Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bar 506

Wingman and I decided to check out Bar 506 last night, before all the hub bub.

We strolled in to the Residence Inn (506 E. Fourth St.) and were greeted by several doormen and a hotel desk clerk. A few steps away from the front door, Bar 506 channels a little bit of Frank Lloyd Wright and cozy country club, what with its stained glass, stained wood, nice tile treatments and arrangement of upholstered seating space.

The bar area spills into a lounge-y seating area that shares space with the hotel lobby. There are a few big-screen televisions for folks who want to grab a drink or bite while watching the Big Game (pictures to come).

We grabbed some plush chairs next to a two-sided fireplace and a flatscreen and perused the cocktail menu.

Some basic standbys - an old fashioned and cosmos - all priced at around $9 or $10 a drink. That seems to be the industry standard for a "crafted cocktail" in Cincinnati these days, doesn't it?

Rather than choose a few drinks, Wingman chose a moderately priced Malbec. It was smooth, on the spicy side and very warm in flavor. It was a perfect wine to enjoy as we sat by the fireplace and warmed up on an unusually chilly March evening. The server also brought us a complimentary paper cone full of wasabi peas for our munching pleasure.

After we enjoyed our wine, we nosed around to the back courtyard behind the hotel, where we're told bar guests can enjoy cocktails in warmer weather. A variety of outdoor seating options invite guests to unwind beneath the evening glow of Procter and Gamble's twin towers.

In all, I was impressed with the attentive staff and the ambiance. However, I wish the bar had a more defined separation from the lobby space and the lounge space. I imagine the peace and relaxed ambiance of the bar could be interrupted during a busy check-in period, and loud bar patrons could disturb hotel guests who are enjoying a moment in the lobby.

We did not choose to sample any of the hotel's tapas menu offerings (the menu was pretty standard and reliable - nothing overly exotic per my recollection), so that's something I'll comment on another day.

The Residence Inn is not on the beaten path. I imagine this bar will be a great haven for folks who are looking to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine away from the hoi polloi in the core of CBD.

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