when tragedy strikes, it’s only natural to look back to the times before the fall and analyze what went wrong. and while i keep telling myself that these flashbacks will one day feel bittersweet, my visit to bar ferd’nand has since undergone a retrospective interrogation fit for a việt cộng prisoner of war. aside from the things left unsaid and emotional slights of hand, bar ferd’nand is as “en plein air” as it gets without ever having to leave the comfort of the newly renovated/expansive melrose market in which it thrives. here, matt dillon serves as locavore lord of the manor, setting up shop as a bar, bottle shop, and restaurant reincarnate sitka & spruce. while the bar mostly specializes in vino more ways than you can shake a sulphur stick at, there is a showcase of apertifs on the wall that qualify it for fernet love (as if the memories didn’t already). the ambiance is chill and the service is unassuming, the perfect setting for your next to last tête-à-tête, a calm before the storm.