The old-school wine bar atmosphere at 450 E. 17th Ave. is gone. In its place, Ryan DiFranco, the owner of DiFranco's Italian restaurant, has opened his bright and airy new concept Blueprint.
With scaffolding framing the blue-gray walls and architectural renderings lining them, Blueprint lives up to its name in design.
As for the menu, it sticks to small plates that lean Mediterranean but also draw from other regions.
"We're not re-creating the wheel," DiFranco said. "The idea is that we can have really good bar food, small-plate style."
Those familiar with DiFranco's Italian restaurant will recognize the scattered menu items featuring red sauce, house-made cheeses, meatballs, pastas, and pestos.
New and departing dishes include curry blackened carrots; white bean hummus and pimento cheese dip with radishes, cucumbers, and shishito peppers; and ham and swiss croquettes with rosemary and red pepper aioli.
The bar pays equal attention to its wine and cocktail lists, with the latter tending toward simple and balanced. You can't go wrong with a barrel-aged old fashioned, or with the summery Huck + Herb, combining huckleberry vodka, lemon, and rosemary simple syrup.
Blueprint opens starting Thursday at 4 p.m., with social hour until 6:30 and after 9:30 p.m. Brunch will be served on weekends, and the restaurant will close Mondays.