The bar: The Blind Monk, West Palm Beach
The vibe: For about five years, The Blind Monk has delivered northern urban chic wine bar loft space realness to downtown West Palm, with its industrial-sophisticated vibe, fetching lighting and spare decor. There’s something decidedly grown-up about it, which we’re cool with — it’s not about age, but about deliberate refinement. And it’s not just wine experts tipping back glasses at the bar next to you. General manager and certified cicerone (like a beer sommelier) Jason Hunt says the selections were purposely chosen to be friendly and worthwhile to anyone on the wine spectrum.
The drinks: Because they don’t have a liquor license, Blind Monk doesn’t have a full bar, but Hunt says they wanted to offer something for the cocktail lovers. So meet the featured aperitif The Spritz, featuring an herbal liqueur called Cappelletti that might remind you of the bitters found in a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned; and Prosecco; and The Classico, made with Cocchi Americano, an Italian aperitif, and a splash of soda. They also have mimosas, a breakfast/brunch staple that makes orange juice a lot more fun (We love you, orange juice!)
Other noteworthy libations: It is a wine bar, after all, so 25-30 wines available by the glass (and about 30 more by bottle), and the 25-30 beers. There’s probably one or two (or 12) that you’ll like.
Bar bites: Our favorite go-to snack-with-wine is cheese, and Blind Monk has quite the selection (we adore the Caveman Blue). But there’s more than frommage to forage here — the Arctic Char Gravlax is the perfect bite of salty and creamy, and the roasted cauliflower with manchego cream could convert the most hardcore veggie-hater.
Specials: Happy hour is seven days a week from 4-7 p.m., featuring discounts on select wine, beer and aperitivi. Also, there’s live music, classes with the Monk Beer Academy and more.
Info: The Blind Monk, 410 Evernia St., #107, West Palm Beach. 833-3605.
3 ounces Cocchi Americano
2 ounces soda
2 ounces Cappelletti
3 ounces Prosecco
1 ounce soda