An attempt to move the fancy goods of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine onto the plate, Bar Pastoral features a convivial atmosphere that, on a recent Friday night, was the right amount of busy. The chef is Chrissy Camba, a former contestant on Top Chef who's worked at Vincent and HB Home Bistro; nevertheless the menu is taken up mostly by cheeses, available by the piece or on plates of three ($16) or five ($25); so are items off a shorter menu of cured meats ($25 for five, too—that's the whole list). One wishes for some way to more broadly sample the menu—a mixed plate of cheese and meat would be a benefit. So, for that matter, would a glass of wine cheaper than $10, but wine prices are the same across the board: $44 a bottle, $10 a glass, and $5 a half glass. On the plate, I'm afraid, are more-major mishaps—have you ever had a Spanish anchovy that didn't taste anything like fish? Me neither. Off a selection of "not so small" plates, house-made roasted ham was overdone and chewy; the potatoes with it chalky. Amid all the chaos, it's startling to find a charcuterie menu that's uniformly good: duck rillettes served in an elegant cylinder; ultradense but subtly flavored chicken liver mousse; country paté garnished with an intense, almost chocolatey chestnut mousse. Nice bread, too.
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A wine bar from local purveyors Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, this Lakeview storefront features a convivial atmosphere that's just the right amount of busy. The menu's taken up mostly by cheeses, cured meats, and house-made charcuterie, and while the last are uniformly good, a mixed plate would be nice. So, for that matter, would a glass of wine cheaper than $10, but prices are the same across the board: $44 a bottle, $10 a glass, and $5 a half glass. —Sam Worley