Review: Elemental Next Door Wine Bar

Elemental Next Door (E.N.D.), Phred Westfall's wine bar next door to his eccentric Wallingford eater

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Elemental Next Door (E.N.D.), Phred Westfall's wine bar next door to his eccentric Wallingford eatery, Elemental, is "same food, less attitude"

If you’ve never heard of Phred Westfall, here’s a primer: Since he and his partner, Laurie Riedeman, opened Elemental, their eccentric Wallingford eatery, back in 2004, Westfall has become something of a legend for his my-way-or-the-highway style of service. He—and for that matter, Elemental itself—is the type you either adore or despise. So when the couple opened a wine bar right next door to Elemental, promising “same food, less attitude,” the self-awareness was commendable. And what they’ve promised is what you get at E.N.D., a tucked-away wine bar with heavy, hip-high tables built of reclaimed timber, and a sexy industrial vibe. You’ll be greeted with a flute of bubbly at the door, invited to peruse the menu (written on a paper scroll, as dishes change at the whim of chef Allyss Dillon) and to browse the wall of 100 worldly wines, where every bottle is just $30, half-bottles are $15, and glasses are $8. Then find a spot at one of the four-top tables, or join friendly neighbors at the expansive communal table, and dig into duck pâté with gingery rhubarb compote ($15) and freshly picked greens glossy with Dillon’s fabulous buttermilk-pastis dressing ($12 for the large salad). Entrées—perhaps a perfectly cooked slab of sockeye over a perky salad of olives, Italian parsley and capers alongside tender gnocchi—can be ordered small ($14) or larger ($22). While there are occasional clunkers—overcooked lamb loin ($14), grainy pineapple ice cream ($8)—the balance is easily in favor of the kitchen. And when the modest bill comes—with tax and the tip included—the night ends on an even better note. Dinner daily. Wallingford, 3309 Wallingford Ave. N; 206.547.2317; $$