We stopped by to check out the new wine bar in Short Pump and left a little underwhelmed. Before I get into the “underwhelm,” let’s talk about the awesome. The place is spectacular looking; all comfy seats and stairs. It is modern but surprisingly warm. “Darkly light,” it gives an air of intimate. Little curtains […]
We stopped by to check out the new wine bar in Short Pump and left a little underwhelmed. Before I get into the “underwhelm,” let’s talk about the awesome. The place is spectacular looking; all comfy seats and stairs. It is modern but surprisingly warm. “Darkly light,” it gives an air of intimate.
Little curtains separate downstairs tables and a two top is tucked underneath the stairwell. Black-clad “winetail” waitresses wander with round trays and flit back and forth to the kitchen. It is busy… busy with a “certain crowd.”
The times we went, there was a long wait for seating, the owner prowling about the restaurant like an antsy butler. While we waited, we drank wine (surprise!) at the bar. We ordered the featured merlot at the bar. We apparently were served the five dollar Merlot that was left from Valentine’s Day. There was no advertisement of this less pricey option and we were left a bit confused when we received our tab with one five dollar Merlot and one 12 dollar Merlot.
We were finally seated upstairs at a very dark table and handed menus. The table that we were seated was so dark, our server offered us a flashlight. She actually brought one with her to the table. We opted not to use it to read the menu.
Ordering a few noshes, we settled into a bottle of red wine and watched the busy action take place up and downstairs. The antipasto board is described as meats and cheeses with marinated vegetables. How can one go wrong with cheese and meats? While some of it was not as explained (by our not-so-knowledgeable-but-so-very-attentive-server), each cheese was lovely; an amalgamation of French and Spanish cheeses ranging from soft to softer. And while none of the meats were correctly identified when we ordered and we ended up with mostly proscuitto, it was delicious. I would hurry back for this option. At $23, it is an easy split with friends and very much worth not knowing what you may end up with on your board, a la a meat-and-cheese roulette. Next time, I hope to get the advertised pate and roasted garlic.
Now for the kinks (don’t jump my charge because they are new–they have only been open since January). The empanadas suggested to us by the owner were, sadly, missing all remnants of shrimp. They had a brick of cheese but no discernible taste or visual of seafood. The orechiette made it to our table frozen in the middle. The owner himself came to talk to us about the frozen pasta.
It would have been tasty had there not been that hurdle to overcome. Hoping for the angus pistolette (a Cajun-fried stuffed breadroll) the menu touts, we were let down by the mini-burgers we received that had been cooked a lot and were curiously devoid of all condiments.
While they have been open for a little more than two months, it still looks like they are a bit shaky. I am hoping for much, much more in the future. We will go back, if only to play meet-and-cheese roulette.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this and all guest restaurant reviews are those of the author exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the views of Downtown Short Pump or its staff.