One Bar and Lounge in the old Padrino's space (near Hana on Hampson, Riverbend) is having its grand opening tonight. My DH took me there Monday night for Valentine's Day, correctly thinking since it was new, it wouldn't be slammed. It was pretty full, but we were seated right away at the food bar. The renovation looks very nice, and without that feeling that they spent so much that the overhead is going to kill them before they even start. There's a nice bar area, it looks like a good happy hour place for a drink and an app.
The kitchen staff all came over from Lee Circle (sorry, can't remember the chef's name), and of course are already a pretty good team, and the service was good considering a)it was Valentine's day and b) it had been open a week. Watching them prepare everything was fun and informative, I thought the salads in particular were very pretty.
The food was very, very good, especially for the price (12.5 to 18.5 entrees). The sourdough rolls are house-made, crusty and hot. The charbroiled oyster app was delicious, and had blue cheese! My first time for that flavor treat, a revelation! I stayed with that theme for my entree, beef tenderloin w/ blue cheese butter sauce (ahem, Stilton glacage) and a pile of shredded beef shoulder. Both were very good, although the shoulder was almost too salty for me, but with excellent roasted garlic flavor. It was near perfect when eaten with the potato galette. DH had the coq au vin, which he enjoyed very much. I got a bite of the sausage and a big chunk of bacon out of it. Mmm, bacon. The menu, though fairly small, had a high percentage of dishes I'd like to try. The one that seemed to be flying out of the kitchen was a giant wonton with what looked like seafood in it, and a few slices of foie gras on top. Seemed like an odd combo, but I'll have to try it before passing judgement, won't I? Things I'll get next time include the wild mushroom pate app, and the braised country ribs.
I don't know much about wine, so can't comment on the wine list. The one thing I'd request of them, if I could, would be to have sparkling water available-- no Perrier? But that's it! That's all I could come up with to make it better.
I'm very happy to have them in my neighborhood, though I doubt the prices will stay this low for long. Get it while you can.