Restaurant Review: Font

A coffee and wine bar where food isn't an afterthought
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In a city where coffee culture runs deep and aficionados debate over where to find a perfectly pulled shot of espresso, allow me to submit Fonté Coffee and Wine Bar as a serious contender. (After all, Fonté has been roasting its own beans since 1992 and sells to properties worldwide.) The restaurant, open since last summer—has an urban minimalist feel: an exposed concrete floor, dark wooden slats that run the length of the ceiling, and comfy, curvy armchairs perfect for crashing in. Fonté also offers French press coffee flights ($9.95 for three pots from different regions, such as Indonesia and South America—more than enough brew for two), and a pastry case full of gems, like bacon-flecked, fudgy chocolate brownies ($3)—the ideal afternoon pick-me-up.

The food isn’t an afterthought at Fonté, though the short menu, designed by Crush restaurant chef Jason Wilson, tends toward simpler fare. The most successful? A grilled sandwich containing succulent slices of chile-rubbed pork, accented with a few crumbles of blue cheese, frisée and an addictive onion tomato jam ($8). A flavorful omelet with chorizo, piquillo peppers, spinach and Mahon cheese ($8), made for a fine breakfast one morning, but dinner yielded a less successful pappardelle ($10), which arrived with a skimpy amount of bland lamb ragu anointing the pasta. Fonté delivers color-coded, user-friendly wine pairing suggestions next to each dish, so finding a stellar selection on its reasonably priced list is an easy feat. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Downtown (in the Four Seasons Hotel), 1321 First Ave.; 206.777.6193. $