Saturday, May 17, 2008

Vintage Wine Bar -- Chicago, IL

Howdy, I am attempting to back track here since I have been to many a restaurant I have not commented on. A few weeks ago, we were wandering Division Street. We were planning on going to Jerry's Sandwich shop. Jerry's is a fantastic little place that serves about 100 sandwiches on their menu. It sounds like a deli but it really is a very nice, quaint, down-to-earth deli that serves wine and beer as well. Anyways, Jerry's was a minimum 30 minute wait so we decided to continue walking. We did not get far (next door) and I said I had always wanted to go to Vintage Wine bar but never had. We checked out the menu.

It is a quaint little restaurant, dimly lit and a very nice, easy going atmosphere. They a few $10 flat bread pizzas so we decided to try it out. This ended up being a nice little gem. I think I will go back there often. We ordered a bottle of wine and then got two pizzas (a BBQ Chicken pizza and an Artichoke, spinach and goat cheese pizza). Both were really, really good. The main complaint I found with Vintage resides in the small jazz band that was playing. They were really loud, really too loud for a smaller, quaint restaurant.

I am still amazed by how much the atmosphere of a restaurant can influence your night. You would think it is all about the food and the people you are with. We enjoyed this place because we were able to just relax. The pizzas were very moderately priced and a good size, let alone good.

To close the dinner out we ordered the creme brulee. It was good, but not as good as the creme brulee I had in St. Kitts. All in all, a really good dinner for $80 considering we bought a bottle of wine. We lingered in Vintage just chatting it up and staring at other people around us. It is funny, sometimes when you call a restaurant a "wine bar" you will find "wine snobs" that clearly frequent the place just because it is a "wine bar." We enjoyed about a 8 minute convo/laugh watching a young gentleman who would only hold his wine glass by the stem (clearly to not compromise the temperature of his white wine, which clearly would have occurred had he held the wine glass by the actual oblong vessel in which the wine was relaxing).

I have probably ordered around 10 bottles of wine together in the past 5 weeks. No, I do not have a problem but every time, the server is clearly trained to go through the "wine presentation" with me. This would include:
  1. Presenting me with the bottle
  2. Uncorking (hopefully cleanly though we have run into a few servers in those 10 who broke the cork and had to get a new bottle)
  3. Pouring the individual who ordered the wine a small tasting
  4. Allowing me to comment on the wine, the serving glasses to those other(s) at the table.
To me this process is annoying. I ask the server sometimes if they have actually ever had someone send a bottle back and they commonly say, "Yes, I have." This astonishes me. It also makes me proud to be only a pseudo-wine snob. I like wine that I like. Typically I stay away from the boxed stuff or overly fruity wines but that is where I draw the line. Some of these people get so full of themselves and "enjoy the process" described above. Just pour me the wine, let me drink it. If I order crap wine, that is my fault. If I order crap food, that is my fault for not (1) finding a good restaurant and (2) ordering something that I could trust would turn out well.

Well, I turned Vintage into a wine tangent but it was a good place, I will definitely go back. It was nice to go to a place that is not commercially known and still enjoy the experience. I hope to try something new next time and write another great review.

2 comments:

Anthony said...

Jim,

Thanks so much for the business and the nice comments. Appreciate it. Next time your in please ask for me.

Tony Basich, President
Vintage wine bar

Peggy said...

THREE months and no new post? You are wearing my patience, Mr. Watson! Love ya! :P