Saffron was is Calgary last weekend and as you may have gathered she is always in the “know” when it comes to restaurants, wine and cool gathering spots. She was free for dinner on Saturday night and suggested a visit to the Vin Room. Ginger had not tried out this wine bar/restaurant either so Nutmeg was happy to oblige and made reservations.
It has taken Calgary a bit of time to catch on to the the official wine bar scene, that is not to say there is any lack of wine drinking and eating establishments with great lists. However, the specific niche serving multiple wines by the glass along with tapas style food meant for sharing, is now filled with at least three official “wine bars”: the Vin Room (4th Street SW), the Kensington Wine Bar and AKA Wine Bar (in the NE). Each one has a pretty unique decor and quite distinct styles.
Nutmeg has been to the Vin Room on a few occasions and has yet to elevate it to her top ten Calgary restaurants. They certainly have a vast wine selection, offered by the glass and by the bottle. The food selection covers a range from antipasto and charcuterie to flatbreads and lobster nachos. The food is decent, the service is attentive – so what is not to like? …. Nutmeg feels that the decor is interesting although not practical. She has been seated in the same location twice between the front door and the stairs. The tiny tables that are perfect for a couple glasses of wine, are crazy small for food, side plates and glasses of wine. The lounge style seating is attractive, but completely impractical if you are wearing a short skirt or have long legs (or both). In fact, it feels a bit like Alice in Wonderland with large low chairs, tiny tables, low banquets, high stools and low hanging lighting.
The Vin Room is certainly a great spot to meet a friend for a drink and a light snack. Make sure you sit at one of the high chairs at the bar or the window and watch the 4th Street traffic flow by. Nutmeg is pretty sure she will be back soon enough.
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