Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Vine at Bridges in Danville

The Vine at Bridges in Danville is both a wine shop and casual hang out for the wine aficionado and novice who yearn to taste new wines and gain knowledge. The Vine sports a unique vibe that is casual yet sophisticated. Half is the retail side with a tasting bar and endless bottles of varietals of wines from California and the world. Boutique, limited production wines and intriguing and engaging for any collector. The other half is the wine bar with casual low leather seating ensembles, a long “L” shaped bar and multiple tall tables with bar stools. The walls are a golden color, awash with candlelight.  The concrete floors give it contemporary warmth.

My college friends and I decided to meet at the Vine at Bridges for wine and appetizers before attending a special pre-holiday shopping event in downtown Danville. Pam reserved the corner table which offered a 180 degree view of the place and a perfect position for people watching. Speaking of people watching, as the time passed, the population grew and it was a feast for the eyes. The pretty people abounded, sporting the latest designer jeans and expensive handbags. It was certainly a place to be and be seen. We are all married or taken, so we enjoyed the entertainment factor, good wine, food and spending time with great friends.

Speaking of wine and food, let’s talk! They offer three choices for the wine - 3 oz. taste, 6 oz. glass or by the bottle. Flights of wine were very popular and are delivered in an artistic metal carrier, holding three glasses. Tricia and I began the evening with a taste of the Frank Family 2007 Chardonnay - incredibly rich, buttery and smooth. Once Natalie and Pam arrived, we decided to share a bottle of the 2005 Bridesmaid Meritage from Napa Valley. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This wine ignited with flavors and aromas of rich berry fruits, currant, espresso, chocolate and oak tannins. The texture is velvety polished, elegant and luxurious.

Now onto the food – I looked around to see where the kitchen was positioned and realized that all of the food is produced at the Bridges Restaurant next door. There is a waiter who certainly gets his exercise, by bringing trays of food over as it is ordered. We pondered the menu and selected the Warm Phyllo Wrapped Brie Cheese with roasted pear, hazelnuts, toasted brioche and truffle honey. Our second appetizer was the Wild Mushroom Pizzetta with wild mushrooms, parmesan cheese, fines herbs, and truffle oil. The final selection was the Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and Prawns.  By far, the Phyllo wrapped brie was my favorite.

We had terrific service by the staff and they were extremely friendly and knowledgeable.  The wine shines in the spotlight. The food is tasty, but did not evoke the "wow factor" for us. Overall, if you are looking for a hip Wine Bar in the East Bay, head down to The Vine at Bridges for a nice evening with friends or that special someone.

The Vine at Bridges
480 Hartz Avenue
Danville, CA 94526

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