In the Mood: Vino Vino

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Get a 'Shroom

"Laurie and I began our love affair while sipping a glass of wine," are the frank and adult words that greet you on Vino Vino's website. Issuing from the place's good-life-living owners, this romantic brand of epicurean-oriented, conversational prose constantly peppers Vino Vino's menu.

So it comes as no surprise in this smart wine bar/restaurant to see flights of Bacchus juice get winking titles like "Women on Top" (wines made by female producers) and "My Latin Lovers" (South America quaffs).

And it's equally unsurprising that Vino Vino's seductively lit, burgundy and gilt-tinged two cozy rooms have become a hangout for a high-timing set who revel in small bites of pretty food and big gulps of friendly wines.

My advice is to ask for a table in the less-rowdy back room, where the grape-fueled chatter is usually lower-pitched and you can better take in the place's Brazilian and Latin-leaning mood music.

My further advice is to share a platter of Vino Vino's ridiculously delicious Wild Mushrooms, which, as the menu notes, are "bathed" in sauce. They're earthy, creamy, a little bit tipsy on sweet Marsala wine and they have a perfectly controlled backbone of spice.

The fungi are teamed with two crisply fried polenta cakes that are oozing the soothing essence of toasty corn. Providing an occasional, unexpected and concentrated brightness are snippets of sun-dried tomatoes.

Watch as your date, caught up in the fever of the flavors, greedily licks up every last bit of velvety sauce from fork and plate. Listen to your partner moan in sensual delight over these creamed, satiny sauced 'shrooms. Order another glass of wine and consider your upcoming options.

Vino Vino

1371 Grandview Ave., Grandview