Apres Wine Bar
Apres Wine Bar is a suave setting for organic wines.
This sleek evening endeavour hopes to be the second stop of the night, after a refined meal at its sister restaurant Canis.
Like the tasting menus at Canis, the menu from chef and owner Jeff Kang is just as focused, consisting of snacks and entrées meant to accompany the real focus of Apres: the wine.
Not everyone is familiar with the concept of natural wines, but a trip to this low-lit bar will change that.
You'll get a quick education about this movement emerging from the vineyards of Europe, and likely walk out knowing a lot more about low-intervention wines than you did before.
Those already familiar with small-lot biodynamics will appreciate the inventory of over 200 bottles here from countries like Italy, New Zealand, Austria, and Slovenia, assembled courtesy of sommelier Adam Ashukian.
According to Kasra Khorramnejad, the head of Apres' beverage program, all the bottles from the skin contact wines to the reds and whites are organic, and about 70 per cent of them are natural. You'll find new deliveries every day too.
Prices of wine are written right on the bottle, and some have pretty interesting stories.
The wines from Gut Oggau, for instance, are born from a revived plot of dead land in Austria, and feature labels with made-up characters whose illustrator draws them older as they age with the wine.
Meanwhile a bottle of 2017 Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine from Domaine Des Cognettes is overseen by a pair of seventh-generation winemaking brothers, Stéphane and Vincent Perraud.
You can pair it with an order of succulent snow crab ($19) from Fogo Island, served with dill fronds and house-made XO sauce.
A delicious order of mushroom pappardelle ($17) is cooked with brown butter and hazelnut, sprinkled with parmesan and an egg.
And, there's a plate of beef tartare ($17) with crême fraiche and a side order of naan bread ($5) to dip.
Obviously, these dishes are best combined with the incredible wines available, but they hold their own as reasons to visit this simple spot.
Undoubtedly one of the first few wine bars dedicated solely to organic and natural wines, Apres finds itself ahead of the curve and a good place for wine savants to experience bottles differently.