[This is the final part of a short series on Portland's new wine bars.—eds]
There’s been a lot of excitement about the look of Enoteca, the new wine bar that’s an offshoot of Nostrana—it’s even been compared to a “Las Vegas club.” It certainly signals a break from the Portland monoculture—there aren’t acres of reclaimed wood, nor a mason jar or Edison bulb in sight. Instead there’s a pretty marble bar, stools that look like corks and lots of flowers. The glitz comes in the form of a two story wine cellar, a back lit bar, splashes of white light and one of those ceiling-to-floor curtains that adds a spread of color while being see-through-ish (I’ve seen those in Vegas, for sure). It looks good, but it really wouldn’t be a big deal in a more cosmopolitan-leaning city.
Anyway, what does it offer? Good wine, for one. The list is put together with the help of Arianna Occhipinti, a winemaker from Sicily who’s a star of the natural wine world. There’s stuff that will have wine nerds peeing their pants (a Perida Nacho Gonzalez, for heaven’s sake!). I’d like to see more glass pours—there were seven on my visit, priced $11-19.
I only tried one piece of food (the Albacore tuna tataki for $5) and it was damned near perfect. I’d need about 20 to be anywhere near full, but I think it was meant to be more about the blissful flavors than a satiated appetite.
The thing is, it’s easy to spend money here—most of the bottles of wine are upwards of $50—so it’s not the sort of place I’ll be dropping by casually. But that wine list definitely deserves a revisit.
1401 SE Morrison, enotecanostrana.com