2141 North Bend Road
Locally owned by Albert Gleek, whose executive chef son Colin mans the kitchen, the Vintage Wine Bar-Kitchen-Market shows great promise and is a welcome addition to Northern Kentucky. On the rainy evening we visited, the restaurant was very quiet and rather devoid of atmosphere, reminding me of a mid-tier hotel restaurant on a slow night. The fresh cut flowers on each table were a nice touch, but the lack of padding on the booths made it hard to get comfortable.
The food was hit or miss - my field green salad ($5), comprised of mixed greens dressed with a very flavorful balsamic and topped with candied walnuts and feta was absolutely delectable, but the fettuccine with broccoli and asparagus entrée ($14) fell flat.
Instead of a traditional fettuccine sauce like Alfredo or butter with parmesan, this one came lightly drizzled with herbed olive oil, and had very little taste. The thick ribbons of pasta were crying out for a more substantial sauce, but even punching up the olive oil with some garlic would have been preferable to this dry, tasteless effort. To compound the problem, the wide noodles completely negated the slender slivers of asparagus, which were so young and slight they could not be pierced with a fork tine. I’m not used to fighting with my food and didn’t admit defeat easily, but at the end of the day the struggle just wasn’t worth the effort.
Steve was intrigued by the potato-crusted walleye entrée ($20), but having no experience with walleye opted instead for the cheaper, sandwich version ($10) and was disappointed. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy the taste of the delicate, freshwater fish; it was the overpowering Guinness malt vinegar reduction that ruined it for him. Our server later said that the walleye entrée is one of the most popular items on the menu and very different from the fried, sandwich version that Steve unknowingly chose.
Then came dessert. The chocolate terrine was by far the highlight of our night; rich, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bars drizzled with tart raspberry and thick, meaty walnut halves. Gorgeous.
Vintage has a great selection of wine and beer (Falls City –yum!), and do something called "flights" where you can choose three glasses of wine or beer for a set fee: $14 for wine and $8 for beer. I might go back and give that a try to see what it's like. They also sponsor a “Bacon and Beer Night” the second Thursday of each month, featuring all-day happy hour pricing, free bacon appetizers and bacon-themed food. As a vegetarian, this special doesn’t do anything for me, but made my husband weep with joy.
The service was outstanding and I don’t want to completely dismiss the restaurant, but Vintage Wine Bar-Kitchen-Market didn’t quite hit the mark with us this time around.
Closed Sun & Mon
Tues-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fri & Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Happy hour Tues-Sun 4-7 p.m. 12 oz drafts $2