Don’t you wish you’re in Italy right now, sipping that bold glass of wine and enjoying some gourmet appetizers in an intimate and cozy setting? Luckily, we don’t have to go all the way to Italy to reinvent that one-of-a-kind wine bar experience.
Vinted Wine Bar & Kitchen, West Hartford
Whether you’re an avid wine connoisseur, a novice taster like me, or simply looking to unwind, Vinted Wine Bar & Kitchen offers an elegant (yet unpretentious), casually hip environment that’s perfect for social gatherings, romantic dates and quick bites.
How convenient that it is located in the shopping area of Blue Back Square in West Hartford, CT. So, when you need a break from shopping, Vinted Wine Bar & Kitchen is now open for lunch.
Although I’ve been here a few times for private events, I was excited to find out that they’re now open for lunch, and I had the privilege to sample their lunch menu. My first impression was, “Wow, the chef was bold to add kale on the menu! Hello Cali! Hello NYC!”
Roasted Shrimp Kale Salad – Apple / Buttermilk / Spiced Walnuts / Radish / “Puffs”
I never had a kale salad in CT that’s noteworthy. Surprisingly, this gorgeous salad is tasty. What a perfectly compatible array of ingredients. The flavors of thinly sliced apples, well-seasoned grilled shrimp, and creamy but not overpowering buttermilk dressing that are nicely tossed over bed of greens went well together. The radish and walnuts added a crunchy texture and a hint of sweetness that simply brightens up all the natural flavors creating one hearty salad.
Winter Beet Salad – Smoked yogurt / Porcini ‘dirt’ / Charred red onion / Prosciutto
Again, here’s another ingredient that I don’t care for. In layman’s terms, “I’d rather stay hungry than eat beets.” Well, here’s another shocker, the taste is wonderfully festive. It is so tasty that people who hate beets will reconsider. The salad is simple and yet bursting with bright flavors. The earthiness of the beets is balanced by the tang of smoked yogurt and lightness and sweetness of the rest of the ingredients. I hate to admit this, but I guess I’m a “beet-liever” (if done right)!
Try a glass of aromatic Greco Bianco by Filu iGreco. Greco is an excellent appetizer drink and great with vegetable starters that are not vinegary tasting.
Federal Risotto Balls – Truffle Butter / Parmesan
This is right up my alley! In my Sicilian world, it’s “Arancino Di Riso”. In Naples, it’s “Pall’e riso”. In West Hartford, it’s“Federal risotto balls” – from the original menu of The Federal Restaurant in Springfield, MA.
These golden fried risotto balls with rich truffle butter is definitely a crowd pleaser. If you’re in the mood for that Italy “bàcaro” experience, make sure you order up these absolutely delicious crunchy, ooey goodness balls of heaven that will send you to the moon! Hmm… I wonder if I could order a side of marinara sauce with that.
Snacking tip: Scoop about a table spoon of white truffle butter, my favorite brand is “Tartufetta”, over warm risotto. Let it melt, and then add some Parmigiano-Reggiano. Oh man, oh man, the aroma alone is intoxicating.
Forest Mushroom Quesadilla – Aged Cheddar / Kale / Roast Garlic / Parmesan / Chili Oil / Charred Scallion Sour Cream
What a perfect light lunch.This is also a perfect dish to introduce picky eaters to kale. Again, I had no clue that I was eating kale. The flavor revolves around the creamy cheesy goodness of variety of cheeses which is a good way to enjoy kale for the first time. The roasted garlic adds an Italian twist to it.
I love how taking classics and turning them into something new and exciting by using ingredients that we wouldn’t normally think of using. I would love to add some marinated artichokes to it.
Calvados and Oranges Cocktail
When Gary, our amazing host, mentioned that this cocktail has Calvados brandy in it, my eyes lit up and couldn’t wait to taste this sophisticated sipper. Well, I call it “the flirty apple cider”.
What makes this drink great, is the Calvados itself. Its smooth apple flavor and woody taste blended beautifully with citrus juices, Vermont maple syrup and a pinch of nutmeg creating a perfect four-season drink. This cocktail will surely get you into a holly jolly mood.
Honey barbecue chicken thigh sliders
Need some energy to continue on with your shopping?
Try this flavorful crowd pleaser sandwich. It has distinctive flavors of North Carolina barbecue style sauce; sweet, rich in spice and has the balance of tang and heat – a glorious complex that go so well together.
Grasshopper cocktail – Creme de menthe / White creme de cacao / Light cream
If you like chocolate and mint together, here’s a perfect after-dinner drink for you, or I must say “dessert in a glass”. It’s sweet, creamy, minty and chocolaty. It’s like drinking a mint chocolate chip milkshake. Yummy!
5 Things I lIKE about VINTED WINE BAR & KITCHEN…
1). I’m surrounded by a large selection of bottle of wines from different parts of the world.
2). I can order various pour sizes instead of the standard one. This gives me the chance to try a bunch of different wines and get a little lesson on each from the (3). extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff.
4).They have a full bar and excellent cocktail menu.
5). They offer tapas-style menu with a variety of perfectly paired cheeses, starches, and gastro-pub dishes to compliment your tastings.
“Vinted Wine Bar & Kitchen is surely an inviting destination that will satisfy your thirst and hunger.”