Food

Mediterranean Café Serves Up Good Wine Accessible to All

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Good or bad, many Mediterranean cafés and restaurants run with the mural-of-the-sea/simple-peasant-life decorative scheme, the kind with lots of trellises and faux grapevines and prop bread baskets. Meanwhile, inexpensive wine bars tend to be cheesy caves, dark claustrophobic dens appointed with “sensual” fabrics and drippy candles. Winebar, a Mediterranean café–bar hybrid that opened a month ago, bucks both those norms. The space, which has lofty ceilings and a communal-drinking floor plan (imbibers sit at long, narrow, high bar-like tables, beside strangers), is sophisticated and spare, and outdoor café tables beckon. Waiters can recommend a glass of one of the roughly 40 wines on the menu, all of which are European and cost $8 to $12. The manager explained that the list is designed to be accessible and drinkable, not too high-end; in fact, there’s no wine cellar, so all bottles are stored on a wall of shelves, the colorful labels creating clean patterns against the dark wood. They’re intended to be uncorked as quickly as people can drink them. I’d go drink one, preferably while picking at some wood-oven-cooked flatbread or a cheese plate ($10 for either goat’s-milk or cow’s-milk cheeses) that’s delicious but small, so take it slowly and savor it.