A Wine Bar Built in New Orleans and Raised in Brooklyn


Occupying about half the space of this newish Park Slope wine room is a gorgeous, cleverly designed, U-shaped ash bar, built by the owner’s father in New Orleans and hauled up to Brooklyn on a homemade trailer. The wainscoting that runs the length of one wall is made of sinker cypress, a soft wood reclaimed from muddy Louisiana riverbeds. In all, wood figures prominently in Total’s design scheme, along with soft-but-not-dim lighting and pretty much nothing else—no homey knickknacks cluttering up every available nook—and the result is a mix of simple, almost old-fashioned coziness and modern sensibility. And there’re good wines too, most available by both the glass ($6 and up) and bottle, each poetically described on the menu with a smitten single-sentence evaluation. The $9 glass of pinot gris (“orange blossom–scented and tropical fruit–tinged. bewitching”) was as advertised, and the cheese selection ($6 each or $10 for two) includes one that’s “satiny and salty” and a Spanish goat cheese that’s “silky, creamy, and mild.” Other snacks include sliced smoked kielbasa ($3) and a family recipe crawfish étouffée ($8). Perfect for the kind of date on which you want to have a classy drink but don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard.