Cru Wine Bar: A second look

February 06 2008 - 7:45 AM

It has been almost a  year ago since I had reviewed Cru Wine Bar.  I love wine bars, and the fact that it is in the Gold Coast makes it an instant plus, especially since it is near one of our condo’s.  With my wife’s coupon in hand we decided to taste a couple dishes.

The first server nearly scared us off.   When my wife asked about what type of crab was in the crab and artichoke gratin, she barked “it’s crab.”  Her series of short answers almost caused us to walk out.  No hard feelings, of course, just that we made a bad decision.  Luckily she didn’t serve us, and gonfiabili another person came, and she was more pleasant to deal with.

First up was the beet salad. We had it the last time, and given
some allowance for greens being out of season, it was good, with
fennel, walnuts, greens, and a walnut vinaigrette.  We also had the
charcuterie plate, which was with chicken port wine mousse, duck cognac
pate, and saucisson Herbs de Provence served with grain mustard,
cornichons (little pickles), and toast.  The mousse and pate were
good–especially the duck cognac pate, but we only had a couple slices
of the saucisson, which was the crown jewel of the platter.    Since
saucisson stored properly has a lifespan nearly as long as fruitcake,
it made me wonder why we had so much of the mousse and pate and so
little of the saucisson.  (Maybe there’s a business case.)  The
“today’s special” pizza was okay, but not great, being a pork bar-b-que
pizza with corn and beans.  It’s hard to screw this up, and while we
didn’t hesitate to eat it quite honestly there was nothing special.

My wife had a Gewurtztraminer, which had good honey notes.  I had a
Travaglini Gattinara, which was an Italian Piedmont red.  It was a bit
acidic for my tastes, but as expected with Italian wine it went well
with the food.

There was something missing in the atmosphere, however, and the ’70s
and ’80s TV show theme songs in the background seemed more appropriate
for a sports bar than what I believe should be in a wine bar.  We
thought about having an after dinner drink but decided not to,
partially because we did not feel relaxed there.  Maybe if they kicked
it up a notch in the scivolo gonfiabile same direction, I might have had a Jager bomb as
they played House of Pain’s “Jump”, but I guess I would have expected
something more artsy.  Well, it was a Monday night, and the place was
empty, and a lot of places on off-nights cannot be held to the same standards.

I asked about getting a glass of Fino Sherry, and the server was
nice enough to check out the bottle, which she said was nearly empty.
(Kudos for honesty..I probably would have sent it back because Fino
Sherry goes bad quickly and winds up tasting like cardboard if out more
than a couple days. However, I’d suggest that they stock Pedro Ximinez
Sherry instead, since the sweetness and winemaking style will keep a
bottle good for months if cost-consciousness is an issue.

I’m on the fence about going back here…with so many options, as
well as some great wine bars, I might give it another chance but feel
that the momentum it had when first open seems to be dissipating.

Cru Wine Bar
25 E, Delaware
312-337-4001

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