Not Obvious, But Happening.

Tom Fitzmorris September 30, 2019 07:47 Dining Diary

Not wanting to have anything big for dinner Saturday evening, we decided to try a place we haven’t visited for real. Almost a year ago, our friend and restaurateur Vicky Bayley teamed with longtime Keith Young’s waiter Jeff James to start a wine bar in Mandeville, in the location that was formerly Bouree. It came about rather quickly when Vicky’s son Sam was bussing tables for Jeff at Keith Young’s. Jeff mentioned to Sam a dream he’s had for a while about opening a wine bar, coincidentally, one he unknowingly shared with Vicky. Sam mentioned his conversation to his mother, and before they knew it, St. Ann’s Wine Bar was up and running. 

We wondered about this move, since the north shore is hardly known as a single’s hotspot. But last weekend it was really jumping in there. Maybe its proximity to the upscale apartments, the dearth of such places on the north shore, or the skill of these two. It wasn’t only young people there. It was quite a demographic spectrum

Vicky has always been a front-of-the-house person, so it was odd to not see her. We soon learned she was in the kitchen, and Jeff was front-of-the-house. What came out of the kitchen was good. We got ahi tuna Napoleons on fried wontons. We also got a crabmeat queso that came with fried wontons, but we swapped these for housemade potato chips. This was hardly a queso, which we expected to have more stuff in it. Essentially this was nice crabmeat in a cream sauce with a lot of cheese, but who could complain about that? Calling it a queso is a stretch, that’s all. The potato chips were definitely housemade, a little thick and very crisp, as per the menu, where they are described as crispy fried potato chips. The ahi tuna was good, with a generous amount of avocado and microgreens making it pretty. I also got a $9 generous pour of a Lava Cap Chardonnay.

Just to not be so predictable, I got chocolate truffles as dessert. There were mostly chocolate things here, so it was likely we’d wind up with chocolate. This is never a problem for MA. They came three to an order with a raspberry sauce bordering them on the plate. These were decadent, way too powerful for me. Mary Ann liked them. 

There is a weekday happy hour with discounts on beer and wine and a $3 Cosmopolitan, and a good selection of half-price appetizers. Live music, but not all the time.

This was a nice surprise.

St. Ann Wine Bar

22 Saint Ann Drive  Mandeville


Tu-Th 4-10

Friday 4-midnight

Saturday 5:30 midnight

Happy Hour 4-6