Being wined and dined is often a precursor to big requests, such as Can you finish this jug of wine for me? or Would you sign my petition to install a municipal wine fountain? Compromise just the right amount of judgment with this Groupon.
$15 for $30 Worth of Upscale Comfort Food, Wine, and Craft Beer
The menu includes small plates such as the "best grilled cheese" with mushrooms and truffle oil ($9); cheese and charcuterie plates (three styles for $10); Ernesto's flatbreads with figs, prosciutto, and goat cheese ($9); and entrees such as gorgonzola strip steak with caramelized onions and demi-glace ($17). Drinks range from Rogue mocha porter ($6) to D'Tango malbec by the glass ($8).
In his 2010 review, Riverfront Times reporter Ian Froeb revealed the origin of Ernesto's Winebar’s distinctive name. Instead of honoring a chef or long-lost relative, the name pays homage to the owners' love for Ernest Hemingway's simplistic style. Chef Stephanie Hay has risen to the challenge, translating the clean complexity of The Sun Also Rises or the masculine energy of Green Hills of Africa into a menu of tapas and hearty entrees. Diverse flavor profiles mimic Papa Hemingway’s wanderlust, corralling global flavors including chili lime, wasabi tobiko, and even red pepper sauce to create festive tapas such as the truffle-infused grilled cheese, which was named the best grilled cheese of 2010 by Riverfront Times.
The cheese-and-charcuterie menu details hearty repasts from all corners of the globe, with plates of smoky blue cheese from Oregon and salchichón white pork from Spain joining notes of green peppercorn, tomatillo, and even brown sugar for nods to Latin America and the Mediterranean. Ernesto's has also gone to great lengths to locate wine varietals from France, Germany, and Spain for pairing with large steaks and seafood entrees delicately sautéed in a wide array of wine sauces.
Ernesto's butter-hued walls appear to melt in the light from wall sconces and flickering red candles. Above lush hardwood paneling, several framed photographs offer a glimpse of Hemingway at his most virile––aggressively writing at his desk, and using a large steak as a body pillow. For a touch of warmth during fall weather, patrons can also retreat outdoors, where a mammoth brick fireplace casts rich glow on Ernesto's sleek cobblestone patio.