Ha. Like that was ever going to happen...
Thank Dionysus for Esters Wine Shop & Bar, a decorous little fermented-grape stronghold for first dates and shared plates, soft-opening tomorrow in Santa Monica. (This is a slideshow.)
This place looks like what would happen if an overzealous vintner ransacked someone’s personal library and replaced all their dusty tomes with really nice bottles of wine. And then added a large U-shaped bar, an open kitchen and an antique crystal globe chandelier for good measure.
You’ll come here with a first date you’d like to impress. Maybe you’ve got dinner reservations at Cassia next door. That works just fine. It’s owned by the same people, so... teamwork.
Head out to the patio with a bottle of sparkling rosé from Loire, some curry cashews and their smoked local sablefish. If you’re not feeling wine, a house-bottled Old Fashioned should do the trick.
Oh, and before you leave, consider taking a few specialty confections and a bottle from their grab-and-go fridge with you.
That was the “shop” part.