11750 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, VA 20191
Located in Reston’s Westin Hotel, Vinifera is an upscale restaurant and wine bar. With a contemporary interior, an informed sommelier in tow, this place has a Cruvinet wine dispensing and storage system that keeps twenty-four bottles at the perfect temperature. The restaurant’s wine cellar is also temperature and humidity controlled with over 200 labels to choose from including a decent collection of organic wines. As with other wine bars, flights are offered in two-ounce pours. But many of the similarities end there. This is a very uniqye place and what sets it apart, is the amazing food that is served here.
If you are interested in a larger portioned meal, we recommend pairing the wines in the lounge with the small plates as an appetizer and moving to the dining room for the second course. There, you can select the Vinifera Paella, a free-style paella of sausage, chicken, mussels and shrimp, which is what my friend had and absolutely loved. I had grander things on my mind and ordered an amazing Seared Maple Leaf Farm Duck Breast served with Toasted Farro, Fennel, Red Cabbage, Beets & Prickly Pear Sauce. Incredible. It’s a dish that I can certainly see myself ordering again. If I was less civilized, I would have ordered a second serving, but alas, I was in good company and had to be a good boy. The waiter, after consulting the sommelier, recommended that I order tAdina Malbec, from the Mendoza region of Argentina. It was a divine paring indeed.
This is not an ordinary wine bar, and can’t really be considered to be a family friendly place, though pizzas and kid-sized pasta are available upon request. This is where you go for a really wonderful romantic first date, or a place you can stop by on your way home to unwind and forget the troubles of the day as you swirl your Malbec and talk wine with people who really love and understand the nectar of the gods.