Looking for a casual yet classy place to get a few drinks and an appetizer without being bombarded by huge crowds or televisions everywhere you turn? Aperitif 21, a Euro-style bar and restaurant, provides that escape among Lincoln Avenue's busy sports-bar scene.
Aperitif 21's cozy interior surrounds you in warm earth tones and elegant, French- inspired paintings. There are a couple tables up front—perfect for warm summer nights when the floor-to-ceiling windows are open—and plenty of seating parallel to the bar, which features an extensive liquor selection. While the space is on the smaller side, you won't feel like others are intruding on your conversation. And because of the quality menu, you just might be too busy letting your taste buds loose instead of chatting with a friend. Try the hummus plate ($5.95), baked goat cheese ($8.95) or a mini-skewer ($6.95-$8.95). Crisp, fresh salads will run you six to 11 bucks. Entrees like the Mediterranean cheese steak ($15.95) feature unique ingredients like havarti and yogurt dill sauce. Sandwiches, chicken, pasta and seafood selections complete the menu. You'll also find twists like the B.L.T.A. (the "a" is for avocado). And where else can you get an eight-ounce cheeseburger and fries for only $6.95?
Aperitif 21 also offers an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays for a mere $7.95 and 11.a.m.-3 p.m. on the weekends for $10.95. The buffet changes daily, but usually includes hummus, a salad, rice and a meat selection.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: John Kristoff