January 2, 2012 at 7:28am
SIX AREA WINE BARS WORTH YOUR ATTENTION >>>
Tacoma and Olympia's wine bars can be the perfect places to gather with friends or with a date. Most are small, providing intimate and cozy atmospheres. The best of the best offer both a list of wines worth sipping and small bites or meals worth splurging on.
Old Town Tacoma is hard to beat for cute atmosphere, and its resident wine bar doesn't disappoint. Here you will find wines from all over the world, but mostly regional varietals. It's the menu at Café Divino that just might surprise you. For such a small place, the menu is large, including everything from baked brie with pears to a hot pastrami sandwich. Plates start at about $10 and go up from there. Café Divino is just a block up from the waterfront, too, if you fancy a stroll after you wine and dine.
[11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, 2112 N 30th St., Tacoma, 253.779.4226]
This wine bar has contended in the Best of Western Washington (placing fourth). While you may not find a huge wine list, you will find some specials, like 50 percent off flat breads on Mondays, free wine tasting on Thursdays, and all-night happy hour on Fridays. On Saturdays, there is live music.
[2-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday, 606 N. State St., Tacoma, 253.212.1492]
We adore Enoteca wine bar. It's an ideal place to linger with old friends. Bill Bonnie opened this wine-and-cheese treasure in January 2006, next to his Tacoma Wine Merchants store. Enoteca is a tiny, intimate joint. Be careful walking into this long, narrow space - the door barely misses the best table in the house. Low lighting has the effect of making the snug room feel even smaller. Enoteca offers grilled paninis, sandwiches, fresh salads, cheese, fruit and meat plates, soups and dessert. The three-ounce samples of three cheeses mixed with house herbed olives, pickles, grapes and bread runs $12 or $7.50 for a half order. If Taleggio cheese is on the cheese board, buy it. Smoked salmon plate ($8), brushetta with tomato and goat cheese ($6), walnut and pear salad ($8), and muffaletta sandwich ($8) are winners, too.
[11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 21 Tacoma Ave. N., Tacoma, 253.779.8258]
Pour at Four is surprisingly affordable. The menu includes tapas and appetizers that start under $10 - and entrees don't go much above that price point. Better yet, there are cheese samplings here to go with the wine list, which has glasses starting at $5. And even better, if you are not a huge wine fan, Pour at Four has a beer list starting at $3!
[2-10 p.m. Monday, 2-11 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 3814 N. 26th St., Tacoma, 253.761.8015]
For those wondering how a wine bar, a deli and a restaurant will fit in the one space Kris Blondin and partner Jack Noble secured in downtown Tacoma, it's simple ... it won't. "STINK is not a bar, it's an elevated deli. Not a restaurant, not even your typical deli, we're taking it farther than that," says Blondin (who, full disclosure, has contributed to the Weekly Volcano in the past). STINK - Cheese & Meat has seating for around two dozen people. It featurse an industrial-style deli with old-world cured meats and gourmet, handmade cheeses you just can't get at the grocery store. The menu of "eclectic comfort food," as Blondin refers to it, includes lunch and light dinner fare, and conversation-inspiring beer and wine selections.
[11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 628 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.426.1347]
For ambiance, it's hard to beat Swing in Olympia. It's located in a cute bungalow perched above Capital Lake. The wine list includes a balance of local choices with international ones, and the menu is large with a definite ritzy air to it. Entrees can be ordered as small plates, which is a nice touch. Wednesdays bring live music, and Tuesdays have half-price wine.
[4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4-11:59 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 825 Columbia St. SW, Olympia, 360.357.9464]
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