Not everyone who loves wine is fortunate enough to transform that love into a viable career, much less a successful business. But Christopher Spann did just that with Wine Market Bistro, whose numerous accolades stand as testament to his achievement. More than 25 wines can be savored by the glass in the loft-like dining room, while the adjoining wine shop stocks more than 800 bottles ranging in varietal and region. These bottles can be enjoyed in the bistro for a small corkage fee. The wine-friendly menu fills the rustic-chic dining room with the aroma of cornmeal fried oysters, artisanal cheese plates, diver scallops, and dry-aged ribeye. And in warmer months, diners can take their meals on the courtyard patio and cool off by piling ice block after ice block onto their laps.
Gitan Bistro Cru has the personality of a romantic neighborhood gathering spot, plus the food and drink to match, making it a great destination for dates. Its wood floors and mustard-colored walls envelop visitors, who stop by to fill up on the restaurant's French- and Lebanese-inspired dishes. The menu features sandwiches, soups, and a roster of Lebanese-style small plates, including hummus accompanied by warm pita bread. From behind the bar, servers dish out specialty cocktails, as well as rare, hard-to-find wines.
Fresh made-from-scratch ingredients collide in Mia Carolina's culinary carburettor, decorating plates and dazzling diners with a tasty fusion of New World and Old World Italian cuisine. Complement nibbles of its crisp bread with a faithful reading of its lunch or dinner menus, which yield appetite- and mind-stoking antipasti such as the cozze marinara's touching seafood anthology ($9 lunch, $10–$12 dinner) and the involtino di prosciutto di Parma's hearty paean to herbed goat cheese, grilled asparagus, and Italy's twinkling ham rivulets ($10). Pie jockeys can saddle up to the flavorful pizza margherita ($9 lunch, $10 dinner) or the veggie-infused capricciosa ($10 lunch, $12 dinner), and pasta promoters can treat their belly to the fettucine alfredo ($9 lunch, $12 dinner). Each tender cut of the veal marsala comes with fortifications of mushrooms, pearl onions, and roasted-garlic mashed potatoes ($23 dinner).