Owners Joe Berry and his nephew Tim Berry OVERHAULED A dilapidated service station before opening in 2008. They gave Winslow's Wine Cafe a warm, lodge-like feel with exposed roof trusses overhead. Your eye is naturally drawn toward the back where the brick oven is always aflame.
On the night we visited, there was a chill in the air; so only one cozy group was snuggled around a fire pit on the patio, enjoying the crisp weather. The rest of the lively crowd was spread throughout the shotgun length of the restaurant. The interior space is broken up artistically with many seating options and places to gather. It is the perfect place to lunch, share a snack during happy hour, dine with friends or stop in for a nightcap on your way home.
The menu covers all those bases tastefully, too. The appetizers range from high-end pub-grub like Cashew Chicken Wings to classy Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. But for my money, you can’t go wrong with any of the hummus dishes. We ordered the Hummus Trio ($9) to sample all of the famous flavors: Roasted Red Pepper, Caramelized Garlic-Truffle and Jalapeño. A generous scoop of each is served with fresh, seasoned pita chips for dipping. Smooth and flavorful, it was a great start to the meal.\
The wood-fired thin crust pizzas are a staple, and you could see many varieties in either 10-inch or 14-inch sizes scattered around the dining room. The Tenderloin 10-inch ($18) was topped with beef tenderloin, blue cheese crumbles, tomato slices and caramelized onions on a thin crispy crust. With evenly distributed ingredients, it was glistening upon arrival. Plenty to share, or a filling meal for one, the pizzas are popular. There are also interesting combinations like the Spanish Pie with chorizo sausage, Manchego cheese and a chipotle-cumin sauce, or the Crunch Pizza with a wild mixture of potato chips, blue cheese and onion crème fraîche.
The entrees are all tempting, but luckily the table to my left ordered the other two items I was struggling with, putting me out of my misery and allowing me to see the succulent-looking Braised Buffalo Short Ribs and the mammoth Pan Seared Sea Scallops. So, my choice of Cedar Plank Salmon ($19) was made possible. The elegant presentation stacked a nicely prepared salmon filet atop wilted, well-seasoned spinach. It was completed with professionally piped mashed potatoes and dots of pinot noir reduction adding a sweet note to the dish.
For dessert, our friendly and knowledgeable waiter suggested we try the Lemon Pudding Cake ($8). It was a refreshing finish with a distinct pucker. The moist cake was topped with a tart lemon curd. Slivers of fresh strawberry and a dusting of powdered sugar adorned the plate.
As the story goes, the Wine Cafe is named for the owner’s top dog, Winslow. He is the handsome Blue Heeler with one brown eye and one blue eye, from which the restaurant borrowed its color scheme as well. Winslow’s portrait hangs near the bar, where you will find several interesting beers on tap and, of course, a well-rounded wine list with many tasty offerings by the glass.