Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Winding Up the Weekend Winos: b2 Wine Bar

I know it seems like I'm constantly staking out new places in the Crescent Village Ghost Town, but... maybe I am. Anyway, one weekend, recently, I wanted a place to go where I could a) have a glass of wine b) be left mostly alone and c) perhaps eat something tasty and not too terribly expensive. I wound up at b2 Wine Bar in Crescent Village, which fulfilled all three wishes.

1655C584-BC29-4A8E-B3AE-FAFCE2893C38.jpgPhoto from b2 website
The wine bar is also a full bar, with a small but full menu -- so it's a wine bar only in that it's attached to a winery, though not a vineyard. More on that in a bit. It's a surprisingly large area for as small as it seems from the outside; the seating area is J-shaped, with the long curve facing the main street of the village. At the front, there are about ten small tables, some bar-height tables that accommodate sitting or standing, and the bar itself that has seating. There are also a few clusters of large U-shaped couches on the stem of the J that can accommodate larger parties. In the back there are even more small tables, mostly made for two, overlooking a wall-length bookshelf filled with different wine selections.

The atmosphere on my first midday visit was quiet and very relaxed; on my second, a Friday night, the place was pretty full and noisy, with the flat-screen television at the bar broadcasting a soccer match (without sound, thank goodness). There's also a few (say 4) outdoor tables, in days of good weather, should they ever come again. All-in-all, b2 wants to be the hang-out spot for the guys in khakis with girls in summer dresses on their arms, and also for the middle-aged set that enjoys remembering those days and tries to relive them one weekend a month. b2 is, at least on weekends, successful in achieving this -- all of which is to say this is a tremendous people-watching spot.

So let's talk about the wine.

9C5C4B3D-0B6C-4521-8545-E30705A5A389.jpgPhoto from b2 website
b2 Winery is in the middle of Eugene; they get all of their grapes from the Willamette Valley, through contract, not through ownership. B2 offers a Pinot Noir ($6 for a glass/$24 for a bottle), a Pinot Gris ($6/$24), a Rosé ($4/$18), and a Viognier (no idea). There's also the Red Table Wine (a cab/merlot blend) and White Table Wine (pinot gris/pinot blanc/melon blend). All of the B2 The rest of the list is dominated by Oregon wines, with the occasional California or Washington wine sneaking in. A few bottles approach $50, but only a few; this is pretty much a place you go for inexpensive (relatively), West Coast wine and spirits (oh, and beer: they do have Ninkasi IPA on tap).

To go with this wine there's a menu of snacks, sandwiches, and fish. I've been twice and had the same appetizer both times: the baked brie, which has raspberry sauce and toasted almonds and comes with toasted bread ($8). I've seen various plates drift by, but the only other food I've tasted has been the macaroni and cheese ($8), which looked like Velveeta Mac&Cheese topped with paprika and came in a little crock next to a salad of mixed greens. The taste was substantially milder, and better, than Velveeta; I would have it again, though C was less enthusiastic.

The rest of the menu will bear trying: lobster bisque, adorable-looking sliders (for C), maybe a mozzarella pesto panino, some time, or the now-pedestrian artichoke dip (with jalapeño). The plating is surprisingly nice, here -- or maybe I'm only surprised because I can have my brie on its pretty little plate, a substantial glass of wine for $4, and watch TV at the same time.

It's a very North Eugene experience: something for everyone, the wannabe foodie, the drinker, and the sports fan.

Location: 2794 Shadow View, Eugene

Hours: Monday - Saturday noon to 10ish (sometimes later, sometimes earlier, depending on traffic, I think); Sunday 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Specials: Currently, house wines are on sale for $100 a case. Or you can send me your $100 and I'd be willing to come get drunk at your house. I might even bring some rosé.

b2 Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. While I generally agree with your review, I was a bit put off by the remark about us middle-age geezers sadly striving to relive our lost youth one weekend per month. Those of us past 40 are still quite capable of having a great time precisely because we are not pining away for our somewhat misspent youth (you'll know what I'm talking about when you mature a bit yourself).