17 December, 2008

Wine Bar Wednesday: The Wine Room, Palo Alto, CA

With the blustery weather and the holidays looming, the Wine Room whispers its siren song. "Come in. Sit by the fire. Have some wine and snacks. Relax. After all tomorrow is another day...."
Located in the bustling downtown of Palo Alto, amid the livelier places, the Wine Room is a charming respite. Two fireplaces were blazing the night I went there. It's a great example of historic Palo Alto Mediterranean inspired architecture giving the place an anchored, welcoming feeling. The door looks almost Dickensian and inside, there are lush carpets, dark wood and nooks and crannies to settle into for a meeting, date, whatever. It's quiet enough and nice enough to accommodate a variety of activities. We were lucky and got seats on a plush sofa in the back room. My colleague, Eileen, was craving whites, and I of course, red. The list had tempting options on both sides as well as a nice selection of sparklers, too. I didn't even consider the flights because of all the driving. We knew we wanted dessert, so asked the server for recommendations. Eileen picked the assortment of chocolates and the Yalumba Chardonnay, which ended up being an interesting pairing. The wine was crisp, robust and delicious. I wanted the Almond pear tart and he also suggested a California Pinot Noir, which had enough complexity to stand up to the not too sweet dessert. Also interesting and quite delicious. Two thumbs up from us! According to Xandria's criteria:
  • Affordability - Good job Wine Room considering this is Palo Alto. I thought their QPR was great!
  • Wine list - Great selection that changes often and is listed out online. I particularly loved the way so many regions were represented. Each category offered selections from California, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Oregon, you name it. And interesting varietals as well. Apparently, the owner tailors what he is pouring to the weather, so that you always find something seasonal, interesting and climate appropriate
  • Wait staff- Very knowledgeable, and a good balance of attentive vs. intrusive. We had a lot to go over and our server was very respectful
  • Food- oh-so-yummy! Lots of cheeses, desserts etc. This is definitely a place to come after or before something and linger.

One caveat, you'd better be packing your Visa card, because the Wine Room does not accept AMEX.

520 Ramona Street, Palo Alto, CA

Open every day - 4PM to Midnight (or later) Closed on major holidays They accept Visa/Mastercard


1 comment:

mloagogo said...

Next time you're in PA visit Vino Locale on Kipling in a converted house with a lovely backyard (complete with heat warmers). It has a focus on wines within 100 miles and is even more affordable than the Wine Room. I like that they have flights and wines available by the tast, unlike the Wine Room (although I know the staff there is good about giving you preview tastes when you order a glass).