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Compass Star Sparkles with Evening Wine Bar

The Main Street deli has pulled out the stops, and the tablecloths, for a by-night transformation into a wine-and-nibbles bar.

Winding down from the week is easier with fine wine, good food and a cool breeze — and The Compass Star has it all.

The new evening wine bar, complemented by a small plates menu, is elegant yet relaxed, offering deals on a variety of wines, including $5 glasses of the wine of the day. Black tablecloths and candles set the mood to sip and taste, Wednesdays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

"It's casual, with a touch of upscale," said resident sommelier Sean Andrade.

On the seasonal small plates menu is a sampler selection of Chef Rachel Zavala's finest house cured meats, featuring spicy andouille, dry cured pork loin, pâtés, and more. The menu also includes artisan cheese boards, international tasters and gourmet sliders, all of which are made using local, sustainable and organic ingredients.

The new venture has been a success since it began July 11, said Andrade, and the addition of the patio a few weeks ago has helped. "Business has increased," he said, adding that the outdoor area has expanded the restaurant's small interior space. "It also helps more people notice we're here."

With the new bar, a few doors away, The Compass Star might seem to be facing some stiff competition. But Andrade says that the two businesses complement one another. "We do wine and small plates; they do cocktails and comfort food," he said.

The Compass Star offers half price bottles of wine on Wednesdays, and $1 off wines by the glass on Fridays with the code "Foodie Fridays" or a mention of The Compass Star Facebook page.

Have you tried the new wine bar and small plates menu at The Compass Star? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Jim Mannion July 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I'm really fired up about all that is going on in Martinez. My family and I are so appreciate of all the things that this town has to offer. Some of our favorite places and improvements this summer: 1) Playing and swimming at Rankin Park - the tunnel side is one of the best in the East Bay. 2) The amazing growth at the Center Avenue Community Garden (just celebrated its two-year anniversary) - it's one of my favorite spots to work, harvest, play, and learn about agriculture and gardening. If you're at all interested in these things, it's definitely worth a stop to stroll around. 3) Dinner downtown and Friday night music on Main Street - I've seen a lot of dicussion on patch about the various places to eat, and it's so cool to see how many choices we have. I really like the new outdoor seating, and saw today new platforms in front of Pacifica Pizza, Lemongrass, Haute Stuff, Tapatia, and Liugi's, as well as others sprinkled around already. Our kids have been digging mac and cheese at Smokey D's, and then dancing away with the bands on Fridays. I'm also looking forward to trying out Barrel Aged, and taking in a glass of wine at Compass Star or Roxx on Main. On a side note, the transformation inside Liugi's is pretty sweet. It's a perfect corner for a deli! 4) Reading up on some of the Historic houses on the streets around town. I saw one that hosted Joe Dimaggio's wedding reception. 5) The new sports complexes at the Marina - great for the community!
Linda Meza July 21, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Jim, didn't know there was a community garden in Martinez, how cool! At times thought of the many empty lots we have dotting our neighborhoods waiting for something like this to sprout up. Share pics and location please :)
Jim Mannion July 21, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Hi Linda, it's on the corner of Center Avenue and Flame Drive, near the Martinez/Pacheco border. Here's a link to their blog (which has a bunch of pictures, including the most recent post which shows what the lot looked like two years ago), and you can also search for them on facebook. http://martinezpermaculture.blogspot.com/ I've also attached a few pictures to this article. We learn something new every time we go! - Jim
Emily Henry July 21, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Thanks for the pictures, Jim! I've added them to our Neighborhood Gallery: http://martinez.patch.com/articles/your-neighborhood-gallery-08a58bee?#photo-10721406
Daniel Curran July 22, 2012 at 05:33 AM
We stumbled upon their new evening offering in it's second week. Served and befriended by Sean, host of "The Compass Star Wine Bar" we sampled delicious fritas (fries), yummy caprizi, cool sliders, affordable wine, complimentary gazpacho shots, great coffee, amazing french donuts w/ "assaulted" carmel ice cream | to dine al fresco at a real foodie place, on the spur of the moment for under $30 = delightful.

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