Friday, January 16, 2009

Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro

129 S. 13th St., Philadelphia

My idea of heaven: a wine bar with over 60 kinds of wine and flights ($15) to try them. A friend and I stopped in Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro after work on a cold, cold Thursday evening and found it to be surprisingly uncrowded. That's not to say it was empty. It was definitely not that. But we were expecting standing room only. There were several open tables and we were happy to occupy one of them. The bitter cold could have kept people away.

I checked the online wine menu and it's not up to date with what we had in the restaurant, but it gives you a good idea of the variety.

It's a narrow space with a few tables up front (ideal in the warmer weather when they open the tall windows), a long bar and high tables along the wall. Comfy, casual and candles on the tables. A chandelier made out of empty wine bottles is definitely an eye-catcher. Lots of ambiance and lively characters here.

We started with the Brie en Croƻte ($12), Baked French Brie wrapped in puff pastry served with caramelized pear and finished with a gastrique sauce. The brie could have been melted a bit more, but the sweetness was a nice counter to the cheese. Very yummy if you like sweet.

Keeping it light and healthy since we're still recovering from holiday gorge, we both had salads with grilled chicken (add $4). She had the Caesar ($7.5), nicely topped with fresh shaved parmesan, and I had the Vintage House Salad ($7), mixed greens, haricots verts, shallot, pine nuts and cherry tomato served with a honey truffle dressing. Not overpowering with flavor, but light. Left me plenty of room to enjoy my malbec.

Great place to try new wines.

What others say: PhilaFoodie; CityPaper


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