Where to Nathalie, a wine bar in the Fenway. Owner Haley Fortier, managing partner Kristie Weiss, and executive chef David Cavilla are also behind Haley Henry downtown.
What for A Haley Henry-esque experience, with a focus on small-production, natural wines made by women.
The scene An oasis from pre-Sox game madness. Nathalie, like Haley Henry, is a sliver of a spot: bar to one side, banquette and tables to the other, and a spare, counter-top kitchen. Tones of gray, turquoise, and tobacco dominate, with shiny black tile, velour and marble, one wall papered in a lush floral. The bathroom doors are labeled “Everybody’s Bathroom.” Seats are filled with tattooed people in natty button-downs and suspenders, groovy frocks, and comfortable T-shirts.
What you’re eating Montaditos, tapas-esque topped toasts, are a highlight of the menu. They come with butter, anchovy, and tomato; whipped lardo, poblano pepper, and candied peanut; and grilled eggplant with spicy mayo and crispy garlic. A short list of small plates includes corn bisque with crab; sambal-spiced squash with shrimp, chicken kofte, basil, and peanuts; and tomatoes stuffed with lamb and Gorgonzola cheese.
Care for a drink? There’s a short list of cocktails highlighting bitters, and beer from around New England. Wines by the glass all come from female producers. Bottles are broken down into categories such as “fiery,” “elegant,” “breathtaking,” and “unconventional.” It’s never a bad idea to ask the bartender what’s interesting: As at Haley Henry, staff will open any bottle you’ll commit to buying half of.
Overheard Conversation about wine, skincare, punctuation, and tattoos. “How do you spell ‘basement’ wrong?” one woman asks incredulously. “I don’t mean to be a punctuation bully,” her friend declares. “Your skin looks amazing,” someone tells a bartender. “It’s kind of going crazy right now,” he says with a pat to his cheek. “I had a tinto last night at Sarma,” one wine enthusiast tells another. A bartender recommends a rose, and the friends who sniff it exclaim “wow!” in unison.
186 Brookline Ave., Fenway, Boston, 857-317-3884, www.nathaliebar.com