Over on Little Italy's Kettner Blvd, down near Santa Fe Depot, two new little imbibing spots have quietly opened: The Flight Path and a Stone Company Store. Stone is exactly what you think it is, a tap room and store featuring company paraphernalia accompanied with a patio where guests can enjoy a beer around fire pits just outside. The Flight Path on the other hand is a space with minimalist décor offering glasses, bottles and flights of wine along with small bites. Both are cute little spots to go for a drink, especially perfect for anyone needing to kill time while waiting for the train, visiting the MOCA or for those living nearby in Acqua Vista, Allegra Towers or the new Aria building.
Recently we took a quick jaunt down to The Flight Path for an office happy hour outing to check out the new space. For such a tucked away location, it got surprisingly busy on the Thursday evening we were there, with a couple dozen patrons helping to fill in the quaint bar. Decidedly urban, the restaurant offers an interior that leans towards sparse, featuring a contrast of concrete flooring and a black overhead against snow white counters and low profile chairs, with small pops of color in the artwork on the walls. The conservative look was carefully chosen by owner Tammy Hoops, who explained that the idea was for guests to just focus on the wine.
What we found on the menu were some delicious wine recommendations and tasty shareable plates. By far the Parmesan white truffle gougeres with shaved Parmesan reggiano, and baked fresh goat cheese spread served with pesto and toasted artisan bread were the two best choices off the happy hour menu, of which we sampled one of everything. The closest way to describe the gougeres would be to call them savory cookies, they were especially delicious and we would definitely order them again. Also especially good, the pesto goat cheese was probably the hands-down favorite across the whole table, but then again who doesn't love a bit of crusty bread with garlic-basil flavor mixed into soft, creamy goat cheese?
Other happy hour items include a trio of olives, vegetable ceviche, deconstructed bruschetta and a caprese salad. The Italian sausage flatbread was also quite good and if you take a look at the reviews quickly accumulating on Yelp, it would seem that the neighborhood is certainly taking well to the full menu which includes charcuterie, soups, sliders, gooey burrata bowls for dipping and desserts. Food offerings are almost all suitable for sharing, naturally over wine of course.
The Flight Path's wine menu boasts over 70 different bottles of wine, plenty to satiate most palettes and if that is actually on the overwhelming side, just ask and the staff is more than happy to (totally unpretentiously) make suggestions depending on your taste. We all chose to leave our vino fate in the hands of Tammy, and every one of us discovered a new vintage we enjoyed — even the newbie who claimed she wasn't so fond of wine. (We were pretty sure she just hadn't tried the right stuff yet.)
All in all The Flight Path is a little gem a bit off the beaten path downtown and the positive reviews rolling in show a lot of promise. And if we are to believe the Stone website, the miniature tap room does not serve food, but openly invites guests to bring their own take out or home cooked fare. So whether your group of friends includes wine drinkers or fans of the craft brew, this little unassuming destination in Little Italy is worth a visit.