Gettin’ wined and dined in the 906

Gettin’ wined and dined in the 906

AnnMarie Kent

Marquette has long been lacking a place for wine. Yes, most bars sell Barefoot by the glass, but with the increase in millennials drinking and appreciating wine, Zephyr Wine Bar gives Marquette the upscale wine experience it has been craving.

When I first entered Zephyr I was overwhelmed with the smell of raclette. The large wheel of cheese is scraped of its top layer for a delicious cheese dish. While raclette is tasty, the smell in the restaurant wasn’t as enticing; everything else about Marquette’s wine bar is.

re-Zephyr2.ETSomeone from the staff greeted me quickly and made sure I would get a table that I would be comfortable in. So I waited just a few minutes for a table. I sat down and was given a comprehensive menu with their extensive amount of wines, beers, spirits and food. The clipboard-style menu gave it a modern feel.

The wide array of wines would normally be intimidating, but the menu is broken up well. It made it easy to find the right kind of wine for my taste. My love of dry white wines led me to a reisling. While stumbling through the pronunciation of the German wine, the waiter quickly and flawlessly rattled out Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, Bürklin-Wolf Estate Riesling.

It was clear he had a vast knowledge of the wines he was serving. The wine was tart, smooth and perfect matched its description as “bone-dry.”

While Zephyr is a wine bar, they offer a tapas-style array of food. I started with taralli, described as “Little, round Italian breadstick thingies.” I found the use of “thingies” on the menu amusing and relaxing. It proved while being a nice place they didn’t take themselves too seriously. The taralli came in a small dish, and visually can only be described as extra large cheerios. At only $2.50 they were a nice, small, crunchy starter.

As friends joined me we ordered a cheese board. Zephyr has a large cooler filled with many fresh cheeses. The board was served on a slate, giving it a modern look.

The selection on the board included bleu cheese, gouda, goat and others. Some of the cheeses came with pairings to compliment their flavor, such as a cheese paired with figs which was absolutely perfect. One of the only flaws in the wait staff’s service was not explaining the cheeses to us.

Zephyr pairs modern designs with classic technique. The old fashioned slicer sat in the corner and waitress sliced cured meat for the meat and cheese board. The interior design around the space includes geometric patterns, especially in the light fixtures.

The clean, white seats match the modern atmosphere. The mosaic on the wall behind the bar gives the contemporary restaurant an artsy touch.

After enjoying another glass of wine I decided to order the autumn snap salad, a mix of greens and brussel sprouts with a lemon vinaigrette. It was a really fresh salad, but I would have loved more of a lemon bite from the vinaigrette. The lemon flavor was very subtle.

My final plate was the burrata, an incredible cheese dish. The dish pairs a creamy stracciatella cheese center with a solid mozzarella shell. Zephyr adds drizzles of balsamic vinegar and cold pressed olive oil to give a tangy and smooth compliment to the dish. Definitely my favorite part of my experience.

Apart from the food, the friendly staff was a highlight of the experience. They were always eager to help, explain or suggest. The slightly upscale bar geared toward people with knowledge and love of wine is also easily accessible to people without the knowledge looking to learn a bit more about wine.