Looking for the perfect wine bar with great food to unwind after a tough day at work, or just relax with friends? Then Vintage Enoteca on West Sunset Blvd. is your spot. It has a very inviting ambience with communal tables and candlelight, perfect for a date or meeting new people. There is a small outside patio out front, with plush seating lined with pillows, ideal for enjoying a balmy night.
The best part about Vintage Enoteca is that the co-owner Danielle Francois is also the in-house sommelier who really knows her stuff. She is a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. I was quite impressed with her knowledge of wine. She hand selects the boutique vintage wines they serve, and she does a fantastic job. You’ll be hard-pressed to find these wines anywhere else. Those who live in Sunset Strip’s Upper East Side, or any wine lover for that matter, surely know about this gem already. They’ve been around for three years and quickly became a popular spot for locals. They offer a seasonally crafted menu, which is fresh and delicious.
For starters, I perked up my taste buds with a little bubbly, Pascal Bellier “Reverie” Brut Rosé, NV, from France’s Loire Valley, which was the perfect apéritif. Next, it was onto the food, prepared by Executive Chef Peter Hurd. I began with the Crispy Duck Cracklings Salad with blue cheese, blistered baby tomatoes, arugula and creme fraiche dressing. It was scrumptious!
Next, we tried the Asparagus Salad with English pea, pickled fennel & fresno chili to give it a little kick, crispy chorizo chips to give it even more of a kick, and herb-anchovy vinaigrette. The combination of tastes and textures was brilliant! And what was most remarkable about both salads is the freshness. You know they only use the freshest, seasonal ingredients here. The latter was paired with Palomino: La Cigarrera Manzanilla NV, from Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain. It’s actually a sherry, but not your usual sweet sherry. This one was actually a bit salty, which paired wonderfully with the Asparagus Salad.
My culinary adventure continued with the Olive Tapenade Bruschetta, which was immensely flavorful and delicious. It was paired with a spectacular rosé from the Basque country of Spain called, Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina Rubentis. Next, I tried something heartier, the Gnocchi with Green Garlic-Fava Bean Sauce…wow! These fluffy pillows were full of rich, fresh flavor. The gnocchi were perfectly paired with a dazzling white wine from a female winemaker in Beira, Portugal called Filipa Pato “FP” Branco.
How about the perfect wine for a summer barbecue? That would be another Portuguese wine, this time a light red, Quinta da Pellada “Quinta De Saes,” from Dao, Portugal. I indulged in this delicious wine along with some Pulled Pork Sliders with molasses gravy and bbq aioli. How does that sound for delicious? Just as good! I was stuffed by this point, but couldn’t resist trying the Mediterranean Flatbread with feta, roasted garlic, olive tapenade and pesto. It was beautifully paired with a nice Italian wine, of course, from Sicily: Valle Dell’ Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
And if you really want to indulge in a mouthwatering treat without worrying about the calories, their Petit Mac & Cheese with Herbes de Provence, rosemary and truffle oil, is just divine…the best I’ve ever had! Oh yes, but there is still dessert, which changes daily. The cherry tart is heavenly. They also have a nice ice cream sandwich.
Vintage’s wines by the glass change daily, and there is something to please every palate. Just tell Danielle what you like and she’ll help you choose the perfect wine! Vintage is open Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 12 am, with Happy Hour from 5-7 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am until 12 am, with bottomless sangria brunch from 10-4, so you have plenty of time to enjoy all the wine you can handle (with a designated driver, taxi, or good old-fashioned legs, of course). ;) They also serve beer for the non-wine lovers in your group.
Vintage Enoteca is located at 7554 W. Sunset Blvd. You can call 323-512-5278 for more info, or visit their website at www.vintageenoteca.com.