Vino Volo Introduces Small Plates Menu
Bethesda Row is a great place to shop, catch a movie or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants with outdoor patios in the summer.
After roaming the aisles of clothing racks or shelves of books, take a break and sip some wine and nosh at Vino Volo wine bar & café, 7243 Woodmont Ave. in the heart of Bethesda Row.
The restaurant recently unveiled its new summer menu that showcases small plates, perfect for sharing and pairing with their hand-picked wine flights. The Bethesda location is the first to introduce the new menu, which will eventually be rolled out to its 36 airport locations and other stand-alone restaurant in Tysons Galleria.
At Vino Volo, about a third of the wines are the same at all locations. The rest are chosen locally by each restaurant’s staff. During a recent media night at the Bethesda Row location, we tried two pairings of food and wine flights that will be available for the rest of the summer.
To begin the evening, we started with a refreshing watermelon and feta salad with red onion, mint and balsamic vinegar and the chain’s signature smoked Atlantic salmon rolls with crab salad and cracked pepper on crispy crostini. These were paired with the White Hot Summer Flight that included a 2013 Blanco from Solar Teules Winery in Spain with hints of lemon zest and citron flowers, a 2012 Veltlinsky from Graf Hardegg Winery in Vienna with hint of green apple and hay and a 2009 Divinity from Jankris Winery in California with hints of passion fruit and white flowers.
Following those, we had the savory wine county chicken pate with duck fat, olive and caramelized shallot jam, and brioche thyme toast points and lamb meatballs with manchego chees, crème fraiche and mint pistou. These were paired with the Sonoma Selections Flight — all picked by the staff on a trip to California this past May — which included a 2012 North pino noir from La Follette Winery on the North Coast with hints of ripe raspberries with cinnamon bark, a 2012 Syrah estate from Alexander Valley Vineyards in the Alexander Valley with hints of wild strawberry and vanilla and a 2012 Angela’s Table zinfandel from Seghesio Winery in Sanoma County with hints of blackberry and spice box.
Other dishes on the new menu, which range from $6 to $10 includes braised pork tacos with black beans, a cilantro slaw and a red pepper aioli; grilled farmstand asparagus with crispy pork pancetta, rock salt and a mustard vinaigrette; a grilled chicken and citrus salad with field greens, orange, grapefruit, toasted walnuts and a sherry vinaigrette; a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato fennel soup with aged gruyere, Monterey jack and cheddar on Italian bread; and truffled penne rustic baked pasta, cheddar cheese, smoked gouda, truffle oil and toasted bread crumbs.
The new menu retains the house olive plate, truffled popcorn, marcona almonds and kale chips bites ranging from $4 to $5, cheese and cured meat boards (three for $12 or six for $23) including Italian montagna gorganzola, Pennsylvania tumbleweed, Spanish drunken goat cheese, Virginia Surry Farms ham, Virginia wild boar salami and Italian porchetta. The restaurant’s margherita ($12) and prosciutto ($15) pizzettas and bourbon bread pudding ($5) and Dolcezza gelato or sorbetto ($4) also remain on the menu.
Next time you are in Bethesda, take a break from shopping and have a snack and glass of wine with the wind in your hair and a good book to read.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.