Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani (of TERRA, ~AME~) opened the taverny Bar Terra last month in the north half of the groovy stone building that houses Terra on the south side. The place channels the vibe of the departed Martini House cellar bar with its low lighting and a non-Main Street location, and seems to be filling that gaping hole in the community with its own brand of sexy cocktails and sophisticated snacks.
The cocktail list steers clear of cloying, and sticks with balanced blends of fresh citrus and quality liquors. They make their Jack Rose—my new fave—with Lecompte Calvados and Allspice Dram, which lend a savory undertone and serious food affinity. Speaking of which, the awesomely affordable snack menu includes such delights as Egg3 (deviled Jidori eggs with salmon roe and uni), a jarful of beef tartare with Thai chiles, Red Necks and Wings (a ducked-up version of hotwings that includes necks), and the heart-stopping “caviar dip”—a glass jar layered with luscious cream, tobiko, salmon roe, and California osetra served with toasted baguette chips. A couple of salads and a few larger plates allow for more traditional dinners, but grazing through the starters is the obvious choice for tipplers in this kind of setting. Only half the seats at Bar Terra are available for reservations, too, so that walk-ins have a great shot at scoring a spot on any given night.
Terra next door has also done some revamping, and now boasts an eye-catching wine wall in the dining room, as well as a new slew of prix-fixe options: four courses for $66, five courses for $81, six courses for $92, or the chef’s choice omakase if you simply must have more. A special daily set menu of 3 courses for $57 brings the Michelin-starred experience within reach of more modest budgets, too. 1345 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, 707-963-8931.