The food people behind the restaurant will read familiar to Tacomans. Jeff Bishop is the consulting chef. In the kitchen is Joanna Speer, formerly of Merende, the now defunct Tacoma restaurant at which Bishop last cooked (he’s also cooked at Il Fiasco and other South Sound restaurants). The other Morso chef is Colin Moore.
Lynn described the menu as small plate tastes with a revolving menu that will fluctuate seasonally or at the whim of the chefs. Click “more” to read about the concept, and to see menus. Lynn said menu items, such as a charcuterie, cheese plates, flatbreads, salads and meat and veggie small plates will all be standards on the menu, but the flavors and ingredients will constantly change.
“I get bored going to (restaurants) really fast,” said Lynn. “Just like I like my wines to change, I like my foods to change, too.”
The small plates menu is priced with nothing more than $15. Half the menu is priced under $10.
The menu has a Mediterranean feel that reads Northwest around the edges. Small plate items include pan-roasted halibut with grilled zucchini ribbons stuffed with sautéed spinach; herb-roasted crimini and portabella on polenta, and charred eggplant with mozzarella, sweet peppers, onions and peppery arugula pesto.
For wine, the list is voluminous, with more than 70 single glass pours, starting at $6.50 and priced up to $23. There are dozens more bottles, priced starting at around $19.
And here’s something unusual: the wine bar will feature a variety of wine cocktails, all priced at $5. The cocktails include a mixture of wine, juice and other ingredients. The Belly of the Bay, for instance, is Vinho Verde, peach nectar, Dolin Blanc vermouth and a splash of Bonal Gentiane-Quina vin Aperitif. It’s served on the rocks with frozen grapes.
Lynn described the atmosphere at Morso as convivial. The room has 11 tables, which includes a communal table with seating for 10.
Lynn said staffers will be well versed in recommending wines, as well as in pairing wine with food. Expect a relaxed experience with a come-as-you-are vibe, he said. “If you feel like you have to sit up straight here, we’ve done it wrong,” said Lynn. “You don’t want to be too intrusive, if they like it, they like it. We don’t have to be snobs about it.”
Morso Wine Bar
Where: 9014 Peacock Hill Ave., Gig Harbor
Info: 253-530-3463 or www.morsowinebar.com
Hours: 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; 5 p.m.-12 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Sundays