* Click here for rating key
Wine Vault Restaurant Review: The visual highlight of this relaxed, romantic wine bar is a pneumatic glass tube elevator linking its downstairs bar and cozy upstairs lounge (which can be closed off for private parties). The culinary highlight of its tapas menu, a mostly Spanish/Mediterranean-inspired selection of very simple items (white anchovy crostini, chorizo with new potatoes, tasty but not terribly imaginative or unusual charcuterie/cheese platters), has got to be its one playful all-American nibble: dark chocolate-dipped bacon. For those seeking savory snacks, traditional tuna-stuffed piquillo peppers or more creative mini-empanadas of seriously spicy chicken inside sweet honey-spiked dough are recommended. Hands-on owner Michael Shapira, who aims for a low-key neighborhood hangout vibe, changes the wine list constantly so regulars don’t get bored, but expect around 50 bottles and over 20 wines available by the glass, plus craft beers. There’s also a weekday happy hour, featuring $5 tapas and $4 house wines, plus frequent free wine tastings and live entertainment.