photo credit: Rachel Lerro
Lots of people dedicate their lives to wine. Others are content to go to a bottle shop and pick out something cheap. But whether you’re the kind of person that has an app to track everything you drink, or you just enjoy the way that having a couple of glasses diminishes your social anxiety, Bloomsday is a place that will get you excited about wine.
This Headhouse Square spot is a hybrid concept - with an all-day cafe that turns to a wine bar at night, along with a bottle shop that’s open in the back. It’s the kind of place that you’d want to walk into and sit down, even if you knew nothing about it. There are bright blue front doors and huge storefront windows that look into a spacious dining room full of white marble tables and a wraparound bar. And while this would be a great place to have a coffee meeting with your boss, you really come here to drink wine.
Bloomsday is a natural wine bar - one of the first places here that’s really dedicated to the stuff. Their bottles range from a dry rose made in Pennsylvania to a txakolina from Spain that one waiter described as “the margarita of wine.” The knowledgeable servers have fun when talking about the impressive list, and it’s clear that each of them wants to teach you about wine. But not in the way that’ll make you feel stupid for not being an expert - you won’t feel like you just walked into Home Depot for your first bathroom renovation. They’ll ask you questions and bring you tastes of different bottles until you feel like you know exactly what you’re drinking and also why you’re drinking it - whether that’s because it’s a funky-tasting bottle you can’t find elsewhere or because the producer has a compelling social mission on top of making really good wine.
As for the food - the menu is mostly small plates, and while the ham and cheese croquettes or one of the toasts will do just fine for a first date at the bar, you don’t need to go out of your way to eat here. You should, however, go out of your way to drink here. Whether you already care about wine a lot or just want a hobby that doesn’t involve following other people’s pets on social media, you’ll leave Bloomsday feeling excited about wine - and probably with a few bottles to stock your new wine cellar that you’re planning on building with help from the people at Home Depot.
Wine and cheese is a partnership as iconic as Beyonce and Jay-Z. Order a glass and eat this buttery, creamy cow’s milk cheese topped with sweet green-tomato-plum mostarda that’s accompanied by some ciabatta toast.
This crudo sounds promising, with slices of peach, pistachios, and a mint garnish. But it’s generally underwhelming and bland in flavor.
Smoked Bluefish Rillettes Toast
The toasts on the menu - which range from things like apple and goat cheese to tomato and berry - are all pretty solid. Our favorite is the one with bluefish rillettes. It’s salty, smokey, and topped with crisp radishes.
The burger here is pretty classic - with cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles, and fancy mayo they call “Bloomsday sauce.” It’s good if you want something bigger than a snack, but it won’t blow you away.
Long after you’ve finished your small plates and a bottle of wine, you’ll probably be hungry again. The tiramisu should take care of that. It’s pretty standard, but have you ever had a tiramisu that you didn’t like?