There’s enjoying wine, and there’s enjoying wine with food. And maybe you live or are near Melrose just for the moment, but you probably were looking for something a little less bro-tastic. While pairings have gotten increasingly more attention as of late, it’s hard to come by an expert without the expectation of spending an exorbitant amount as a result of access to that expertise. Thankfully, Colonial Wine Bar brings that luxury to Melrose diners at neighborhood prices.
Chef de Cuisine Ryan Otey, who has all of Patina, Tasting Kitchen and Villetta on his resume, is serving up some rustic dishes in the intimate wine bar. The bar itself lines the wall as your eye is caught by the glass-encased wine cellar in the back. The overall feel of the crown-molding-adorned place is casual with plenty of play available towards getting as serious about the food and wine as needed.
You’ll find familiar dishes such as deviled eggs, bone marrow, flatbreads, burrata and heirloom tomatoes on the menu, but not-to-miss is their lamb – whether as meatballs or a burger. Their mushrom risotto is also solid, appropriately buttressing the definition of “comforting wine bar” as Colonial stands. There are a few beer taps behind the bar, as well, where I pleasantly found Hitachino White Ale on draft.
But of course, it’s not a pairing without partner and Sommelier David Haskell coming to your table and pouring you a glass of wine, beer or sake that would complement one, two or three of the dishes you’ve ordered. That’s what Colonial is all about, and thankfully, you’ll have such an easy go at it thanks to their Monday through Friday, 4 – 7 PM happy hour: It’s only $12 for 3 small plates paired with a glass of wine, beer or sake.
And come September 7, you’ll have even more to look forward to, as roving chef extraordinaire Walter Manzke will be guesting, putting his skills to work in the kitchen. It’ll be an exciting menu, for sure.
All food and beverages were hosted.