Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I <3 Enoteca

Originally published on D-Tales here.

Have I said I love Enoteca before on this blog? Because I do. I really do.

Detroit's newest (and ONLY) wine bar is the perfect place to duck into for an after-work beverage, a quick lunch, a first-drink destination on a first date, a night out with friends, or a night solo looking for some good company.

I love this bar.

Not only is it the only bonafide wine bar in Detroit, it is hands-down the only wine-and-cheese bar in the WHOLE tri-county region.

Vinoteca in Royal Oak? Fuck that place. It started out being really cool, with a really interesting and eclectic menu, and then quickly became all Royal-Oakified--meaning that whatever was once original and unique about the joint quickly became subsumed by generalization and overpricing.

Aside from them, most "wine" bars in the tri-county area don't even offer a cheese plate, and if they do it is lackluster at best.

But not Enoteca. At Enoteca, cheese is the culinary spotlight, and the wine is the halogen lighting it all. Not only do they offer some of the basics--Provolone, Ricotta Salata, Parmigiano Reggiano, Grafton Cheddar--but they also have some very tasty, hard-to-find "boutique" artisanal cheeses, cheeses such as Pecorino Toscana (my personal favorite), a very fine La Mancha Manchego, Idiazabal, Roquefort, Double Gloucester, and a perfectly creamy & kickin' Gorgonzola.

Cheese is indeed my chocolate, and I like to promote anything that promotes the power of cheese at every opportunity. It's no small wonder that when I first walked into Enoteca at the end of December, a mere few weeks after they opened, that I felt I had come home.

There is also a fine meat, salad, panini, and bruschetta selection; they even serve Osetra Russian Caviar (it's $120.00/oz., but what did you expect? and where else in the city can you find that?).

In addition to that, Enoteca also features a fine selection of Rabbit Lane (i.e., Michigan-made) chocolates--truffles and the like--as well as an impressive and reasonably-priced wine list with some truly knock-out selections.

And as if all that weren't enough, the staff is also incredible. You think they might be snooty since they work in a ritzy marble-lined wine bar? Shame on you for your assumptions. You couldn't hope to find a more laid-back and hospitable group of people in even the most welcoming "hood" bars, and they know their shit to boot. You want to know about wine? They'll show you. You don't know anything about wine? Well, they won't make you feel like it. Hospitality and sharing are the big practices here--there is no Royal-Oakey wine-snobbery or one-upmanship to be found. They'll share their favorites and cater to your tastes until you're satisfied--and offer good conversation in the meantime.

If you're there past 4:00PM, ask for Stacey or John. Absolutely fabulous people; when I first met Stacey, I decided right then and there she was my new BFF. (And now when I go more than a week without making an appearance, she asks me where I've been.)

This isn't even my formal review of the place, but just a snapshot. It is absolutely fantastic, and I give it my highest recommendations to locals and suburbanites alike. For a wonderful glass of wine in an atmosphere that none other compares to, do check out Enoteca Campo Marzio.