When a veteran industry sommelier opens an bar with smoked sherry-based cocktails, serves decorated champagne punch bowls in vintage glassware, with rare wines and fondue, that should be enough to draw people in. But the forthcoming Severance wine bar clearly wants to dazzle by making drinks interactive.
Not only are all servers and bartenders certified sommeliers, but owner Evan Charest will list wines by terroir rather than by varietal. Guests will be able to see and touch soil from wine regions, and champagne bottles can be sabered upon request when the bar opens September 4.
Charest is well-versed in designing cocktails and wine lists for Patina Group, which includes developing the programs at the Boardroom, Kendall’s Brasserie, Cafe Pinot, Nick & Stef’s, and Ray’s & Stark Bar. The cocktails are playful, and Charest hopes guests learn about his favorite hooch in the cozy 1,800 square foot space.
Charest designed a mai tai with two types of sherry, pistachio simple syrup, lime, and mint. Or there’s the Thai pineapple whip with dry filtered sake, sparking sake, Thai chili, toasted coconut syrup, lime, and pineapple whip. Another Patina alum Weston Ludeke put together a menu that’s sure to cause a food coma, including a fondue platter, beef tartare, and a fondue burger. And if that’s not enough, Charest added weekly events with friends from LA’s bar industry
Charest took over a space with a recent high-turnover rate. Severance’s predecessor, Alta Nordic Restaurant operated for slightly over a year, while Perfecto Rocher’s Spanish Smoke. Oil. Salt lasted two years. Evan Kleiman’s Angeli Caffe had a 27-year run, but closed in 2011.
Severance hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. until midnight, with happy hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. to midnight.