Unusual Wine Bar Offerings

Menus that take an unexpected turn


If you’ve been to a few wine bars, you’ve probably come to expect certain regulars on the food menu: assorted salumi and marinated olives; the requisite cheese plate; a selection of flat breads or crostini; maybe a pâté or two. 

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.

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.

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!

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

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