The number of different wines available at this lively wine bar numbers nearly 1000, an eye-popping choice of excellent reds and whites, nearly all of them Portuguese. Lengthening the list even more... Read More
The number of different wines available at this lively wine bar numbers nearly 1000, an eye-popping choice of excellent reds and whites, nearly all of them Portuguese. Lengthening the list even more is a fine selection of vinho verde, port, Madeira and Moscatel, among others, and for special occasions you can order champagne. There is also an imaginative cocktail menu. Sold almost exclusively by the glass, the wines represent just about every region in Portugal. Aficionados will be won over by reds such as the elegant Quinta dos Carvalhais 2003 from the Dao region. Its intense bouquet of ripe fruits, aromatic herbs and arm spices, is quite beguiling. Those who prefer white wine should consider the Gouvyas reserva 2007, a Douro wine celebrated for its refreshing aroma of sweet tropical fruits – just the job on a warm summer's evening. The bar is set in a converted 18th-century coach house in what were once the stables. Arched walls and ceiling lend the place a suitably historic veneer. António Baeta has brought together a savvy front-of-house team to run Grapes & Bites, and that includes assistant manager George Nascimento, a Portuguese who originally hails from Yonkers, in the U.S. state of New York. "This is a place to discover Portuguese wine," he says, "and even connoisseurs are impressed." Gourmet finger food and traditional petsicos (snacks) can be ordered to complement the palate and guitarist strikes up early evening to provide an unobtrusive soundtrack. A recent addition is the six-room hostel sited above the premises.
- Wine Bars: "If you're particularly peckish order the "Surprise Menu", a double platter of delicious smoked salmon and sausage, gratin mussels, various cheeses and peppers followed by a wicked dessert of Portuguese pantagruel chocolate. Finish off with a Quinta de Ventozelo vintage port."
- Best for Wine Bars Because: A seriously impressive wine list, mouth-watering "bites" and accomplished service make this one of the most alluring wine bars in the city.