I’ve been spending a good part of the spring/summer hitting all the wine bars, and I still have a lot to go. Frankly, I’m starting to get a little exhausted by all of the wine venues toting small plates, charcuterie, and cheeses. U Street Corridor’s, Vinoteca is one of the same. It’s a fun place, sprawling with the young, lively atmosphere, decent food, and of course good wine. It’s also a very small, almost cramped restaurant, but they take reservations for big parties. I had a reservation for 8, which I made at the last minute.

No wait when we arrived! In fact, they seated us even though our full party wasn’t there yet. That’s a nice change! We were seated very comfortably at a round table. Talking was a little hard. Noise is definitely a big issue there. Service that night was exceptional. Our waitress was very friendly and explained the menu items very enthusiastically. She set a very nice tone for the evening. She was also very patient considering that we had a big party.

Wine list was very good, and they even have a nice champagne flight section. We went straight for the wine bottles. We ordered some very nice Malbecs and Sangioveses. No complaints.

The menu items were a little scattered. They have small plates, and just a few large plates. None of the menu items really follow a theme, but we enjoyed the variety. Everything was fairly prices as well. Here it goes:

  • Cheese Plate- We got the goat cheese flight. The cheeses were semi-hard and tasty. I would have liked a soft goat though. They were out that night, so our waitress had to substitute other goats.
  • Charcuterie- Prosciutto w/ crusty bread. Can’t go wrong there!
  • Assorted Olives- Nice assortment of plump olives and even cornishons.
  • Sliders- These are everywhere now! We got an assortment of lamb, bison, beef, and venison. I had all but the bison. They were all decent tasting. None really stood out though. I found myself needing salt. It’s very fairly priced at 3 for $9.95.
  • Shrimp & Grits- My favorite of the night. It was served with habanero chili and jack cheese grits along with fried green tomatoes. Very tasty, but it would also be very easy to replicate at home, which I will definitely do.
  • Panini with Cheddar, Prosciutto, Apples- This was delicious and another one that’s easy to replicate at home. I found it odd though that they used red apples instead of green….I prefer green.
  • Red Snapper- Served with an ancho chili sauce that added a nice bite. Snapper was cooked perfectly too.
  • Tsaziki Salmon- Cooked well, but a little on the boring side. Almost like a weeknight meal dish.
For dessert we got a chocolate lavender cake and bread pudding. The bread pudding was phenomenal…we were all fighting with our spoons. The chocolate cake almost went untouched. I think the lavender flavor was too strong and overpowered the chocolate.

Vinoteca also has an upstairs private that can be reserved for parties. It’s a pretty venue and not known to many. From what I hear, they don’t even charge for the use of the room…but, that could change.

I’ll probably return when I need a last minute reservation somewhere. For now, I need a break from wine bars.

1940 11th St
NW, DC 20001

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