60+ wines by the glass.  Enough said?  If you’re a wine lover, than you’ll love Vinoteca.

Vinoteca s a new contemporary Italian wine bar & restaurant located right off Greenwich Ave in downtown Greenwich, CT.  Thanks to Groove Dining Group (based out of Palm Beach, FL), Greenwich now has a new spot for delicious grub, unique cocktails, and spicy nightlife.

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Chef Jesus Alarez brings out the best in regional Italian cuisine while incorporating global influences from as far as Asia and as familiar as California, keeping it fresh and simple, while not holding back on flavor.

To start the night off right, we ordered a few cocktails.  It was hard to choose just one because there were so many fun choices, like The Godfather (House-made Prosciutto Infused Cognac, Brown Sugar-Fig Syrup, Cinnamon, Lime Juice, Parmesan Tuille) and the Caprese Daquiri (House-made Oregeno White Rum, Sea Salt & Fresh Pepper, Muddled Cherry Tomato and Fresh Basil, Balsamic Vinegar, Simple Syrup).  Instead of choosing one, we ordered a slew of them to try!

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ALBICOCCA
Hendricks Gin, Apricot Preserves, Campari, Lemon Juice

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MELATINI
Absolut Orient Apple, Pressed Apple Juice, Ginger Syrup, Lemongrass and Whole Cloves

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FIG MARTINI
House-made Fig Vodka, Splash of Pama Liqueur, Pear Nectar, Vanilla Syrup

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VESPA
Caorynn Gin, Pimm’s No.1, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Italian Parsley

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LIBERARE L’ITALIA
LucidAbsinthe, DolinVermouth, SauvignonBlanc, Lavender-Grapefruit Syrup, Grapefruit Juice

After all those great cocktails, we were hungry and ready for dinner.  Focaccia bread and fresh olive oil was placed on every table and it just looked too good to pass up!  We weren’t disappointed.  The bread was light and tasty and when dunked on some fresh olive oil, there’s nothing like it!

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Next up, “piatti piccoli” … or in other words, “small plates”.  Vinoteca’s small plates are truly the stars of the menu.  With delicious options like Arancini, Polenta with braised short ribs, mushrooms, and barolo wine, and Agnello (lamb lollipops), our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.

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Polpettini – house made meatballs, whipped ricotta

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These meatballs were delicious!

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Panetto – “Italian grilled cheese” fontina, San Marzano sauce

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Cozze – Prince Edward Island mussels, red curry, french fries

To finish off the appetizers, we enjoyed some yummy crudo.  As two seafood lovers, we enjoyed trying a new type of white fish called Hamachi.  Paired with a great wine, this was a nice and light course.

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Alois Lageder – Pinot Bianco 2012

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Hamachi – Meyer lemon, serrano chile, balsamic ponzu

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Tuna – Blood orange olive oil, sake, jalapeño, sea salt

As you could image, we were already starting to lose steam.  But when the pizza came out, we forgot all about being full.  The pizza was AWESOME … and we’re kind of pizza snobs.  The dough was so flavorful – the pizza was cooked to perfection in the wood fired oven – and the crust was nice and thin.   Yup, just the way we like it.  And we even loved the Quattro Formaggi although we usually don’t eat gorgonzola.  It was really done right!

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Rustica – Charred tomatoes, olives, sea salt, olive oil

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2012 Bridlewood Pinot Noir from California to enjoy with our pizza

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Quattro Formaggi – ricotta, gorgonzola, parmigiano, mascarpone

This last pizza was something to rave about!  If you love lobster bakes, then you’ll love this pizza.  And with it being about 10 degrees F in CT currently, it was such a tease to summertime.

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Spicy Lobster – mascarpone, habanero, corn

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LOVED this Lobster pizza! How could you not???

Insalata was served before the main entree as a little digestivo.  We really loved the Kale salad!  The kale & pear pairing was an excellent idea to turn a normal salad into something extraordinary.

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Kale – bosc pears, walnuts, pecorino

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Greek Chop – Cucumber, Watermelon, feta cheese, red onion

Phew… and for a pasta course, we enjoyed this delicious fresh pasta with bolognese sauce.  Between the pizza and pasta, I’m not sure which I enjoyed more!  Delicious.  The pasta was so light and the sauce was perfectly flavorful.

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Pappardelle Bolognese

Finally, we tasted two entrees – the salmon and the chicken scarpiello.  We love our chicken scarpiello SPICY, so we wished it had some cherry peppers to give it some kick.  And we felt the salmon was a little too sweet for our taste.  But the salmon was cooked very nicely.

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Salmon Al Aranciata – marcarpone mashed potatoes, asparagus, blood orange

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Pollo Scarpiello – Cherry pepper, sautéed spinach, spicy sausage

If you have a sweet tooth like me, then you’ll love the desserts.  ALL the desserts were excellent.  Our favorite was the Mocha Cake and the Tiramisu, but it was definitely hard to choose favorites.

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Cannoli Cake

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New York style Cheese Cake

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Cappuccino Cake

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Cannoli Cake

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and of course… Tiramisu

Vinoteca is the perfect place to meet friends out for a fun night out.  Like the Italians like to do, we encourage you to order a variety of small plates, pizzas, and pastas and share!

Vinoteca

Website: http://vinotecagreenwich.com/

Address: 33 Lewis Street, Greenwich, CT

Phone: (203) 661-2354

Price: $$-$$$

Do they take reservations? Yes

Attire?  Business Casual

Vibe?  Trendy, modern, and fun

Hours:

Mon – Wed: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Thu – Sat: 11:00 am – 1:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
-Cristina