Neatly packaged in a converted Victorian house, Press626 offsets its shell of Dickensian charm with a cream filling of locally sourced noshables. A small yet diverse menu perks up even the most jaded palates with appetizers such as rosemary sun-dried tomato shrimp ($11.95) and baked chèvre goat cheese ($10.50) before insulating stomachs against stray cannonballs with duck confit in a tart-cherry-cabernet reduction ($19.95) or pumpkin risotto ($13.95 vegetarian, $17.95 shrimp). Those who prefer their meals bookended by bread will gravitate toward the monster steak sandwich, accented with caramelized onions, pepper-jack cheese, cilantro, and chipotle aioli on sourdough ($8.95). For dessert, relive childhood without the early bedtime and constant bogeyman ambushes when you order homemade jumbo cupcakes served with a glass of chilled milk ($5.99).
Sonoma Wine Bar & Bistro's selection of 325 wines from around the world has repeatedly earned the venue Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, as well as one of the readers’ choice awards for Best Wine List from Hampton Roads magazine in 2011. Many varietals hail from smaller-production vineyards, allowing oenophiles to sample the flavors of tucked-away Italian wineries without chartering a hovercraft. At the bar, bartenders dispense 2- and 5-ounce pours from 50 climate-controlled bottles that ensure prolonged freshness of flavor. In the bistro, executive chef Mackenzie Hess works with the staff's wine experts to pair grass-fed steaks and pan-seared crab cakes with the ideal wines from Sonoma's expansive collection.
Eurasia Cafe & Wine Bar's chefs start with seasonal, local ingredients and infuse them with spices from half a world away. It's not hard to spot the Asian influence in their farm-to-table fare; sesame seed crusts envelop yellowfin tuna steaks and fresh pork tenderloin rests in sweet beds of pad thai noodles. Their commitment to fine foods also finds inspiration outside of Asian cuisine, evidenced by dishes such as the Southern-inspired sauteed shrimp atop a smoked gouda stone grit cake.
To complement the menu, sommeliers curate a self-described "New World-inspired wine list" with bottles from all-star wine regions such as California and Washington, as well as selections from up-and-coming regions, such as Michigan and Argentina. These same sommeliers also provide advice on navigating the list to ensure customers find harmonious pairings for their chosen dishes. They round out the selection of beverages with handful of microbrews on tap, by the bottle, or by the 2-inch keg.
In 2010, local restaurateurs Dean and Sue Gonsior opened FIREBREW Wine Bar & Bistro, an eatery named after their passion for the taste an open flame imparts upon bistro fare and the frothiness of a handcrafted witch’s brew. The menu brims with sizzling pizzas, hot sandwiches, and other entrees that emerge fresh from a Fire Deck oven visible from the dining room. To complement the flame-kissed grub, a bar equipped with flat-screen televisions stocks a multitude of draft and bottled beers from breweries that include Sam Adams, Yuengling, and New Belgium, and self-service wine and beer stations allow patrons to sample 24 wines and a selection of craft beers. While dining, guests can prepare for personal battles by enjoying the views or staring into the flickering flames of the encased fires that line the outdoor patio.
Barrel Thief satisfies taste buds with a menu dominated by upscale salads and sandwiches that also includes a few heartier entree suggestions. In the arugula salad ($8), salty prosciutto and pickled strawberries lie on a bed of spicy greens, and nine bruschetta options ($5–$10)—including roasted garlic and white bean—are great for distracting most of the destructive hands of the goddess Kali. Fare from the briny deep includes the crab sandwich ($12)—shellfish drizzled in pimento aioli escorted by grilled green tomatoes—and grilled yellowfin tuna ($18). For dessert, tempt teeth with a sweet sonata composed of mixed berries and fresh cream ($6) whipped by Beethoven's ghost.