Neighborhood Dining Gem: Café Vinoteca


It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to dine at Café Vinoteca, so I jumped at the chance recently to meet up with some family members at the restaurant for dinner. The experience was delightful—waitservice was unfailingly gracious, and the meal was robust and satisfying. I relished the kitchen’s rustic spaghetti Bolognese, topped with toothsome beef and pork meatballs; and the irresistibly crispy country Italian fried chicken, served up with comforting garlic mashed potatoes, was another winner. But the best part of the meal was the wine service—the Italian-born waiter who attended to us not only navigated us effortlessly and knowledgeably through the wine list, he assisted in our selection and proceeded to elaborate on the vintage, varietal and production method of the wine as he carefully wiped our glasses, opened the wine and delicately warmed up a sample before finally pouring it with a charming flourish. I appreciated the care that went into both our meal and into our wine experience, which was as educational as it was entertaining. The visit helped me to understand why Café Vinoteca is such a beloved dining institution in the Arden-Arcade neighborhood.