Eat like an Italian—passionately and with a mouthful of Italian marbles—at Bacaro LA Wine Bar, the real deal for Italian food and drink. The restaurant has perfectly prepared Italian finger-food, carefully chosen international wines, and a menu with hot and cold cicchetti (the small side dishes served in Venetian bars by Venetian bartenders wearing Mexican sombreros). Eat bruschette with Tuscan white beans, fire-roasted bell peppers, organic tomato, or roasted garlic, or get crostini topped with fresh ricotta, gorgonzola, chevre, mascarpone, or Steve Capelli. If you've got the hankering for more substantial dishes, fill up on hanger steak or rosemary-honey chicken.
City Sip tempts guests with a globally focused wine list featuring more than 40 wines by the glass, complemented by a thoughtful menu of cheese, small plates, panini, and more. Swirl, sniff, and sip your way through potable pleasures such as an Alsatian gewürztraminer from Klipfel ($11/glass), a Felino malbec ($12/glass), or another pick from the encyclopedic selection of bubblies, whites, reds, roses, and other vine-based beauties. Like the three-fisted men who harvest the grapes, wine flights provide a one-two-three palate punch, while dessert wines such as a Landskroon morio muscat ($11/glass) gently slap tongues with sweetness. A selection of craft beers including Allagash Curieux ($8) and Eagle Rock Brewery Solidarity ($7), plus a handful of nonalcoholic options, round out the liquid luxuries.
Cozy candlelight and flickering lanterns cast soft shadows in 55 Degree Wine’s cellar, where waiters eagerly pair customers’ palates with weekly rotating wines. Featured on Best of LA Weekly in 2012 for its wine program, the winery stocks more than 2,000 labels, of which up to 60 are spotlighted in the cellar’s monthly lineup of pours. Though most vintages are Italian, ambrosias from Europe, South America, and other far-flung climes find homes in the shop after being tasted and approved by store owners. The thermostat, appropriately set to 55 degrees, helps keep elixirs fresh and patrons comfortable, but guests may wish to bring a sweater or particularly affectionate bear.