Vino Wine & Tapas Room is the sort of place where wine and tapas meet with a pleasant mix of savory and scrumptious. It is where local entertainment will thrill those with a love for live performance music and where one can find a calming, relaxed, and casual ambiance to get lost in. This restaurant preserves for its customers a place to get away for a while from the everyday anxieties of the world to just relax, center, and enjoy a delicious glass of vino and a combination of varied tapas items specifically crafted to please the palate. Only the best elements are hand-selected to prepare vibrant and palatable presentations of flavor. Most of the ingredients used here are from California’s local farms, allowing the restaurant to partake in fueling our local economy as well as providing local fresh fare to dining patrons.
The main entry to this establishment is highlighted by a red neon sign with the wine room’s logo high above the front door, while most evenings, a roaring fire atop a rolling pedestal sits in front of the eatery drawing attention to passers-by enticing them to stop and see what lies inside.
The wine selection here is immense. Several pours are from bottles that aren’t even available for public purchase! So try something new, enjoy a favorite you’ve had for years, or mix it up a little, because Vino Wine & Tapas Room is the ideal location to do just that. From rich reds, to crisp whites, to delightful house-made sangrias, you won’t leave craving anything other than another visit in the near future.
We’ve experienced a variety of the tapas items here, and we have been pleased by them all. One of my favorites, I have to admit, is the Al Pequino ($5). Spanish white anchovies with a refreshing cucumber salsa atop a crunchy toasted sliced baguette base. The not-too-salty flavor of these anchovies combined with the light crunch of the cucumber and crunchy bread was a pleasant conglomeration, while the Cabernet I sipped on as I devoured this dish went very well with the contrasting flavors. A lovely light Chardonnay would have been my preference with this tapas selection, but I was delighted to see just how amazing a fine red wine complimented the array of tastes as well.
The Albondigas ($5) are Spanish meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, which is another tapas my husband and I delighted in during one of our visits to Vino Wine & Tapas Room. The term ‘albondigas’ is Spanish for ‘meatballs’. Typically served in Mexican soup, this version is served ‘tapas’-style plated with a delectable hearty sauce atop perfectly-shaped meatballs.
If you enjoy eggplant, or like it to any degree, you simply must try the Eggplant Crujiente ($5) at Vino Wine & Tapas Room. Eight slices of visually-appealing eggplant are baked to a crunchy finish, then drizzled with sweet honey. ‘Crujiente’ in Spanish translates to ‘crisp’ in English, explaining these crisp discs of tender eggplant prepared so perfectly, then enhanced by a candied essence of syrupy sweetness.
Our readers know that goat’s cheese is a favorite love of mine! So trying the above tapas item was something I couldn’t leave without sampling. The Mon Berenjena ($5) is a spoon of creamy tangy goat’s cheese with herbs delicately rolled in a slice of tender pan-seared eggplant. The flavor combination of this tapas is out of this world between the creamy goat’s cheese, the earthy touch of the eggplant and the garnish of micro greens.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Warm tones abound with mellow lighting, soothing live entertainment, and a variety of flavorful tapas and wine options. The large wine bar is large and roomy, while cafe tables in the main area of the dining room allow for more intimate conversation.
- FOOD / DRINK: Bursting with flavor, the tapas selections we have tried have all been wonderful, wine tastings have been enjoyable, and our food and beverage orders have always arrived in a timely manner.
- LOCATION: Vino Wine & Taps Room is located at 18046 Ventura Boulevard in Encino, CA 91316.
- HOURS: This establishment is available for service Monday through Thursday from 4 Pm – 12 Midnight, Fridays and Saturdays from 4 PM – 1:30 AM, and on Sundays from 11 AM – 12 Midnight. Wine Tastings are available every Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM – 4 PM for just $25/person.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Friendly, knowledgeable, efficient and happy to offer suggestions about the wine, food, and establishment.
- PRICE / VALUE: Not too bad for what is received for the price here. Delicious tapas selections, savory wines (some of which aren’t even available to the general public), and friendly servers in a relaxed atmosphere.
- CORKAGE FEE: $12 per 750mL bottle.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (818) 343-2525, Website: www.vinowineroom.com
- PARKING: Metered parking spaces are available in front of the restaurant along Ventura Boulevard.
- TOTAL BILL: We have never had a bill for the two of us over $60 (including tax) for wine and tapas creations from the kitchen for several tapas choices from the menu and a few glasses of sensational select vino from the bar. A terrific place for a reasonable outing with savory wines and fresh cuisine.