It’s hard to believe that one of Anchorage’s best wine bars used to be a sandwich shop. Completely revamped in the fall of 2011, this new hot spot in the Hotel Captain Cook has Alaska’s only on-tap wine machine. Choose from 32 wines, selected by the hotel’s sommelier, for a 2-ounce sampler or a 4-ounce pour. The bar also has a limited menu, including American-style tapas, salads, and desserts.
Sip your wine at the marble-topped bar, surrounded by polished hardwood and backlit stained glass panels. Or settle into the comfortable leather chairs and couches by a fireplace. This sophisticated (but very welcoming) bar attracts professionals who work downtown, and the happy hour (from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.) entices a young, local crowd with half-off selected appetizers.
Early evening at the Whale’s Tail is a great place to begin a night on the town or to wind down after daytime adventures. Sample the fantastic wines and try the Kobe beef sliders or yellow-curried chicken nachos (with hearts of palm, cilantro, and green onion, served over fried wontons). There’s also beer on tap and a full bar.