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What's Up Magazine

Red Red Wine Bar

Jan 04, 2012 09:05PM ● By Anonymous
My best effort, in short, is “Trendy with a jazzy zing to it!” Owners Brian and Lisa Bolter describe the bar as “a mood,” “a feeling,” or “a vibe.” Eclectic? Yes!

As soon as we entered, there was a feeling that the place has been here for a long time, even though it opened in July 2011. The interior featured showpiece furniture and accessories, such as a red beaded glass chandelier. When we visited, the restaurant was busy and patrons seemed very comfortable. We were seated and Megan, our server, gave us a little scoop of what is offered.

To my delight the menu was quite short, with very appetizing offerings and a selection that gives you control of your spending. While perusing through the menu, we ordered a bottle of wine that was recommended by Megan, a 2006 Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra ($28). My two guests enjoyed it immensely, describing it as light and fun with a gentle zing.

The a la carte cheese menu caught our attention, so we ordered three varieties: A Roblochon ($7), a soft French cheese somewhat like Muenster; a Tome de Savoie ($7) from the French Alps, semi-soft and very tasty; and an American Chevre Crème Brie ($9), which was the most appreciated—The zingy taste of goat cheese softened by a smooth, buttery texture. The presentation was very rustic, served with dried fruits, nuts, toasted bread and a dab of honey on a wooden plank.

Next, we tried the Crab Tostados ($13), lump crab meat tosses with a blend of plum tomatoes, red onions, a hint of jalapeño, ciltanto, avocado, and lime, all served in a crisp tostada shell. The traditional Maryland Crab Soup ($6) was excellent, a natural richly flavored broth that was generously garnished with vegetables and crabmeat. The Roasted Corn and Crab Chowder ($6) passed muster, although I personally look for a stronger nutty flavor from the roasted corn.

As for entrees, one dining companion was attracted to the Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken Panini ($9). It came as a scrumptious combination of flavorful tender chicken, dressed with feta cheese, roasted peppers and fresh basil skillfully pressed so the flavors melted together. The accompanying Chipotle salad was excellent.

Another companion opted for the Chicken with Chablis Mushroom Sauce ($18). The chicken breast was sautéed perfectly to a plump and juicy texture, and then deglazed with Chablis wine, mushrooms, and garlic and finished in a cream reduction. It was served with a side of delicious fresh grilled asparagus.

I succumbed shamelessly to the Black Forest Ham Panini ($9), prepared and pressed just as well as the previously mentioned panini. The mouthwatering bites of the lightly smoked ham, the caramelized onions, the melted Gruyere cheese all in a hint of brown sugar glaze kept me busy and quiet for quite a while.

Once done with our main courses, we just sat there and concluded that whether we had picked any other item from the menu, we would have definitely be please as well.

We ended by sharing two desserts. The Crème Brulee Cheesecake ($9) was smooth and not too sweet, but most importantly flavored with Madagascar vanilla beans. These beans have the particularity of having a much more pronounced flavor. They made an outstanding vanilla paste that is also often flecked with the seeds.

We all know about the Famous Berger Cookies ($7), soft vanilla wafers, heavily smeared with creamy chocolate fudge, and in this case, served with vanilla ice cream. As a side note, that was enough calories to last a few days.

Eventually you will pass by or visit the website, but hopefully you will have the opportunity to visit Red Red Wine Bar. The 40-plus wines by the glass and on tap, along with 120-plus bottles of wine from this very diverse and well-designed wine list, should be an attraction that any wine aficionado would enjoy.

When to Enjoy:
11 a.m.–midnight Sun. to Tues.
11 a.m.–2 a.m. Wed. to Sat.
Expect to Pay:
Starters: $8–13
Soups and salads: $6–15
Pizzas: $8–12
Panini Press: $8–10
Entrees (after 5 p.m.): $18–27
Desserts: $7–9
Wine flights: $9–12
Wine by the Glass: $7–15
Wine bottles: $21–250

“I succumbed shamelessly to the Black Forest Ham Panini ... mouthwatering bites of the lightly smoked ham, the caramelized onions, the melted Gruyere cheese, all in a hint of brown sugar glaze.”
—Gilles Syglowski