The most offbeat thing about Bascule Wine Bar (1421 W. Taylor St., Little Italy, 312-763-6912) may be its name–for those unfamiliar with roadway design terminology, it's a term for a type of drawbridge, which explains why the walls are accented with chain link and padlocks a la the bridges of Paris.

For the most part, though, Bascule is the ideal version of a wine bar–the owners are former sommeliers (Jason Prah at Acadia; Scott Harney at Eno), the servers are equally helpful to wine snobs and total newbies, and the dimly lit, brick-walled space just begs for intimate conversations over one of the wines on tap (or a vino-inspired cocktail, if that's more your thing.)

Here's what all we saw when we stopped in this weekend.