WHY For the great wine list, with lots of worthy choices for less than $10 a glass; the well-conceived and fairly priced small-plates menu; and the gregarious charm of Chef Beltran, who spends a lot of time checking on diners.
WHAT After years of bouncing around various restaurants, success has come to chef Claud Beltran and wine expert Mike Farwell, owners of this wine bar/bistro. There’s a handful of tables in the chocolate-box of a dining room, modeled on Farwell’s beloved Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris, a compact new bar counter for a dozen, and more seating on the heated, candlelit outdoor passageway and walled patio. You can have just a glass of wine and a cheese plate, or live it up with a good bottle and several small dishes (try the burger, the haricots verts with garlic, shallots and mint, and whatever fresh fish is offered).
WHO Boston Court theater-goers, Caltechers and an appealing mix of young and mature Pasadenans.
Region: San Gabriel Valley
Features: Dinner, Lunch, Romantic
Price Range: $10-$16, $17-$24
Cuisine Type: Modern American, Wine bar