“Vinoteca Opens Outdoor PLAZA Bar for Spring Season with New Outdoor Grill Menu”

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1940 11th Street, NW

From a press release:

“One of U Street’s favorite outdoor gathering spots, Vinoteca has just opened its lively front patio and charming backyard Plaza bar for Washingtonians looking to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Reminscent of a European courtyard, Vinoteca’s just-reopened Plaza offers an extensive variety of rosé wines for the season, new outdoor grill menu, refreshing spring cocktails, and its popular oyster-shell bocce court.

NEW SPRING GRILL MENU

Vinoteca is firing up its outdoor grill for dishes like the Southwest-inspired Sonoran Sausage, grilled pork sausage with bacon, smoked jalapeno crema, beans and onion; the Flank Steak Banh Mi with horseradish hoisin, carrot, red onion and cilantro; and the Grilled Portobello Burger with hummus, feta, cucumber and red onion.

Even some of the vegetarian dishes get a hit of the grill, like the Elote, grilled corn with queso fresco, crema, cilantro and smoked paprika; and Grilled Haloumi Panzanella with a tomato, cucumber, Castelvetrano olives, red onion and bread salad.

Lighter bites include the Scallop Ceviche with lime tigers milk, jalapeno, mango, scallions, cilantro and prosciutto; the Roasted Beet Salad with toasted pepitas, shallots, frisee and crème fraiche; and Vinoteca makes its own hand-pulled mozzarella for the Caprese Skewers which come with cherry tomatoes, caperberries, basil and balsamic vinaigrette.

And snacks like the Jojos, grilled sweet potato wedges dusted with Cajun spice, paired with a gorgonzola dipping sauce, and the Plantain Chips, make great bites between rounds of bocce.

A DOZEN ROSÉS

As warm weather signals the return of spring’s favorite grape – rosé – Vinoteca’s wine director Kate Chrisman has hand-picked 12 new rosés for the already-extensive wine list. Offering a range of sparkling and still rosés hailing from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the U.S., new rosés include happy hour steals like the Bodegas Fontana “Mesta”, a tempranillo rosé, by-the-glass options like the food-friendly 2015 Château Vignol Bordeaux Rosé or the 100% sustainable 2015 Anne de Joyeuse “Camas”; and funky bottles like the 2015 “r” from Domaine Serene, a Pinot Noir blend with notes of guava, citrus and a hint of watermelon. Chrisman also offers a rosé wine flight – Rosé Colored Glasses – for $16.

SPRING COCKTAILS

There’s nothing better in the spring than a refreshing al fresco libation, and Vinoteca has a variety of creative new cocktails to enjoy on the Plaza.

The aperitif-based Blushing Adonis is made with Valdespino Inocente Fino Sherry, Cocchi Rosa Vermouth and Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters, while the “M” starts with a housemade Lemon Vodka wash, combined with Fifty Pounds Gin and El Paso de Lazo Blanco. Paying homage to DC’s official cocktail, the Sparkling Rickey uses Fords Gin, sparkling wine and fresh lime juice, while the classic moscow mule gets a neighborhood spin in the U Street Mule, with vodka, Domaine de Canton French ginger liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice and Blenheim’s hot ginger beer.

Fresh citrus brightens up whiskey in the Piggy O’Mighty, with Pig’s Nose 5-Year Scotch, Gran Classico Bitters, honey syrup, fresh lemon juice and an orange twist. And the Moda Antigua has two variations: the regular cocktail made with El Silencio Espadin Mezcal, Contratto Fernet, agave syrup and Fee Brother’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters, and a just-released barrel-aged version – the Moda Muy Antigua – that has been aged in Vinoteca’s own barrel for five months, since December. Cocktails range from $11-$16.

Vinoteca also of course has two different sangrias on offer: the Sparkling Sangria ($30/pitcher) made with Cava, Spanish brandy, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Licor 43 and fresh citrus; and the Red Sangria ($8 glass/$32 pitcher) made with Tempranillo, Spanish Brandy, Rum, spices, fresh citrus and apple.

BOCCE

The only bar in DC to boast its own outdoor bocce court, Vinoteca’s oyster-shell court setting on the Plaza is reminiscent of a European courtyard. Welcoming bocce pros and novices alike, the court is open Wednesday – Friday from 5 p.m. to close, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to close (on Monday and Tuesday evenings the court is reserved for DC Bocce League play).

Vinoteca offers happy hour every day (Monday-Sunday) on the Plaza from 5 to 7 p.m. with $5 wines, $5 Peronis and discounted small plates. Brunch is also served on the Plaza and sidewalk patio on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.”