While these are usually solid, reliably complementary choices to the wines on hand, it’s nice to mix things up once in a while and explore the more unexpected – yet equally delicious – eats that accompany your wine. We’ve come up with a list of of some creative wine bars across the country taking their food menus off-road. Check out some of the offerings and be sure to share your local favorites with us below!
Photo courtesy: scaredy_kat via Flickr/CC
Max’s Wine Dive – Austin, Texas
Classic dive favorites get a fun makeover with high octane flavor - and lots of fried stuff!
- Nacho Mama’s Oysters (pictured): Crispy fried Gulf Coast oysters and garlic aioli on fried wontons with habanero salsa and cilantro
- Pan Borracho (“drunk bread”): Torn sourdough baguette, prosciutto, and fresh thyme soaked in a savory white wine custard and baked with gruyere, mozzarella, provolone and grana padano cheeses
- Gator Beignets: Premium Louisiana alligator beignets served with jalapeño aioli
- Check out Max's Wine Dive here
Photo courtesy: Max's Wine Dive
Graffiti Food & Wine Bar – NYC
Bold, sweet-and-savory flavors give way to an eclectic menu reflecting the chef's colorful heritage.
- Foie Gras Raspberry Crostini, Walnut Salad
- Chili Pork Dumplings, Grapefruit Confit
- Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with Raita (pictured)
- Check out Graffiti Food & Wine Bar here
Photo courtesy: gsz via Flickr/cc
The Purple Pig – Chicago, IL
With a motto like "Cheese, Swine & Wine," you're bound to have a deliciously fatty good time!
- Pig’s Ear with Crispy Kale, Pickled Cherry Peppers & Fried Egg (pictured)
- Pork Neck Bone Gravy with Ricotta
- Pig’s Tails Braised in Balsamic
- Check out The Purple Pig here
Photo courtesy: tachikoma via Flickr/cc
The Grape Tap – Wasilla, Alaska
Yes, it's that Wasilla. The Grape Tap makes use of its northerly location, incorporating fresh, local seafood varieties.
- Blackened Halibut Nachos
- Pink Pizza: Smoked Salmon and Dill Havarti garnished with tomato and chives
- Check out The Grape Tap here
Photo courtesy: The Grape Tap
Vino – Honolulu, HI
Hawaii may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think Italian eats, but Vino marries the cuisine perfectly with available island ingredients.
- Twin Bridges Waialua Asparagus Milanese: Roasted Hamakua mushrooms, local organic egg, shaved parmesan cheese and white truffle oil
- Big Island Smoked Pork: Fresh home-made fettuccine, Hamakua mushrooms, Hiraoka Farms broccoli rabe, local organic egg
- Check out Vino Hawaii here
Photo courtesy: Vino Hawaii
Reserve Wine Bar – NYC
Have you been to a Thai-inspired wine bar? We haven't either - but we're curious to see the various pairings for a cuisine noted for its beer-friendliness.
- Khao Thung minced shrimp and chicken coconut relish on crispy jasmine rice crackers
- Spicy Spinach Artichoke made fresh with tender artichoke hearts, chopped spinach and creamy parmesan cheese; served with warm toasted bread
- Green Curry Pizza with green curry chicken and fontina (also larb pizza)
- Check out Reserve Wine Bar's menu here
Photo courtesy: Reserve Wine Bar
Palate Food and Wine – Glendale, CA
Any place that enjoys a good food pun involving pork is an establishment we'd like to patronize!
- Porkfolio: assorted plate of cured meats
- Mason jars: potted lamb, chicken, king red salmon or eggplant puree
- Check out Palate Food and Wine here
Photo courtesy: Palate Food and Wine
D Bar Desserts – Denver, Colorado
It's a natural fit to end this series on a sweet note. Sure, you've probably enjoyed desserts at wine bars before - but D Bar Desserts takes it to another level. If you enjoy your sweets with a dash of humor, check them out.
- Donut Tartar: bomolini, kobe tartar, tomatillo jam, secret sauce, serrano sliver
- Booz-flay!: Grand Marnier soufflé, passion fruit beignets, passion-mango "sherbet"
- Crapricot: creme brulee, apricot, chamomile, almond, tarragon, semillon sparkle
- Molten cake thingy everybody has… (this one is steamed with a truffle inside): Valrhona Manjari 64% chocolate, summer cherries, Sicilian pistachio ice cream
- Check out D Bar Desserts here
Photo courtesy: D Bar Desserts