When you picture an Italian restaurant, you might imagine an eatery with checkered tablecloths and spaghetti and meatballs on the menu, such as a place like Tony & Joe's Pizzeria. Certainly, many Italian restaurants offer this dining experience, but there are a number of other restaurants that you may want to check out. One option is to visit an Italian wine bar, which is often called an "enoteca." These types of restaurants are a fixture in many Italian communities and are worth checking out for date nights, get-togethers with old friends, and lots of other types of engagements. Here are three reasons to make your next night out at an Italian wine bar.
There's something that is special about visiting a wine bar and sipping a glass of wine with your significant other or with a group of friends. Whereas wine can sometimes be an afterthought at other restaurants, it's the prime attraction at an enoteca. You'll get a chance to meet a knowledgeable server or sommelier who can discuss your preferences when it comes to wine and then make some suggestions about what products you might enjoy. Italian wine bars are frequently known for their large selections of wine, so you'll likely get a chance to try a product that you haven't previously sampled.
Some Italian wine bars have full restaurant-style menus, while others offer a smaller selection of appetizers. One of the fun things about visiting this type of restaurant is that your server can make some appetizer suggestions based on the types of wine that your group is consuming. You'll generally find authentic-style appetizers at these restaurants, so you may get to enjoy products that are new or fairly new to you. This list could include unique flavors of olives, seafood such as mussels and squid, and cheese and charcuterie—all of which can pair well with your wine.
No visit to an Italian wine bar is complete without a dessert—or a few bites of several desserts if you and your friends decide to each order something and share the dishes. This may also be the time to order another glass of wine. Your server might suggest something sweet as an after-dinner refreshment, or you might instead prefer an Italian coffee such as espresso. Enoteca restaurants usually offer a selection of authentic Italian desserts, including tiramisu, zeppole, and sfogliatella, which you can use to cap off this unique dining experience.