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First Look: Fools and Kings

Owner of WetStone Wine Bar brings pan-global bistro to Mission Hills


It seems more wine bars have closed than opened in the last decade. The local boom, arguably spearheaded by Wine Steals in Hillcrest, reached a saturation point and the carnage started. But a few that did it well were able to stay open, and that included WetStone Wine Bar in Bankers Hill. Owner and chef Christian Gomez did a good job over the years of turning it into a home-away-from-home, with thoughtful design and a good selection.

Now Gomez is expanding his efforts into Mission Hills with the pan-global bistro, Fools and Kings (4015 Goldfinch Street). It’s a small-plates concept with ideas from Western Europe, South America (San Sebastian, Barcelona, Lima and Buenos Aires), and the Middle East (all praise sumac). Dishes include filet mignon skewers with house-made chimichurri, cebiche Pan Americano, ahi tuna carpaccio, sumac-braised lamb shoulder with pomegranate syru, etc.

For design, there’s intricate metalwork on the iron gates leading to a natual wood, live-edged communal table, murals from local artist Josh Hunter, plus some antique lamps and chandeliers dangling from the 20-foot ceilings. There are tropical plants, wood floors, vibrant blue facade make it feel like it's been hoisted out of a Latin hamlet. Has a similar vibe to Normal Heights' beloved Cantina Mayahuel. Of course he’ll have global wine, craft beer, and house-made sangrias.

Fools and Kings opens tomorrow, July 7, and will be open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday (5-10 p.m.), Friday and Saturday (5-11 p.m.) and Sundays (4-10 p.m.). There’s talk of opening brunch soon.

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