The new intimate digs at micro bar • bites is a welcome addition to the downtown neighbourhood restaurant scene which is ready for an upmarket, "big city" wine bar. I "smoozed" with a small group of locals, from media to designers, including my friend Dina of Olive Oil and Lemons, to have a first glimpse into this unique 900 square foot venue.
When you walk in you immediately feel comfortable in this unpretentious space designed by internationally acclaimed architect Timothy Bullinger from Arca3 Design Studio in Vancouver. A major component of the design is around the unique bar built by local wood craftsman Will Brundula. Constructed from various species of reclaimed wood, the end cuts were milled to create a patchwork one-of-a-kind surface that anchors the space. Seated at the 65 foot bar you just wanted to run your hands over its smooth glass-like surface as you take in everything from the Italian imported stone feature wall, to the Italian-style plaster walls applied in a hundred year-old four-stage technique, to the 20-foot wire cage wooden chandelier complete with dozens of suspended antiqued-style caged lights hanging from the 18-foot ceiling. Everything looks like it has been part of the space forever giving it a European feel with a casual Okanagan attitude. This warm and inviting space remains respectful to the time period of this historic block of Water Street while giving a nod to modern eclectics.
Chef Butters jokes that the space is so small that “we don’t even capitalize the ‘m’ of micro!”
Now micro bar • bites is not your average restaurant/bar, there isn’t a big menu to pour over, you won't get food envy from your dining partner’s plate or even the table beside you. Seating 34 guests inside at the bar and the potential for 20 on the patio, the new 900 square-foot venue is a second home to two passionate ladies; manager Amy Laird and Chef Evelynn Takoff. Chef Butters says the menu at micro bar • bites will follow a simple formula based on the number 10. Ten wines, 10 cocktails, 10 beer and 10 bites. The innovative food and beverage menu is a chefs dream based on the chefs whimsy and global influences changing often to highlight the freshest local ingredients available. All those involved are "over the moon" and full of enthusiasm to open the doors to share their ever-changing daily menu with the city of Kelowna. From your communal bar perch you browse the butcher paper menu for the days choice of small mouthwatering dishes with a global flare and fun presentation, including choices of house-made charcuterie, artisan olives, paté and cheeses along with a glass of wine or beer. It sounds like no two menus will be alike. That night we can a melt in your mouth veal cheek, a flavourful seafood salad and the cheese of the day.
Alison Love of Spatula Media says, "The European flavour will extend to the glassware at micro bar • bites with beer, cocktails and wine served in simple tumblers. No fancy stemware here. The creatively simple approach of micro bar • bites continues with a pared down bar and food menu, and the launch of barrel-aged hi-balls, with International beers and wines all offering guests a fresh experience. Chef Butters is already playing with unique twists on simple small bites menu."
Micro bar • bites offers the perfect opportunity to meet new people in a relaxing, intimate environment, seated around the 65-foot long bar. This atmospheric muse, just doors down from its flagship restaurant Raudz, is an innovative option for a late afternoon, early evening bite or a late-night snack. It is slated to open soon (once the liquor license gets sorted out) from 3:00 in the afternoon to a late night closing.
A night at Micro bar • bites at 1500 Water Street is one you won’t soon forget, and nor should you.
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