Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A peek inside the new 2South Food & Wine Bar

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 3:42 PM

2South Food + Wine Bar opened this past weekend at 2 South 25th St. in Old Colorado City.

As we told you here back in May, the sleek new wine bar (with full food service - so you could easily call it a café or restaurant) replaces Deb's Coffee House in the beautiful old Victorian property.

But you won't recognize the space as compared to its predecessor: A major overhaul has been accomplished, adding a hood to the kitchen (enabling real food preparation vs. microwave and toaster cooking) and bars to what were previously just dining rooms.

Take a quick stroll via this slideshow or by clicking the photo below:

2South Food & Wine Bar
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Owners Rod and Amy Quass are happy to show off the gorgeous new space that they've been working on since June, 2011.

And here's a look at the opening food menu by former Briarhurst Manor Estate chef Tyler Peoples and sous chef Eric Bowen (who worked with Peoples for two years at the Briarhurst):

But as wine is a key component to the concept, let's talk about what's exciting in that arena.

First, the Quasses believe that their Pod Bar wine preservation system is the first of its kind in Colorado.

It's essentially a wine cooler featuring two external knobs that 1) suck air out of open bottles to keep them fresh for between two to three weeks, as opposed to a few days and 2) blow CO2 back into sparkling wines that have been opened.

Also, 2South offers four wines "on tap" from a "wine keg system" that operates much like a common beer system. The operation purchases five-gallon plastic wine kegs (equaling 26 bottles) that thanks to a nitrogen system stay fresh until the keg is tapped — for weeks and weeks and weeks, easily, let's say.

That system also allows for temperature control between whites and reds.

We sampled a Parducci Pinot Noir and NxNW (North by Northwest) Columbia Valley red blend — both were excellent.

Rod says he'll aim to keep his bottle prices reasonable (the current top bottle is $69), though he may add a fancy sparkling wine in the $230 range. Glasses start at $7.

Currently three Trinity Brewing Company beers are on tap (the Soul Horkey, Saison Man and a chicory coffee stout) with Deschutes Brewery's Chainbreaker White IPA.

2South Food & Wine Bar
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Dark chocolate cake with raspberry mousse and a merlot gelee, $5 in its full size.

The Quasses will likely work with other local breweries soon, with an ability to put up to eight different beers on tap at a given time.

One other system that may not be as interesting to the average diner or drinker but will be infinitely fascinating to those of us out there who have worked at restaurants with hand-written tickets or antiquated POS (point-of-sale) software: 2South features a unique, new cloud-based POS that's run on an iPad and enables waiters to place orders and even run credit cards tableside via their own iPhones.

In other words, no three-person-deep lines at the single wait-station POS like at other restaurants, where servers weather the anxiety of being in the weeds and trying to get an order in while grab-assing and boasting over drunken exploits with the back-of-the-house.

Lastly, I'll largely hold off passing comment on the food samples we tried — our custom when blogging about openings in anticipation of a later, formal review — but I do have to briefly gush over the Moscato and Ginger Mousse dessert with a salted caramel praline garnish ($5).

It's not pictured in the slideshow above as it was a late treat handed to me by Peoples just before I slipped out — but it is capital-A amazing with little ginger bits and perfect sweet/salty balance ... just get it, you'll see.

Most of the menu can be adapted to gluten-free needs, if a dish already isn't so (many are).

Chalkboard specials will be added soon and the wine list will expand as well.

Peoples says he'll try to work with more local products soon, once he's had time to get open and settled, but for now, he and Bowen are making their own bacon in house from pork belly and more piggy products like house sausages and rinds will follow.

On the pastry side, they also make their own desserts, including house marshmallows. Colorado Coffee Merchants coffee is available for caffeine pairing.

Hours are currently Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, 3 to 10 p.m.; Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight. Closed Mondays.

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