Atlanta is getting a new wine bar—one that’s been a long time coming. Spearheaded by Ian Mendelsohn, a former beverage director at the St. Regis, Vine & Tap will open in Buckhead's Lenox Village at 2770 Lenox Road on February 7. It was originally projected to open last summer, but a fire broke out in the space in August, causing delays all around.
Mendelsohn plans to offer all of his wines by the glass (see full menu below), a move made possible in part by recent developments in wine technology. Vine & Tap will be one of the few restaurants in town using the Coravin, a new device that can extract wine from a bottle without uncorking it and subjecting it to immediate oxidation.
Instead of the typical regional organization, Vine & Tap's wine list is organized by body. Mendelsohn equates it to the way milk is categorized as skim, 2 percent, whole, and half and half—the weight of liquid on your tongue. "It is an old sommelier trick, and the easiest way to match food and wine. Basically light food with light wine," he says.
The wine list is 95 percent complete, with sake, port, sherry, madeira, and the beer selections on tap and bottle to come.
Though the project is centered on wine, Vine & Tap will also serve small plates (see the menu below). Brian Obermeyer, the former executive chef and part owner of Pastis in Downtown Roswell, has crafted a menu focused on bruschetta, salads, paninis, and charcuterie.
Originally, Zeb Stevenson was to design the menu, work with food vendors, and consult on a weekly basis. However, due to the delays, Stevenson accepted the executive chef position at Parish Food & Goods. In Stevenson’s place, Mendelsohn hired Obermeyer, who attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
“I am proud to be the chef of this new and exciting Atlanta restaurant,” Obermeyer says. “Vine & Tap has creativity and an innate understanding of wine and tapas. It will help Atlanta sustain its place as a great restaurant town.”
Vine & Tap will also serve one off-the-menu special: a 5.5-ounce Maryland crab cake.
“I have not found a good Maryland crab cake in town yet,” Mendelsohn said.
Mendelsohn, who is from Maryland, will use a recipe belonging to his Uncle Ray, who owned a bar in Baltimore for more than twenty years. Only twenty to thirty crab cakes will be available each day.
Click thumbnail to view the menus in full-sized PDF