Corks and Canvas Events, like a work of fine art, came about by pairing a good idea with a passion to create. The founders both came from the marketing world, where they spent their days devising campaigns and events to inspire their audiences to take action. A shared love for art and wine inspired them to bend their action-creating talents toward a new goal—hosting painting and wine events in area wineries and wine bars, allowing guests to "uncork their creativity" and promote the burgeoning Washington wine industry.
Their idea took the form of Corks and Canvas Events, where experienced artists lead guests step-by-step through the painting creation process. Guests re-create various paintings, everything from lush vineyard scenes to preening roosters, while sipping on glasses of local wines.
Travel to new and beautiful lands of vine-squeezed flavors with the extensive by-the-glass wine list at Vino Bello. Have a glass of 2009 Darling Hills Ovation (chenin blanc, South Africa; $6) or a 2007 Italian Vestini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ($8.50) for lunch, or take advantage of the specials with a 5 o'clock glass of Kestrel Pure Platinum or Hob Nob pinot noir ($6) paired with a plate of marinated olives and rustic bread ($4). To rain a pilsner on the wine parade, order a Lagunitas ($3.50) with the crab and shrimp dip with crackers ($4), or branch out across the rest of the malted spectrum with an Asahi dry lager ($3.25) and some French chocolate truffles ($6). To reward your designated driver, order one of Vino Bello's specialty coffees, or research your graduate thesis on teetotalism with a rich, warming Illy latte ($3.50).
At The Scotch and Vine, owners David and Jill Pritchard blend upscale, artisan American cuisine, fine wines and scotches, and local, seasonal cuisine. The staff pours libations from more than 210 single malts, blends, bourbons, and ryes, as well as from a wine list that earned an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. With that deep selection to work from, friendly, knowledgeable tenders help diners pair their dinners with the ideal wine, craft beer, or whiskey. In the kitchen, meanwhile, expert chefs sizzle hearty elk burgers, juicy sirloin steaks, tender seared chicken, and roasted beet salads. This cuisine helped Scotch and Vine earn a spot on King5 Best of Western Washington's 2013 list of the area's five Best New American restaurants.
The strains of Spanish guitar and live blues bands form a classy soundtrack to wine tastings or seminars on Scotch-crafting, while plates of fine cheese from regional farms complement the flavors of smoky spirits, frosty brews, and rich red wine. The bistro's cushy leather booths, accents, and soft lighting evoke the image of a grandfather's cozy study or a precocious 6-year old’s tree fort.
The inside of ViaVita Café & Wine Bar traces the timeline of a single day. Floor-to-ceiling windows cast morning light onto a display case of pastries and cheeses—an addendum to the counter that bears morning coffee orders. Nearby, granite-topped tables sit far enough apart to suggest an open, Parisian patio, but close enough together to support a cross-stream of chatter over lunchtime sandwiches. The day ends on the other side of a semicircular wine bar. There, walls wearing distressed paint encapsulate a rustic alcove, where hanging plants and Greco-Roman-style pottery evoke the dining room of a hillside villa.
The decor and seasonal menu at ViaVita Café & Wine Bar champion a European-flavored escape, where diners can stop at any time for a meal, a snack, or a glass of wine. From the crepes and omelets of brunch—served with duck-fat potatoes and chocolate-orange butter—to afternoon paninis and dinners of pan-seared Alaskan salmon, meals realized by imaginative chefs spark and fuel long conversations. Imported and domestic beers, as well as wines from small vineyards on multiple continents, complement the diverse bouquet of flavors and pair especially well with cheese and charcuterie boards. During special events, guitar music acts as a soothing soundtrack for bites, and sommelier seminars instruct patrons on how to age libations without sending them to PG-13 movies alone.
A lion's head stands guard over the brick oven at Pizzeria Guido & Wine Bar, bearing its fearsome jaws at any who would try to pilfer the restaurant's family recipes. Thankfully, the only way most diners attempt to gain insight into the establishment's Tuscan traditions is through the food. Slivers of buffalo mozzarella, basil, and fresh tomatoes accent antipasti plates in the colors of the Italian flag, and the wood-fired oven spills forth the aromas of prosciutto, capers, and fontina cheese topping pizzas and filling calzones. Glasses of Italian wine click together in the halos of steam rising from pastas. Waiters move through the spacious dining room, and their white dress shirts and smart red ties complement the wall's gentle orange and yellow tones, which call to mind the warming glow of a sunset or a haunted ventriloquist dummy finally burning.
Poco Wine Bar boasts an ever-changing wine list of artisan and boutique blends from local and international vineyards, as well as small-plated eats specially conceived to accompany any grape-filled glass or bottle. Start off an elegant evening with a flute of the sparkling South African Graham Beck Brut Rosé ($11) or a sousaphone of the slightly effervescent Broadbent Vinho Verde ($7), direct from the vineyards of Portugal (the Canada of Spain). Rich reds such as the Walla Walla Dusted Valley Cab ($12 a glass) or the earthy In Situ Carmenere ($8) from Chile will tickle the taste buds, as well as artfully symbolize bloodshed if spilled in slow motion. Wine-friendly artisan cheese plates ($16) of five chef-selected cow, sheep, and goat favorites, decadent orders of Poco's truffled mac 'n' cheese ($9), and asparagus risotto ($13) all provide a solid gastro-intestinal counterweight to any levitating lineup of libations.