Inside 2 Vine, Rochester’s New Bistrotoria

0

2 Vine ♥ 24 Winthrop Street, Rochester, NY (585) 454-6020

x

It’s easy to love 2 Vine. Gorgeous patio, signature cocktails, memorable food.  It’s no secret that I consider 2 Vine to be the benchmark against which all other area restaurants should be measured. Yet even I can’t help but wonder how every season I manage to say, “This new menu is even better. 2 Vine just got even better.” After a long talk with owner Jerry Serafine as he walked me through the latest menu changes, I think I can explain.

x

One of my favorite things about visiting 2 Vine is talking with Jerry.  During this visit we spoke at length about coffee. That’s right; coffee. After an exhaustive search he’s finally found a new distributor, the Coffee Connection- a nonprofit organization that benefits women at risk by providing employment (locally) while selling organic, fair trade certified, high quality Peruvian coffee beans.

x

An exhaustive search.

x

For coffee.  (read more)

x

If you’ve ever said, “I love 2 Vine!” this is why. This is the kind of thoughtfulness and integrity that goes into every item on their menu, a menu which has recently gone through yet another series of changes, this time moving in a very different direction. Backwards.

x

At its inception, 2 Vine’s mission was to serve simple, homemade bistro fare prepared to the highest level of quality. Over time the quality remained but the once casual menu took a turn toward fine dining – with prices to match.

x

The New Menu

In its latest incarnation, 2Vine has gone back to its roots with a “bistro-toria” (a combination of French bistro and Italian trattoria) styled menu that is as approachable as it is delicious.

x

It starts with an expansion of their board offerings, which include assorted cheeses, salumi, preserved vegetables and fruit. They’re an excellent way to start your meal, and even better when enjoyed at the spacious new marble bar with a glass of wine, a popular spot for date nights and working lunches.

x

My many carnivorous friends will be thrilled by the new steak offering – a generously sized skirt steak served with crispy roasted potatoes floating in a gorgeous red wine demi glace. Jerry explains how this particular steak was selected for the new menu, “Skirt steak is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef, but it’s also affordable. We wanted to provide a steak option that was more accessible but still really delicious.” Thanks to its expert handling, the end result is tender, juicy and very satisfying.

2vinesteaknew

Steak, Potato and Demi, Oh My!

Another new collaborator is Flour City Pasta, whose incredible pastas are the foundation for a range of new dishes. My personal favorite is the pappardelle with prosciutto in a sweet pea cream sauce. Surprisingly light, with a delicately balanced flavor profile, I wanted to climb inside this bowl and swim in it. It is spectacular.

2vinePapardelle

Pappardelle with Prosciutto

x

An assortment of pizzas also make their debut, the result of much testing and care.  Choose from simple combinations like pesto and fresh mozzarella, or sink your teeth into my favorite, the tangy, sweet, earthy mushroom and onion.

pizza2Vine

Tomato & Pesto with Parmesan and Fontina

x

Despite improvements to everything from the coffee to the dining room itself (I love the new open concept layout as much as I love the new dishes), you’ll still find many of your old favorites here, like the chicken cutlets, mussels, classic burger, and the fresh seafood offerings (which are now offered by the piece rather than by the platter!).

x

With the new renovation, the bar is larger providing ample room on 4 sides to belly up and enjoy cocktails and food.  I tried the house specialty, Grapefruit Chanticleer at the Menu Tasting event and have been its biggest fan since.

x

2vineCocktail

Grapefruit Chanticleer – gin, dry vermouth, cointreau, fresh grapefruit juice, egg white

x

Above all else, their commitment to quality remains.  While it’s easy to lose yourself in the main menu, it would be a huge mistake to overlook dessert. The homemade candy bar is one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Beautifully complemented by house whipped cream and fresh strawberries, it’s the perfect end to a perfect meal.

candyBar2Vine

The Candy Bar

Whether you’ve loved 2 Vine from the beginning or you’re in search of a new favorite, there has never been a better time to visit. Experience their successful marrying of old and new and prepare to get excited about dining out all over again.

x

-Allison Zimmer, A-List Contributor

Share This