Brunch at The Wine Thief Bistro & Specialty Wines in Frankfort

*I received a complementary meal for the purpose of a review. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

I adore downtown Frankfort. I've always loved visiting this historic area that has a central square where a train depot once stood and the old grainery tower overlooking it. The area is lined with cafes, boutiques and other businesses. And running right through downtown is the Old Plank Road Trail, a rails-to-trails route where we love to go bike riding.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we made our way to downtown Frankfort for brunch. We brought our bikes along and followed up our delicious meal with a 14-mile ride to help burn all those calories we consumed. The Wine Thief actually overlooks the trail. On one side is a cute outdoor patio and the other side exits into Breidert Green and the Old Plank Road Trail.

There's a wide selection of wines from around the world, including this California red Farmhouse wine we tried that you can purchase by the glass. What is super cool about this place, though, is that they have a pour-your-own dispensing system where you get a card to swipe to purchase the wines you want to try. You can pour in 1, 3 or 5-ounce increments, which I love because I am a big sampler. I love the taprooms we've visited where you can pour your own beer and I can try a little of several different brews. This is the first place I've encountered where you can do something similar with wines. There are 20 chilled wines available with the dispensing equipment.

The bistro also offers a monthly wine club where as a member you get two of their special selections of reds, two whites or a bottle of each. Members receive a pair of tickets to their annual wine tasting gala in the fall at CD & ME, retail discounts and early access to special events.

So, we tried a couple wines, but also had to try a couple breakfast cocktails. My husband settled on the "Breakfast at The Wine Thief" cocktail made with Starlight Vodka, Sauternes, orange marmalade, Twisted Alchemy Cold-Pressed Orange & Lemon Juice and garnished with a mini caramel stroopwafel - a Dutch treat that I love. It was a perfect blend of sweet and sour.

I decided to try a TWT Signature Mimosa. There are four options that are made with Bodegas Enguera Organic Cava, a popular sparkling wine made in Spain and with elevated juice options. I picked the Papaya Van Watermelon made with Twisted Alchemy Cold-Pressed Watermelon Juice and Fruitful Mixology Papaya Liquier. It was sweet and bubbly and something I could drink all day long.

Whenever charcuterie boards are on a menu, I like to order one. It's always so interesting to what accoutrements are included and how they differ from place to place. There were three board options - one with five meats, one with four cheeses or one that was a combination of the two. Our board was made up of Sacre Bleu and Calabrese Italian Salami for the meats and Hook's 5-year Cheddar, Kasseri and Artisiano cheeses, plus we added on the dreamy Gorgonzola, which is must. There was also a delicious house-made berry pepper jam made with blueberry, green grape, strawberry and Fresno pepper, pickled artichokes, marcona almonds (one of my favorite things in the whole world) and more.

Then we went on to three different brunch entrees. The first was the Crab Cake Benedict. This was so good and a nice take on the classic with a crab cake subbing for the English muffin. The crab cake is made in-house, topped with a poached egg, smashed avocado, hollandaise sauce, lime creme and a petit salad with their house-made vinaigrette. 

Next was the Grainery Tower, a stack of scratch-made cinnamon brioche French toast with whipped citrus ricotta, strawberry and blueberry puree and creme glacee. It was one of those too-pretty-to-eat dishes, but once I did dig in, I couldn't stop. It was beyond amazing.

The last item we sampled was the Shrimp & "Grits" which is even better than traditional shrimp and grits. Rather than grits, which are made from hominy, they used polenta, which was super creamy and buttery, topped with seared large shrimp and a cajun cream sauce. It also comes with a petit salad and you can do poached eggs as an add on.

Other brunch options include a grilled chicken salad, a slow-braised beef sandwich, beet salad, avocado toast, egg white frittata, shakshuka and a Greek yogurt parfait.

The brunch menu is new and was just introduced earlier this month. If you're looking for a relaxing place to hang this summer on a weekend morning or early afternoon, this place is definitely worth the trip. 

Also, keep it in mind for dinner. They've got a fabulous line-up of starters (burrata, bruschetta, ceviche, house focaccia with oil and more) and entrees, among them beef tenderloin, walleye, apricot chicken and lamb chops. I can't wait to get back and try out more of the menu. 

The Wine Thief has been voted Best Date Night and Best Outdoor Dining in the Best of the Southland contest. For more info, visit