Capitol HIll’s Chophouse Row officially has a new wine destination. After months of delays due to the pandemic, Light Sleeper arrives with a small lunch menu of soups, salads, snacks, charcuterie, and pizzas (such as a mortadella, taleggio, and plum option) to start, along with bottles available for pickup. Current hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The wine selection — from veteran sommelier and co-owner Ezra Wicks, who worked at Light Sleeper’s acclaimed predecessor Bar Ferdinand — highlights some natural and biodynamic offerings, although the inventory aims to appeal to many different tastes. Recently, the bar partnered with neighboring bottle shop Wide Eyed Wines on a seasonal mulled wine kit, with gingerbread cookie dough.
Before the end of the year, Light Sleeper will also roll out a more curated take-home meal box based on what the team can access from local farmers, foragers, and fishmongers. The initial package — available to reserve through Tock at $40 per person — will contain several vegetable dishes, oysters, meats, and a dessert.
Chef and co-owner Eli Dahlin (formerly of Pioneer Square’s Damn the Weather) sees both the lunch counter and the take-home boxes as separate pop-ups of sorts. “At Home aims to split the difference between ‘special’ and ‘special occasion’ within the limitations of cardboard and takeout apps,” he says. “While both are under the Light Sleeper aegus, they are separate personalities that more reflect our response to circumstances than our vision for the wine bar.”
If conditions are more favorable to sit-down service by early 2021, Light Sleeper intends to do some wine-focused events in February utilizing the courtyard space for social distancing (updates will be provided on social media). There’s also a wine club called Bottle Rocket accepting subscriptions for January.
Dahlin says he eventually wants the Light Sleeper experience to feel like a tasting menu restaurant where customers can “explore as many options as possible.” Wide Eyed Wines will also offer the restaurant’s entire inventory for purchase, and once sit-down service begins, there will also be a small selection of classic cocktails available.