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Bistro À Vin and Pannakakor

Oy, what a delightful but packed full weekend. It started on Thursday with the soft opening of the newest wine bar in Charleston, Bistro À Vin located at 40 Archdale Street in the heart of the shopping district just a block or so off King Street behind Charleston Place Hotel. On Friday, I had to begin preparation for my Dinner for ten on Saturday evening. Then I had my Saturday morning wine class which was awesome learning about several regions in France and blind tasting two wines. I am getting better at this but still not great.

Saturday’s dinner party was amaze-balls, and there will be more on that later this week. But for now… let’s get started.


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Bistro À Vin, A French Wine Bar

My neighbor and friend, Michele got an invite to the grand opening of Bistro À Vin as it is right by where she works. Located at the corner of Archdale and North Market Sts., it occupies the space that was for years, Alpha Dog Omega Cat, but more recently an Olive Oil store. It is just a block off King Street in the heart of the shopping district of downtown Charleston. Wine and shopping is the perfect combination.

Bistro À Vin

The interior space is long and narrow, but it still fits a long row of tables that seat four along the wall with the windows and a long bar on the opposite wall. There is a water station available to all and shelves at each end of the shop storing many of the bottles of wine that are sold. You can order a bottle to drink inside or subtract $8.00 and take it home to enjoy another time. This is a super feature because it is sometimes a challenge to find a wine you had at a restaurant later at a retail store.

Bistro À Vin
Image Courtesy of Bistro À Vin

Bistro À Vin

The Wine List

Bistro À Vin

The wines you will find here are all French in origin except for one California Chardonnay. They are all at really great prices.  The majority of the wines on the list fall in the $21.00 to $35.00 range per bottle making this place your everyday wine bar. Yes there are a few in the forties, and the Chateauneuf-du-Pape selections are in the sixties, but that is as high as it goes. Your wines by the glass start at $7.00 and go up to $14.00. Remember, you subtract $8.00 if you take it home unopened.

The beer selection is mostly European beers that sell for $6.00 to $10.00

And don’t forget Happy Hour served daily from 4-6 pm with bubbles for $7.00 a glass and house wines for $6.00 a glass. I sampled the red, white and sparkling and found them all to be perfect expressions of a French house wine.

I can not speak to the food other than what they served at the grand opening. But if that is any indication of the overall quality, you will be in for a real treat.  The collations {snacks} were over the top and Oh So French!

Bistro À Vin

Bistro À Vin is perfectly located and will carve out its niche in our small town that has seen our wine bar list grow to over 10 in the last few years. These folks bring you affordable, casual and down to earth with a touch of Paris (my favorite city in the world).

Bistro À Vin

Pannakakor from IKEA

Ok, on Sunday after the dinner party for 10, I was a tad bit lethargic and might I say “a tish” hung over. Not horribly so, but to say I do not bounce back as I used to is an understatement. I needed food, and I had no desire to cook after the marathon the day before.

So once I crawled out of bed, I went into my freezer and pulled out a bag of Swedish pancakes that my dear friend Karen gets for me whenever she is near Charlotte, NC (that is the closest IKEA). Thanks, Karen!

Swedish Pancakes

OMG, these are a package of 12 that is roughly $6.00. Grab what you need and toss in the microwave for just 2-3 minutes, add syrup and fruit and you have transported yourself to a breakfast joint in Stockholm on a crisp Spring day.  Ok, to really complete the transport you will need lingonberries, but these pancakes are the best no matter what your topping is.  I never grow tired of these.

Now some of you may ask, what makes these so special?

And why not make them from the box mix you will find in the grocery or from scratch? And all I can say is, you have to try them.  They are perfect every time. And remember, I am not a baker and working with a batter is like baking and well, let’s just say my attempts have been embarrassing and did not satiate my need for pannakakor.

Every time I eat these, I am reminded of my year as an exchange student living in Sweden.


By the way, did you even realize that there is a grocery section in every IKEA where they sell traditional Swedish foods? Most walk right past and never take a look. But Swedish delights are waiting for you if you give them a try.


Well, that is all for now.






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