Alibi V.15 No.41 • Oct 12-18, 2006 



In The Art of French Cooking, Fernande Garvin says, "Wine makes a symphony of a good meal." Wise words, but let's not be narrowminded--a good beer or expertly

Best Wine Bar

The culinary scene is all aflutter with wine bars at this particular moment, and for good reason. It used to be that drinking an excellent vintage meant committing to an entire bottle. We usually woke up with headaches the next day--if not from consuming all that delicious, if dehydrating, wine, then for what it did to our bank accounts. These days, places like the swanky wine loft at Slate Street Café offer exceptional wines by the half bottle and glass. With more chances for exposure, the fruit of the vine is moving away from an intimidating and mysterious experience to a user-friendly and wallet-forgiving one. We'll toast to that!

1. Slate Street Café

2. Zine Wine Bar and Bistro

3. Artichoke Café

Best Beer Selection

There you are, sitting in the bar with your buddies. You've got your chicken wings and the game on TV, but something's missing. The perfect beer. You don't know if you're in the mood for a nice oatmeal stout or a pale ale. Don't fret, Kelly's has a wide selection of brews, both in the bottle and on tap, so you're sure to find something to satisfy your tastebuds.

1. Kelly's Brew Pub

2. Chama River Brewing Co.

3. O'Niell's Pub

4. Anodyne

5. Spinn's Burgers and Beer

Best Wine by the Glass

Nobody wants to take out a loan to buy a decent glass of vino, but if you’re drinking at Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro, the temptation seems almost, well, dignified. The beauty part of Zinc is that they have an adequate-and-then-some menu of sweets, bubblies, reds, whites and ports that range from cost effective to sell-your-kidney. Something for everyone makes the wine go ’round.

1. Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro

2. Slate Street Café

3. St. Clair Winery and Bistro

4. Artichoke Café

5. Scalo Northern Italian Grill

Best Bar Snacks

Small, shareable tapas are the ultimate bar food by definition. Get a few friends together at Gecko's Bar and Tapas, order up some Southwestern “krab” taquitos, vine-ripened tomatoes and Spanish olives, and carne adovada lasagna, and nibble the night away. Gecko's also has more traditional bar fare, such as onion rings and nachos in large or small, for the non-tapas type.

1. Gecko's Bar and Tapas

2. O'Niell's Pub

3. Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro

Best Lunchtime Cocktails

Don't pay any mind to the tee-totalers. A lunchtime martini is perfectly respectable as long as your "meal" involves more than a handful of pretzels and a pearl onion. At Gecko's, you get more than a knockout cocktail--you also get an expansive selection of tapas, signature dishes like the daily "chowdah" and one of the best patios in Nob Hill. Drink it all in over your next midday Manhattan.

1. Gecko's Bar and Tapas

2. Garduño's

3. Tie: Graze, O'Niell's Pub, Seasons of Albuquerque