Monday, February 20, 2012

The Bistro at Maumee Wines Opens; Offers Area Tasteful New Wine Bar Option

Bistro 008

The Bistro at Maumee Wines, 2556 Parkway Plaza, Maumee, (419) 893-2525, is now open and offers a tantalizing new option for wine lovers.

An advertisement in The Blade caught my eye and we were anxious to check out the area’s newest wine bar. So we made reservations for our Saturday dinner. Maumee Wines is open 11 AM to 11 PM Tuesday through Saturday and dinner hours at The Bistro are 5:00 to 10:00 PM.

The Bistro looks beautiful with hardwood flooring, linen napkins, floral arrangements and seating for more than 50 diners. Wine-related posters decorate the walls. An old-time poster of the Pelee Island Wine Company was adjacent to our table.

Bistro 005Maumee Wines itself has a more bright, open and vibrant feel than it has had in the past. During our visit the attractive bar area, which is in between the retail area and the dining area, was very lively.

Maumee Wines is now owned by Jeff and Dawn Rozek and their investment and energy has paid off with what will now be a popular destination for wine lovers. Chef Justin Thomas, formerly of Vino 100, is doing the cooking and the menu is one that would do any fine dining restaurant proud.

Entrees on the menu include beef tenderloin, braised short ribs, New Zealand rack of lamb, Duck Aux Frombroise and Sea Bass. There is a nice assortment of appetizers and salads too.

Bistro 003One of the nicest aspects of The Bistro is that you can select your wine from the wine shop and enjoy it with dinner for just the retail price plus $8 corkage. This is a great deal considering most restaurants price their wine at twice the retail cost or more.

The Bistro currently offers three whites and three reds by the glass and 12 great craft beers. We’re told the wine offerings will be expanded in the near future. The menu listed six featured bottles, which were very reasonably priced, ranging from the white 2010 M. Chapoutier “Belleruche” Cotes du Rhone at $12 to the French red 2009 Chateau La Clare Medoc at $25. Of course there are hundreds of bottles to choose from in the store.

Bistro 002Richard  Fortney, the former owner of the wine store, was serving as manager when we visited on Saturday. He explained that Jeff and Dawn were enjoying a well deserved night off.

He recommended a 2009 Four Graces Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon, as a good match for our meal (I was having the short ribs and Green Dragon chose the chicken).

I started with a spinach salad. Beware! This salad can easily serve two. It was prepared nicely and the candied walnuts and goat cheese provided just the right accents. My braised short ribs were perfectly Bistro 012cooked, falling off the bone. The potatoes and asparagus were my sides.

The food was delicious! Quite above what you might expect from the humble exterior. True kitchen facilities give Chef Justin the opportunity to do much more than was possible at Vino 100.

We’re planning a trip to Portland this summer and so wanted to check out a nice Oregon Pinot Noir. It did not disappoint. This is a jammy wine with loads of raspberry, cherry, plum and strawberry flavors (perhaps those are the Four Graces?). There is a slight earthiness, but the tannins do not mask the fruit characteristics.

The opening of The Bistro at Maumee Wines is a welcome addition to the Toledo area wine scene – especially after the recent loss of Vino 100. We suggest a visit soon as we envision healthy crowds as the word of mouth spreads.

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6 comments:

  1. Vino 100 is transitioning over to Barr's Public House. Scot Boyer, one of the very best bartenders in town, is turning it into a slightly more cocktail and beer oriented, but still with great wines. The menu is already exciting and as they complete the renovation (while open for business) in the next 2 months, things should really start looking up. They have a a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Barrs-Public-House/221423061268661 I believe that this will be another great culinary addition to this end of town.

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  2. Adam - Thanks, this is excellent news. Sounds like we'll need to pay Barr's Public House a visit...

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  3. What was the price range of the good at the Bistro? Sounds like I will be making a visit soon!

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  4. I didn't take a menu with me, but as I recall, the entrees were about $18 to $28. There is a full selection of appetizers, like Kobe sliders, which would probably make a nice meal if you didn't want so much. The food quality is quite good.

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    1. We went with another couple who own a Five star restaurant in Northern Michigan. We all had a wonderful dining experience. They were very impressed with the wine selection. We enjoyed a couple of bottles of Napa Silver Oak. Food is the best in the area by far!!. Also enjoyed our waiter Joe.

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  5. Had wonderful appetizers with great wine suggestions from Richard, then a marvelous dinner in little old Maumee. Heading back soon!

    Ann

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