When you dream of opening a cozy, intimate wine bar with big international menu flavors to match, you can’t let a pandemic put the cork back in your unbottled enthusiasm. And, like many local restauranteurs, the owners of the new Fox Tail Wine Bar on Mellen Street in Hampton have forged ahead with creativity and determination.
At an invitation dinner for Fox Tail’s official grand opening in early February, guests got to travel far and wide with sample-sized versions of plates on their “Starters,” “Land” and “Sea” menus. The beet salad with red and golden beets was beautifully complemented by the punch and crunch of gorgonzola, pine nuts and pickled apples. Smoked octopus was tender, full of layered smoky flavor and artfully plated with chickpeas, preserved lemon and black olives. The Snake River Farms American Wagyu burger was deliciously decadent, and the Ora King Salmon was richly poached in olive oil and balanced by cabbage ferment.
Click here to read more about the worldly flavors and vintages at Foxtail Wine Bar.
A Taste of France in Phoebus
The chef duo behind Hampton’s Grey Goose, Dana and Phillip Epstein, opened their newest venture, The Baker’s Wife Bistro + Bar, in early January. The Baker’s Wife, led by chef Michael Koch, serves French-American cuisine ranging from “au gratin to French fries and filet mignon to New York strip.” The casual, yet upscale, bistro offers traditional French fare, including seared foie gras, duck confit poutine and coq au vin. The elegant and approachable dishes are prepared in-house using old-school French techniques. A variety of wines, cheeses, breads and desserts also grace The Baker’s Wife’s menu. As the weather warms up, take a seat on the bistro’s outdoor patio on Mellen Street, or reserve a curated food and wine pairing experience at the chef’s table.
Breaking Barriers through Beer
Brewing small-batch, local beer, 1865 Brewing Co. joins Phoebus’ burgeoning drinking scene. Paying homage to the year slavery was abolished following the ratification of the 13th Amendment, as well as nearby Fort Monroe’s history as a Union stronghold during the Civil War, 1865 Brewing is gearing up to be the region’s first Black-owned brewery. Co-owners Whitteney Guyton and William Comer collaborated on the highly anticipated brewery located on South Mallory Street. The project has been a labor of love and a lesson in patience, following several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to craft beer, 1865 Brewing will also serve coffee in the mornings. The brewery will offer a warm, welcoming atmosphere for the community to gather and share a pint.