I've been casually following Mouton on High via Twitter updates and peeking in the window whenever walking by. It was interesting watching the tasteful if spare (and often Amish made) appointments being loaded in and arranged inside the former Ohio Art League space. And last night, it was good to see Mouton (from Chateau Mouton Rothschild-- famous Bordeaux wine) actually open for business (a fact not posted on Twitter!).

I like the focused concept (bread, wine, meat, cheese, cocktails). I like the owner's fast-talking enthusiasm -- he was knee deep in the weeds during last evening's packed opening but still managed to happily greet people and excitedly explain his ideas.

I also liked the good-looking crowd in there last night, even if they were rip-snorting loud and there were no noise-cushioning strategies design-wise. Also not much A/C on a Cambodia hot and sweltering evening.

The "Vintage Cocktails" (all priced at $9) are nonchalantly listed on (somewhat hard to read) sheets of paper ripped from a notebook and pinned to the wall. No cheap mixers here!

A no-BS, nicely aromatic, grown-up Manhattan.

At one point, I remember looking over and noticing people snapping photos and thinking "Man, it takes all kinds! Just look at those rude losers!" Then I looked at the camera in my hand and thought, "Oh."

Mouton est tres Francaise, n'est pas?

There's even a convenient hitching post for Flora, who shamelessly worked passersby for pets (she had about a 30 percent success rate).

I look forward to seeing how this place "fills out"--including sipping a morning espresso (I've been told they use Brioso beans and Snowville milk).