Food & Drink

A new wine bar in Old Town

Quietly sprung open by a couple of brothers with a history in the wine biz, Christopher's on Congress is the jazzed up successor to Old Town's Wine Cabana, now sporting a much more appropriate interior, cigars, and the best happy hour in town now that they've raided those massage parlors in Vista you totally never knew about anyway, so good riddance! The crew successfully de-cheeseballed the interior by slapping more neutral grays over the obnoxious coral-covered teal, not-literally throwing a fireplace & marble-topped wine barrel tables into the back room, and classing up this here patio. Leveraging skills honed while selling wine, the bros carefully conspired on the vino list to include a large selection of moderately priced by-the-glass varieties, as well as a by-the-bottle reserve list that tips the scale with the $2000 1964 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Bordeaux. If you're not making Eric Weddle money, from 3-7p they're slinging select glasses for $3, and all their bottled brews are $2 with options ranging from Mexico's Rio Bravo, to a serrano lager called Chili Devil. The titular sibling who claimed the place also happens to be a chef, so he'll be working up a small menu of alcohol soakers including this grilled chicken panini with gruyere, pea pesto, and a Moroccan roasted pepper spread for a little kick, not unlike the one Ndamukong Suh did to Matt Schaub's groin. If that's not enough, they're also using naan as the base for pies like this one with whole milk mozzarella and a rotating trio of cured meats that should keep you happy for way more than an hour.