Herewith, your requirements for a good date spot.
Wine. Good lighting. Decent food. Plush sofas. More wine. Oh, and a bar strong enough to hold up on the high seas.
This place has those things (even that super-strong bar): Wine Kitchen, a low-key new wine spot in NoPa, soft-opening as early as tonight.
It’s an unassuming place. There’s cowboy undertones in the saddleback stools, wine-barrel art and grassy air plants, but it looks like it could’ve been lovingly plucked from the plains of Argentina. Only instead of malbec, you’ll find an international wine list, as well as bottles and tap vino from as close as Carneros.
There are three parts to the space, depending on what you’re going for. The window-lit dining area in front is best saved for couple-y meal sharing. The co-owners worked in the kitchens of Per Se and Bar Tartine, so you’re in good hands ordering fried gnocchi with short ribs and pork-belly sliders to go with, say, a cab franc from the Finger Lakes.
If you’re in the getting-to-know-each-other phase, start at the long sailboat-grade (read: spill-proof) mahogany bar. (Basically, this means the wood’s tough enough to build boats out of. Remember this in case of flood.) Sink a few glasses or grab some pints of Anderson Valley’s bourbon stout.
Then, if you happen to stay for a second bottle... or a third... you might hear the black leather sofas in the back corner calling.
It’s either them or the wine.