My epicurean escapades have led me to dine at an establishment I’ve traveled past many times, but have never eaten. For what reason I know not, but I can assure you I will be returning to The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark.
Nestled away on the corner of Lark Street and Spring Street, the food spot occupies a small, intimate area. For what it lacks in physical space, it makes up for with a delicious menu and immense wine list.
You’re greeted by a large display of wine bottles upon entering, a confirmation it seems, that you are indeed in a wine bar and will experience wine shortly. The space is warm, candle-lit and far from open-concept. This makes for neat nooks and spaces for small tables and cozy settings.
How cozy, you ask? Let me clarify. In addition to traditional tables and chairs, there are some corner booths that have throw pillows. Yes, throw pillows. I don’t think there’s anything else that invites you to be more at home than a glass of wine and throw pillows.
Open the wine menu and you quickly find yourself thumbing through what seems like an encyclopedia of literally hundreds of bottle selections, both red and white, and more than 60 selections by the glass. The wine bar has been awarded the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for the past four years, in recognition of the quality of the wine menu, it’s correlation to the menu in terms of price and style and for boasting a list larger than 100 selections. It is certainly an impressive element to the establishment.
As for food, the menu offers chilled, small and large plate options. The menu is incredibly delicious and features items ranging from charcuterie, to duck breast, to roasted bone marrow.
For my first visit, I went with Grilled Diver Scallops with spicy lentils, lobster tomato reduction, oyster mushrooms and fried prosciutto. The perfectly cooked scallops absorbed the flavors from the rest of the dish and the crunchy prosciutto added a nice contrast in texture. Why do I describe food like this now?
My friend ordered the Roasted Stuffed Quail with scallop, bacon, oyster mushroom and shiitake mushroom stuffing, confit sunchokes, and sugar snap peas. What size do you think a quail is? It’s smaller than you think. I didn’t think about it until it came out. However, I bet it’s more delicious than you think, too.
We ended our meal with gnocchi rolled in a cinnamon sugar and served with whipped cream. It was my first encounter with gnocchi in a sweet, rather than savory, dish. It was fantastic.
Can I make a confession? One of the reasons I haven’t made the effort to dine at The Lark Wine Bar and Bistro is because of my perception of the place. I thought I would have to dress up, thought it would be incredibly expensive, thought only pretentious foodies went…not the case. In actuality, the place was very inviting and I enjoyed everything about the experience. Yes, the menu is a bit more expensive, but totally worth the buck for the quality of food you get. As for the attire? Well, it seemed that a group of girls were celebrating their friend’s birthday in one of rear spaces, and when they emerged, the birthday girl was wearing a tiara and an outfit likely to be worn to a bar. I’m not recommending you wear a tiara and skinny jeans, but don’t think you need a suit, either.