Beautiful murals around the room, illuminated by LED lights that change color and intensity with the music. A door from Oscar de la Hoya’s house and zebra wood accents. Tile flooring from Italy. And yes, wine.
An entire room of vintages from around the region, country and the world, held in a specially-designed cellar at a constant 58-60°, the perfect temperature, with already hundreds of bottles in stock and more coming.
The long-awaited return of Big Bear’s wine room is finally at hand with the opening of the new Black Kat in the Village, set for April 8. Ribbon-cutting is set for 11 a.m. accompanied by champagne toast, then it’s straight to business for the new fine dining restaurant and wine room.
The Black Kat is designed to impress, from the baby grand piano in the back to murals on all four walls that literally explode with color, painted by artist Barbara Andrik (story page 2). One wall is a tribute to the late Mel Blanc, voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and the other Warner Bros. characters, painted into a summertime scene in Boulder Bay.
There’s also signed collector cartoon lithographs from owner David Stone’s personal collection, some very impressive pieces indeed. Including a dramatic portrayal of the classic “Speechless” released upon Blanc’s death in 1989.
“Black Kat is a place where you can enjoy cheese plates, tapas or full-blown dinner,” Stone said. “And order wine by the glass, bottle or even case.”
Most restaurants have a wine list; Black Kat is a full-on wine room where guests can come for just a glass or two if they want. The glass-walled cellar in full view of the entire room will house literally thousands of bottles of wine.
“Cellar capacity is over five thousand bottles,” Stone said. “We’ll have wines from around the world and some high end wines on display. Washington, Oregon and California all have some amazing wines. From Germany there’s a nice selection of chardonnay, cabernet, syrah, and port.”
For the big bucks there will be ports dating back to 1900 and bottles from the 1920’s. “We’ll have wines from $25 up to $10,000, by the glass or bottle,” Stone said.
The menu prepared in the state-of-the-art kitchen with chef’s table changes with the seasons, emphasizing the freshest ingredients available, even fresh seafood with daily deliveries of oysters, lobster and crab. “Entrees might include Dover sole, salmon, stone crab legs from Florida,” he said. “Filet mignon, lamb, and tomahawk ribeyes with 18 inch bone. Looks like it’s from Fred Flintstone.”
Black Kat will be open 11 a.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays, till 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Thursday, closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Look for winemaker dinners the third Wednesday each month starting in May along with live music and patio dining.
Black Kat Fine Dining & Wine Room is at 560 Pine Knot Ave. in the Village. Call (909) 549-9578.