When Jeff and I started dating he wanted to take me out on a fancier date in the city and so my best friend Sarah recommended Vinoteque on Melrose Ave. I had been wanting to have a fancy night out with my new (at the time) boyfriend and Jeff surprised me with the most romantic evening at this charming little restaurant. Since then, we have been back to Vinoteque to celebrate various holidays and milestones. We have brought family and friends and it has quickly become one of our all time favorite spots to eat in Los Angeles.
The owners of the restaurant Chris and Zora are some of the most welcoming people and on occasion can even be spotted dining in the corner with friends. Zora has contributed something truly special to the restaurant that makes it stand out amongst a sea of fine dining in LA - the Love Lock Wall. Yes, Vinoteque boasts a genuine Love Lock Wall. Jeff and I have placed a couple on the line in our years frequenting the restaurant. Zora loves to greet couples and offer them the chance to bind their love to the wall and celebrate their commitment.
This last time around we found the lock we placed shortly after our engagement. It is so special to know there is a piece of us hanging somewhere in LA, a piece of our LA story that others can see and experience.
Vinoteque would not be deserving of it's namesake without it's delicious wine. The sommeliers are always super helpful in selecting the perfect wine to fit your meal and your tastes. The menu also boasts an amazing selection of small plates and desserts (ss well as one of the BEST happy hours in town).
We always opt for the garlic parmesan fries (how can you not?!) with their homemade sweet ketchup. We also ordered the sliders and the Goat Cheese Napoleon. The food is always spot on with packed flavors, cooked to perfection and presented with style. You cannot beat the price tag for an early evening dinner.
They were out of the homemade chocolate cakes this particular evening and so upon suggestion we ate the passion fruit panna cotta which they graciously garnished with extra fruit for me. It was the perfect finish to our delicious meal.
Besides the delicious food and incredible service (the staff is so attentive) the atmosphere of Vinoteque is my favorite part of this hidden gem. Right above the street, the restaurant has a large front wine bar which overlooks Melrose and is covered in beautiful twinkle lights and railings. This space is great for larger groups or those who wish to merely sip and chat.
The back part of the restaurant, however, is where the true magic lives. An L-shaped patio holds multiple two and four seat tables as well as a hidden tent for a large dinner party. Twinkle lights and trees drape the patio in beautiful light and make you feel as if you have stepped into the Italian villa at dusk. They also play old black and white films on a projector which adds a touch of Old Hollywood Glamour to an already perfect space.
If you are looking for a truly special experience in LA, I HIGHLY suggest you check out Vinoteque. Although it still feels like mine and Jeff's little secret, we want more and more people to visit this wonderful restaurant. Thank you Vinoteque for consistently providing such a beautiful backdrop for our celebrations and for letting us catch our breath in the city.
Until next time!
~ A ~