Craig and Laura Decker seem to have a difficult time making up their minds. They also seem to have a knack for turning this indecisiveness into an advantage at every turn. When it came to opening their new business, for example, they briefly wondered whether it should feature a wine shop, a wine bar, or a gourmet bistro. Their solution? All three.
This spirit of inclusivity pervades The Wine Guy Bistro, where the Deckers pair seasonal wine varietals with globally inspired cuisine. Rather than choose between European elegance and New-American pizzazz, they settled on a compromise they describe as “Old World chic.” This label suits a menu that features small plates of housemade meatballs and bruschetta alongside assorted cheeses from around the world. The focus on small plates is in keeping with the Deckers’ have-it-all mentality and gives diners the option to sample several dishes without having to barter with adjacent tables.
Creating a custom-made wine is a lot more rewarding than producing questionable homemade toothpaste. At Tino Vino Vintners, the 6- to 10-week process begins with you “researching” (tasting) wine varietals to determine what you want yours to taste like. Five tastings will introduce your palate to its options in a round of speed dating for the taste buds. Next, the desired grapes are crushed, pressed, concentrated, and mixed with reverse-osmosis-filtered water, yeast, and other ingredients under the supervision of a winemaker. The winemaker will watch over your mixture’s progress during its two to three weeks of fermentation before stabilizing the wine with an optional clarifying agent and racking (removing sediment). Once your wine has been bottled, you may either pop it open and have a party or stash it away to let it age as gracefully as Burton Gilliam.
Though the family-oriented grill's atmosphere mostly recalls a comfy Mexican restaurant (down to the homemade chips and salsa greeting you at the table), the menu touts tastes from across the globe. Try the signature Hawaiian-style ribs ($13.99 half order, $24.99 whole) marinated and grilled in a secret-recipe Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce, or take a Bavarian turn with the mett-n-kraut ($12.99), a German-style minced pork with sauerkraut on rye bread. Otherwise, opt for something more Italian such as the homemade meat or vegetarian lasagna ($12.99). Classic Tostado's burgers ($8.49) with your choice of toppings (including mushrooms, bacon, barbecue, and Swiss, Provolone, or American cheese) and reubens ($8.99) bring the around-the-world menu back home. True to its name, though, Tostado’s also serves up Mexican dishes that range from familiar burritos ($9.99–$11.99, depending on filling) and quesadillas ($9.99–$11.99) to the creative Mexican hot dog ($6.99), which comes with sour cream, mustard, and pico de gallo.
With a brand-new album in the hatch and musical muscles bulging, the platinum-selling Seattle outfit Candlebox rocks out Bogarts on its spring tour. The band first made radio waves in the early '90s with breakout hits “Far Behind” and “You,” which stayed in rotation on MTV like an overzealous Wheel of Fortune spin. The group has since persevered as a vessel of the rock ‘n’ roll spirit, rising above the grunge-rock label initially applied to it by coloring its tunes with genres such as blues and jazz. Blending time-honored chart-toppers with tracks from the upcoming Love Stories & Other Musings, Candlebox burns like a box with a candle inside in a live performance fit to thrill fresh faces and longtime fans alike. Youthful, energized, and tightly wound, Southern California’s Acidic opens the show with sturdy rock anthems played with old-pro assurance.
A Cincinnati-staple since the early 70's, Uncle Woody's Pub has built a dedicated crew of regulars with its old fashioned bar feel, classic American pub fare, and entertainment-focused atmosphere. The menu tempts guests with half-pound specialty burgers like the BBQ Bearcat or the Ragin' Cajun and guilty-pleasure appetizers such as loaded fries with cheese and bacon, and the full bar boasts daily and weekly specials. Seven flat-screen TVs and a 92-inch projection screen thrill patrons with basketball and football games, and darts and karaoke keep patrons busy on various nights throughout the week while their outside deck accommodates fair-weather revelry.
A sleek black-and-gold façade and the promise of frothy brews entices Mt. Adams bar-hoppers into Tavern on the Hill’s newly expanded space. Fifteen flat-screen TVs flicker with almost any sports game of patrons’ choosing, thanks to satellite TV packages such as NFL Sunday Ticket and MLB Extra Innings. Bartenders dish out draft beer from a dual-sided bar, and chefs prepare plates of classic pub cuisine, including sizzling pizza and bar bites from the late-night menu.