Chefs on Board, Toast Wine Bar Menu Takes Shape


Given that Toast Wine Bar (1363 West 65th St.) has been in the works for more than five years, it's completely understandable that plans would shift over time. With just a few weeks left before the Detroit Shoreway business opens, it's become clear that the biggest adjustment has been reserved for the food program.

Owner Jillian Davis has brought on chefs Jennifer Plank and Joe Horvath to run the kitchen. The pair — a couple in real life — both worked at the Greenhouse Tavern. Thanks to them, the food has been elevated from light wine bar fare to more ambitious seasonal cuisine.

"Jill had a lot of ideas that were really similar to ours, like making everything from scratch using farmers we love," Plank explains. "Eventually we hope to be growing a majority of our own produce."

Plank calls the food "revitalized farm fare," which she says is simple food done with love and skill. Diners can look forward to house-made charcuterie, local brick chicken with chestnut puree, and stuffed pig's trotters. Snacks and shared plates might feature egg salad and deviled eggs.

"We want some fun bar snacks," she adds. "We think it's important to keep it more casual and not as stuffy as most wine bars are."

Menus will be small but nimble, changing even weekly to keep abreast of fresh foods.

The food will be served in a cozy wood-filled room, with seating for about 70 inside and more outside come patio weather.

"Oh, it's beautiful inside," she notes. "It's warm and inviting, with beautiful wood original to the 1913 building."

In addition to small-label wines, guests can expect craft beer and cocktails.

Look for an opening by mid-March if not before.

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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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