Ian Mendelsohn knows good wine. He has worked in Las Vegas at the Windows of the World, as the Wine Director of the Mirage Hotel and Casino, and eventually moved into the same position at the St. Regis in Buckhead. With his passion for wine, he opened Vine and Tap in Buckhead. He has visited nearly every winery represented on his wine list at Vine and Tap.
Vine and Tap is warm and welcome but still pretty sophisticated. There’s plenty of seating in the main dining room plus adequate bar seating should you be stopping in for just a glass of vino. Besides that, there’s a small patio as well as a private dining room, where our group sat.
As Ian spoke to our group about wine, you can see how passionate he is about his restaurant and, of course, the wineries represented on the extensive list. There are about 150 different wines in total available at Vine and Tap. If you don’t want to do a bottle, there’s a terrific selection of wines by the glass, in addition to the wine on tap (a rotation of two whites and two reds). My first selection, was a Vouvray, a delicious white to start the evening.
A charcuterie platter started out our feast that evening, with locally sourced meats and cheeses like the Guanciale from Pine Street Market and Chorizo made at The Spotted Trotter. Meats and cheese were accompanied by mustard, house made pickles and strawberry jam. I’m not a wine expert, but I do think I would have enjoyed bubbly or Pinot Noir with this course more than my white wine (heads up if you go the charcuterie route).
Although the crowd pleaser seemed to be the Rabbit Rillettes, it wasn’t my favorite, but I did thoroughly enjoy the next several courses – Red Royal Garlic Shrimp and Uncle Ray’s Crab Cake. As this was a tasting we had much smaller portions than regular size as you’ll see below. The shrimp was cooked just right and not overly garlicky. And the zero filler crab cake was divine and I know my crab cakes!
I’d switched to a red at this point – a very reasonably priced ($12) Tascante from Sicily. But with our next course being New York Strip, Ian recommended a bolder red. And the wine from Lebanon (also priced at $12 per glass) went well with this steak. As so many in our group were loving the Syrah on tap, I asked for a taste and found this was my favorite of all the reds I’d tried that evening. Ian even gave us a demonstration of their Coravin (offering 3 oz tastings of any wine.)
There are some restaurants you just love after one visit and root for, you know? Vine and Tap is one such restaurant. It is perfect for date night or a girls night out. Food and service are excellent but their prices (both food and wine) are reasonable. And there is plenty of free parking in the lot.
Besides Monday night $1 oyster nights, they offer wine tastings on Tuesdays and a Lobster roll that I’m anxious to get back and try. Disclosure: Our meal at Vine and Tap was complimentary. As always, the opinions expressed are my own.
Vine and Tap
2770 Lenox Rd
Atlanta, GA 30324