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Southern New England Wine Bar

'Hidden Vine' Wine Bar and Lounge...Newington, CT


Restaurants & Bars

'Hidden Vine' Wine Bar and Lounge...Newington, CT

noreservations | Jan 31, 2010 02:11 PM

What's newwww(ington)? Any newfound places to share with your fellow posters on Chow? Either you're hiding a worthwhile local spot, you haven't experienced much there to post about, or you somehow didn't get around to stopping yet. I'm suspecting the first but would always welcome your "final answer"...we've heard it all before :) . The Chowmobile(it's like Knight Rider with a taste for food and wine) was passing through your neck of the woods thanks to another visit to 'Veggie World' for some Polish specialties and Turkish pantry-essentials when its shameless driver stopped for a meal even though his co-pilot and dining companion was hard at work and unaware of his ulterior food motives.

Open for a little more than a year now, this newly built-up spot situated in Market Square set back from Main St is surely not that difficult to find but for us directionally challenged aimless wanderers(I somehow still landed). The menu is a nice mix of starters, samplers, panini, soup, salad, and entrees- just enough selections of each to be focused yet plenty to experiment with for variation. The daily additions/specials are big with the regulars so that they go very quick on prime nights, a rather positive sign that there are many who'll happily defer to the kitchen for whatever is new and assumed to be as good as what they've enjoyed before. The wine list delivers the needed mix to be suited for a wine-bar and changes often enough so that a glimpse of what is now on their site could very well be some of what used to be served.

One scoping-out stop began with a white 'Cortese di Gavi' while starting with a sliced 'Cured Meat Sampler'. The generous "single-order" version of this plate sported a handful of different meats, sliced bread, and was served with marinated olives and a mixed-fruit compote like mixture whose Italian name escapes me. Would you happen to know what this is called? Man oh man the memory certainly fades when starting to slip(or sip) into a Chow-content state...clink. After resisting the urge to take advantage of the seemingly rare option of having 'Barolo' by the glass(here-here) I instead moved to a 'Montepulciano' and then a Super-Tuscan Rosso blend to go with the 'Polenta Triangles over Cognac Sauce' and one of several creative 'Bruschettas', this one a Hanger Steak version("Lombatello"!) with a couple of hints of small-cubed semi-melted cheese. The two wedges of polenta were indeed a pleasant break from what is often prepared(see article below) and was served with their Cognac sauce that also comes with the 'Homemade Gnocchi'(the full entree has sauteed shrimp, prosciutto, and asparagus). Clearly proud of what his kitchen turns out, owner Sal kindly offered a taste of this excellent Gnocchi as well as a 'Gorgonzola Stuffed Date wrapped in Maple Smoked Bacon' my first time out...a gesture most appreciated as I would no doubt order either again and be confident that my co-pilot would enjoy these as much as her scheming dining companion. Sal proved to be quite the host and his staff was enthusiastic, friendly, and informed. Is it safe to mention the regularly scheduled limited seating wine dinners? Oh like you'd tell me if it was anyway :) .

A site siting:
No secrets Newington:

Hidden Vine Wine Bar & Lounge
1052 Main St Ste 2B, Newington, CT 06111

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