If you haven't noticed the abundance of casual eateries with homey food, boutique wines, and craft beer sprouting up, you must not be going out. You should probably make your way out of the house.
Jumping on the casual, craft trend, Wilton Manors' 13 Even focuses on serving handcrafted fare with microbeers and wines to match.
Owned by partners Nancy Goldwin and Carol Moran, who also own world-famous lesbian bar New Moon, the spot has come to symbolize many milestones in the couple's relationship.
"We met on Friday the 13th, closed on our house on Friday the 13th, signed the lease on 1/3/13, and Carol's mom's birthday was the 13th," says Goldwin. "The number has just come up in whatever we've done. The 'even' comes from being even partners. Carol has a restaurant background, and I come from marketing and the music industry. It's kind of the perfect fit."
From the food to the beverage selection to the interior, the place focuses on keeping it small and authentic. The photographs on the wall were taken by Goldwin (who is a freelance photographer, in fact), the palette tables were made by the couple and friends, the chairs and the light fixtures were purchased by small artisans on etsy.com, and the majority of the restaurant was built out by the master carpenter and artist behind the Blue Bicycle Project, Steve Sticht.
"We're really a small business," says Goldwin. "From cutting and chopping tomatoes to developing the website and calling purveyors, we want to support other small businesses."
Kind of new American, kind of global eclectic, the food incorporates many cuisines and elements. Dishes span from classic cheese boards ($13) and hummus spreads ($8) to interesting combinations like pork belly and watermelon salad ($7) and grilled prosciutto, havarti, and pear mini panini ($6). Desserts are brought in from Fort Lauderdale bakery -- and one of Oprah's favorites --We Take the Cake.
Beverages make up an impressive part of the package. In addition to serving more than 40 wines by the glass, the spot hosts the most comprehensive selection of craft beers in the gayborhood. The constantly rotating selection features brews spanning from classic Belgian ales to European lagers and pilsners to local and American craft favorites like Funky Buddha, Cigar City, and Holy Mackerel.
"Carol is a wino," says Goldwin with a chuckle. "I don't drink, so it's difficult to find places with nice wines available by the glass. The wine was a hit at first; since Pride [Stonewall Pride Festival], we've been selling a lot of beer. We wanted to make sure the list was different but not overtly intimidating. A lot of people have been coming to try out new beers."
Wine and beer flights are offered, which include four tasting-sized pours for $6 -- Chimay is an extra two bucks. Starting this week, $5 wines and $5 flatbreads are featured for happy hour from 4 to 7, Monday through Friday.
13 Even is located at 2037 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. Call 954-565-8550, or visit 13-even.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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