At Vin Rouge, South Slopers have found a second home—with a great wine cellar. Hounds love the broad, eclectic list of choices by the glass, put together by a veteran wine seller with a soft spot for Long Island wines. For now the food menu is short, mostly cheeses and cured meats, but they’re well chosen and hit the spot.

Fans say their only concern about this friendly neighborhood spot, opened in summer by the owner of Has Beans across the street, is that not enough neighbors have discovered it. “It is never busy when I walk past,” frets jerryj, “and I hope this place stays open.”

Around the same time Vin Rouge was getting under way, Café Tapeo was opening a mile or so to the north. This lively wine and beer bar from the owners of the neighboring Black Sheep Pub has a more ambitious kitchen than its South Slope counterpart. But what it calls tapas on the menu really means an all-over-the-map selection of small plates. Winners include bacon-wrapped barbecued shrimp, meat-filled beggar’s purses, ale-braised baby back ribs, “New World” farmer cheese pierogi with Triple Sec–onion fruit compote, and lettuce wraps filled with cold smoked chicken, mango salsa, and chipotle-lime sauce.

Early reports complained of stingy servings; the ownership has since tweaked the menu to offer significantly larger portions for a modest $3 extra. More recent visitors approve. “The food was wonderful, the service leisurely but very friendly, and really for how much we ate, the price not at all out of line with the rest of the neighborhood,” says elecsheep9.

Vin Rouge [Park Slope]
629 Fifth Avenue (between 17th and 18th streets), Brooklyn

Café Tapeo [Park Slope]
52 Fifth Avenue (at Bergen Street), Brooklyn

Board Links: vin rouge on 5th ave/18th in brooklyn
Cafe Tapeo–North Park Slope

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