A licensed urban winery, Time to Make Wine churns out batches of wine and winemakers. The facility presents 2,400 square feet of temperature-, humidity-, and light-controlled space, inside which visitors learn how to concoct personalized potables. When needing a sip of inspiration, visitors may also browse Time to Make Wine's own products, or stock up on accessories ranging from corks and wine kits to fermentation containers.
A towering wine rack spans an entire wall and glimmers with more than 1,000 bottles. Across the room, a lineup of nitrogen-regulated Enomatic machines dispenses samples from 80 wines to be sipped, swirled, and theatrically spit while reclining on a leather sofa, or while sitting at the long wooden bar. Small, shareable plates populate Sarasota Vineyard's menu in the forms of cheeses, roasted olives, and prosciutto-wrapped figs, ideal for pairing with wines or barley pops from a list of 20 beers.
Chef Dan Virola of Twisted Vine Bistro combines proteins from the air, earth, and water with fire to create delectable dishes that are complemented by an extensive list of domestic and international wines. The spiced rack of lamb with herb-roasted fingerling potatoes and a wild mushroom ragout over cranberry chutney tempts forks to twirl with delight ($35), as lost wild salmon find themselves in a hoisin brown-sugar glaze with wasabi-whipped potatoes and a pineapple-lemongrass butter froth ($25). Stuffed breasts of chicken distract diners with dollops of sage and chicken mousseline, glazed carrots, garlic whipped potatoes, mushroom jus, and repartee ($18). An asparagus-cream soup with crispy, ground chorizo floods palates by the spoonful ($5) and a watermelon salad featuring mixed greens with strawberry-maple vinaigrette, local watermelon, and goat cheese perks up taste buds and bored salad forks alike ($8). An extensive list of domestic and international wines ($6+/glass, $18+/bottle) offers more enjoyable sips than a candle full of melted wax.
Locally produced artwork lines the walls of this charming neighborhood café, and organic, fair-trade coffees fill the air with frothy fragrances. The life cycle of each health-conscious menu item is quite short, as each selection is made to order and swiftly served to the detachable jaws of voracious vertebrates. Accelerate over midday speed bumps with an asian chicken salad, tossed with mandarin-orange-ginger dressing ($7.95). A signature espresso drink, such as the white-berry mocha, tickles tired brains back to life with an uncommon combo of chocolate and fruit flavors ($3.10 for 16 oz.). At dinnertime, bacon-starved stomachs can be sated with a filet mignon in a demi-glace sauce, floating in clouds of fluffy garlic mashed potatoes ($19.95). Menu items and drink lists change regularly, so stop in to Cgrape and see what’s cooking, brewing, and pouring.
Closer to the Vine's menu of café fare collects an assortment of light bites, sandwiches, coffee, and microbrews. Customers can scarf down a vegan panini filled with hummus and marinated portobello mushrooms ($7.95) or savor a smoked-salmon plate accompanied by cream cheese, cucumbers, and capers ($9.95). For patrons with reservations on Friday and Saturday evenings, beer-based cheddar fondue ($10) awaits dips from fresh vegetables, and semi-sweet chocolate fondue ($15) coats the bittersweet reminiscences of granny smith apples. As they sink into sofas or admire Floridian sunsets from an outdoor perch, diners can wash down solid grub with pours of wine from the diverse menu including selections from New Zealand, Chile, and Napa Valley, or opt for a microbrew, cup of coffee, or tea. In addition to offering complimentary WiFi, Closer to the Vine hosts local musicians every Friday and Saturday night and always welcomes visits from canine companions with water bowls, treats, and scratch 'n' sniff translations of the Wall Street Journal.
Avenue Wine Café introduces guests to dozens of wines and more than 70 distinct beers designed to imbibe in-house or at home. Wines hail from diverse lands including Italy, Argentina, and Spain, and patchwork a robust menu fit for a variety of occasions. Toast to the splendor of Argentinian grapes with a glass of Trumpeter merlot ($8) or savor a sweet glass of Harlow Ridge chardonnay ($8). Patrons pining for a thick beer can grab a bottle of Left Hand Brewery's milk stout ($6) or sniff out the scent of gingersnaps and citrusy hops in a draft pint of Hennepin Belgian-style ale ($8).