Elijah Ferrian gets into fine wine, all the cheese, and service beyond expectations at this new Pasteur Street bistro Brix Wine Bar. Photos by Vinh Dao.
Let me just start out by saying that if you want to get a glass of wine in District 1, there should be no other conversation happening other than: “What time do you want to meet at Brix?” I had no idea going into this establishment how excited I would end up leaving, having found a place to find a Gruner Veltliner (beautifully crisp Austrian white wine), a bar manager that knows his stuff, and a menu that is the perfect size with variations that actually make sense in a cheese bar concept.
Lorenz Hammer is the manager, and man is he a refreshing person to have behind the bar explaining what they are trying to do at Brix.
“We want to create a place in District 1 where you can bring your wife, or girlfriend to a respectful establishment, and get quality of service that doesn’t really exist elsewhere in the city.”
It’s no smoking, and there is a quiet, comfortable ambiance that shields your experience away from the chain of bars that one may topple into if headed further down Pasteur. It’s brand new, filled with wood and brick, and has some great photos of folks like Charles Bukowski getting their drink on.
The cheese selection is outstanding. Sheep’s milk pecorino. Italian gorgonzola. Cathedral cheddar. Tete de Moine “Monk Head” cheese. Whoa. They had a special Swiss platter (VND270,000) when we arrived that was not only aesthetically pleasing, with the styling of the Girolle that shaves the cheese off of the top into chanterelle-rosettes of pure ecstasy, but an experience in itself.
I could drone on about cheese forever, but the full menu is concise and practically perfect. Traditional salmon tartare (VND 285,000), a small cold cut platter including German beer sausage, imported parma ham and salami (VND210,000), cordon bleu (VND240,000), and 200g cheese fondue (VND320,000)!
One could easily just come here for a meal and leave the wine alone, but why do that with one of the better lists I have seen in the city, and a price point that caters to both high end, and competitive value wines. Lorenz and the owners really wanted to make sure they didn’t alienate anyone, so they have a wide selection that can hit everybody’s preferred range.
There’s a glass option, carafe (3DL), and bottle. Brix currently showcases four glass pours for white and red, one sparkling, and they all hover between VND90,000 and VND160,000. It was refreshing to see a Pinot Noir as a glass pour, and an extremely solid glass of sparkling as well.
Just head into Brix, talk to Lorenz (he’s there everyday), and enjoy the “buy one get one” happy hour from 3 to 7pm . If you long for great service paired with good wine then you won’t be disappointed.