20. April, 2006 - Vino 610

Dinner Club last night was at Vino 610. I had a good time there. The company was good. The wine was reasonably priced. The appetizers were good. And my dinner was good on the second try. When the waitress looked at the sad, gray slice of steak I’d cut off the first attempt, she said That’s way overdone, isn’t it? and took it back. I’m sure it didn’t hurt my case that when ordering, I’d asked whether medium-rare meant a red center. The next attempt arrived just right: Red warm center and will have a springy firmness. It’s a common failing, and we’d slammed the place by having a dozen people order entrees all at once, so I wasn’t upset — I know how easy it is to forget something on the grill for the extra minute or two it takes to go from medium rare to medium well, especially when things are really hopping in the kitchen. But I also wasn’t going to spend $20 for a steak that wasn’t done the way I’d asked for.

The downsides? Well, as I hinted at above, they don’t seem to be set up for getting a large group all at once. Our food arrived in waves, leading me to suspect that a table of four would be fine, but larger groups may be disappointed. Understandable, but it would have been nice to know that when Kat phoned ahead to see if they could handle twelve people.

The biggest problem was the noise level. The room is hard. Hard concrete floor, hard wood walls, hard glass windows, and a high hard ceiling all contributed to a loud room. On top of that, the sound system was turned up high enough to require everyone to raise their voices to be able to converse over the music. If you’re expecting a quiet romantic dinner, this might not be the place for you.

So I’d rate it pretty solidly in the upper middle of the pack. The service and food were good, but the ambience could use something to soak up the noise. And be clear that they’re a wine-bar with food, not a restaurant with a good wine list. If you set your expectations that way, there’s a lot to enjoy. The staff were friendly and patient with us, and the prices were reasonable for the quality of the food and drink. Call it a seven out of ten.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:00:44.