Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar

The buzz: This former wine bar transforms itself into a modern French restaurant with consultant chef Masashi Horiuchi (Shelter in the Woods) at the helm, but still specializing in an extensive selection of Old World and New World wines.

The vibe: Gone are the dark interiors, blacked-out ceilings and heavy drapes. The restaurant is now less claustrophic, with warmly-lit surrounds, simple and contemporary furniture, and its signature glass wine cellar taking center-stage.

The food: The restaurant encourages gastronomic dining, which means the food is best savored with wine pairings, which are indicated in helpful recommendations on the menu. For starters, the tarte flambee forest ($22), topped with button mushrooms, gruyere cheese, creme fraiche with raw egg yolk mix and caramlised onions, is surprisingly uncomplicated and tasty. The humble black garlic soup ($19) is smooth and savory. With just a hint of garlic, the crisp honeycomb biscuit and dill bread garnish adds a welcome crunch. Steak-lovers will tuck into the filet of Wagyu beef ($62) with relish—the pan-fried tenderloin with mesclun and lemon vinaigrette, and served with a sauce infused with maderia wine is tender and bursting with flavor. Lastly, the lamp chop with Moroccan couscous & mint sauce ($46), served with lamb jus, is also one of the highlights.

Why you’ll be back: Chef Horiuchi puts together a rustic, comforting and creative menu, and the friendly staff manning the floor makes this a great place for those who are just getting to know their wines.