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Savoring the Simple Charms of Bastide

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In its almost decade of business, Bastide--the French restaurant tucked into a pocket of Melrose Place--has earned a reputation as being elegant, avant garde, ever-evolving, and for some, a bit unapproachable. This summer, however, the courtyard of Bastide is opening up its gates to welcome in customers for a sort of getting-to-know you weekly special that includes wine and cocktails and small bites for the very approachable price of $15.

This pre-dinner cocktail hour, held Mondays between 5 and 7 p.m., aims to give guests an opportunity to wind down in style in a beautiful space while getting a taste of what Bastide, and Chef Joseph Mahon, can do. Of course, if you can stay--or come back another evening--for dinner, even better.

Recently we were invited to spend a Monday evening at Bastide, first to toast to the cocktail hour, and then to sample some of Chef Mahon's restrained, seasonal, French-American fare with thoughtful wine pairings by Sommelier Dario Dell'anno.