still be sad about paying $17.