April 5, 2011
Frequently referred to as the "Cheers of Point Loma," The Wine Pub combines the elegance of an upscale eatery with the quaint comforts of a neighborhood bar. Meshing aspects of a wine bar and a lounge to form an intimate and relaxing atmosphere, Wine Pub features attractions like domestic and New World wines, local draft beers and an artisan-style menu.
Given the extremely knowledgeable staff, classy and comfortable décor and beautifully presented food, The Wine Pub offers wonderful meals and lovely evenings out. It's also a great place to pre-game before a night on the town.
On a recent Thursday, we were lucky enough to dine outside accompanied to live music, a regular feature on this night. As we enjoyed the warmth of the patio's narrow fire pit, we pulled on a complimentary fleece blanket. Time just flew by. The combination of wholesome jams and unique wine brought out the lively side of fellow patrons. During an intermission, one diner even broke into an operatic version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Before we knew it, we had indulged in four courses, each paired with a glass of wine, and almost three hours had passed -- all testimony to the welcoming and entertaining aspects of The Wine Pub.
Located near Shelter Island, The Wine Pub at first glance looks rather modest. But once in the warm interior, you realize that The Wine Pub has a great deal to offer. Best of all are hosts and staffers who greet guests like members of the family. Seating options supply different moods in the bar, the dining room and the tastefully decorated, dog-friendly patio, lighted brilliantly by the sun or romantically by the stars.
The menu boasts more than 25 carefully selected wines offered by the glass at $6 to $15, and expert plates "hand-crafted" by Chef Malissa Sorsby. Feel free to ask for pairing suggestions, since the staff is well versed in all things wine. The proprietor, Sandy Hanshaw, is on track to earning a Sommelier certificate, the grand finale of an education that began when she studied the wine business at San Diego State University. Bottled wines from the pub's own wine market are poured for a $5 corkage fee. Residents of the 92106 and 92107 zip codes can have orders of half-a-case or more delivered to home or yacht.
Our server assisted with menu choices and wine pairings. We awakened our palates by starting with the varied flavors presented by a bruschetta trio. Served on a bamboo board, the very different but equally delectable toasts were variously garnished with a combination of artichoke spread with roasted red peppers, lemon zest and colorful edible flowers; a fig spread with sweet, creamy Brie, apples and prosciutto, and layers of pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil. Both the Italian Prosecco Brut and a South African Chenin Blanc ($10 each) really enhanced the multitude of flavors.
The soup of the day ($5 cup/$7 bowl) offered a brilliant take on French onion by adding a reduction of porcini, Portobello and shitake mushrooms and a Brie crostino. We paired this with a "newcomer" Pinot Noir ($10), and were glad we did.
The main courses were homemade pasta with a deeply flavorful red sauce and juicy meatballs ($14), and Kobe beef meatloaf with apples and sage in a Port-mushroom reduction, which was sided with corn bread and salad ($14). Both dishes were hearty and delicious and tasted perfect with glasses of 2007 Beronia Tempranillo ($9) and 2007 Bell Syrah ($13).
Dessert was the pub's very own chocolate cupcake with Bailey's frosting, and yes, we drank with dessert, too, Warre's Warrior Port ($7) and Tobin James Late Harvest "Liquid Love" Zinfandel ($9).
An evening at The Wine Pub is highly recommended. Check out the daily specials below, and see what night suits you best.
THE WINE PUB
2907 Shelter Island Drive, Point Loma
Parking is on-site, with additional spaces available in the Union Bank parking lot behind the pub.
Sun.-Thurs. 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.