Gerald’s Bar is a blessing to more than just the residents of North Carlton. Bathing in the warm light and pleasant atmosphere, you’ll quickly feel like a local. Owner Gerald Diffey and his main man, Mario Di Ienno, have had experience in some great restaurants, but here, they keep the mood is jovial and relaxed (you’re encouraged to throw your walnut shells on the floor).

Staff are well versed on the well-stocked and priced wine list, the emphasis of which alters according to the whims of management. Open bottles of wine sit in a silver bucket atop the bar, and a wide selection of imported beers line the shelf behind. The menu, celebrating produce from local vendors, also varies from day to day, so regulars are unlikely to get bored. Dishes might include hare and mash, sardines, pickled veggies or sliced jamon and manchego, which you order from a menu that is hand written on a roll of paper and hanging over the sliding ladder that services the higher bottles above the bar.

Gerald’s hasn’t been around forever, but it feels like an institution, and we doubt that it is going anywhere soon.