Uptown Respite: Wooden Vine

Let those crazy kids have the EpiCentre. We’ll be having a glass of wine at Wooden Vine

Look for new dishes, like this Pecan Crusted Salmon, on the menu at Wooden Vine this month.

Taylor Mathis

If you are over the age of thirty-five, do not particularly enjoy riding mechanical bulls, have never heard of Axe body spray, and gave up liquor shots around the same time Bill Clinton was exiting the White House, you know what uptown needs. It needs a place for adults to enjoy a nice glass of wine—and perhaps a bite to eat—after a show. A place that is not in the EpiCentre.
The Wooden Vine abides.

This cozy spot falls somewhere between a neighborhood pub and one of those hip, lounge-type places that seem to be so popular. As one might expect from the name, there’s lots of wood—including striking bamboo floors—and the décor and menu emphasize wine. It’s in an almost-ideal location for a place like this. It’s one block from Spirit Square and two blocks from Belk Theater, but it’s removed from the Fifth Street madness and the vortex of pheromones that is the EpiCentre.

Wine is the centerpiece. The list includes more than thirty by the glass. If there is an emphasis, it’s on California, but the old and new worlds are well represented here. Bottle prices tend to run $40 and up, but we found a decent Côtes du Rhone for $38. Most of the seating is elevated, and there are several community tables as well as a few couches. A sign at the door encourages you to seat yourself, which is a bit jarring when juxtaposed with the pleasant servers dressed in sparkly eveningwear. Wooden Vine’s most striking feature is the long, curved wooden bar that lines one side of the rectangular space. Its stools are usually filled with a mix of regulars who either live or work uptown. As evening turns into night, show-goers filter in, and as night turns into late night, the beautiful people stake their spots.

Wooden Vine offers a full menu for lunch and dinner, but the kitchen is in transition. This is probably a good thing. The all-tapas menu as of January, which was a mix of classic Spanish and contemporary small plates, contained few surprises. The shrimp and grits ($8) and beef short ribs ($8) were deconstructed, with each ingredient separate on the plate, but neither were executed particularly well. The tacos (two big ones for $8), with zingy chipotle-tomato braised chicken, and the lamb meatballs ($9), which were stuffed with melted hous-made mozzarella, fared better, as did the Berry Balsamic Bread Pudding, which came in little slices. Other dishes include two styles of scallops, herbed gnocchi with chicken confit, and seared Grateful Growers pork belly with grits and a soft egg (our server described it as “tasting like breakfast”). A new chef was set to unveil an updated menu in February, with more entrée-size portions.

It’ll be a positive development if the food catches up with the atmosphere. Uptown Charlotte needs more places like Wooden Vine—locally owned, laid-back, and open late. Let the kids have the EpiCentre.

We adults deserve a place of our own, too.


Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Earl's Grocery in Elizabeth

A new bodega from the owners of Carpe Diem

Tupelo Honey: Old South and New

Tupelo Honey fills a void in South End left by a beloved establishment

Guest Post From Asheville: Beer Like Grandma Used To Make

Asheville's Wicked Weed Brewery has a Milk & Cookies Stout, but wouldn't you rather have milk and cookies instead?

Mountain Cabin Cuisine: Stone Mountain Grill

This restauant offers familiar cuisine in a warm atmosphere

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags


Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by signing up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Newsletter Sign Up
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Blogs »

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

The 2014 Guide to Christmas Events in Charlotte



Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte: Relient K, Grateful Dead Tribute, & A Christmas Spectacular


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Charlotte and Ferguson: The Big Difference

Faced with its own case of a white cop shooting an unarmed black man, Charlotte took it seriously. The result? Peace, and maybe even justice.


Making Pictures

Photographs from Charlotte and beyond

Hundreds gather at Marshall Park day after grand jury decision [PHOTOS]


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Don't Forget the Details

These trimmings can round out your turkey feast


Edit ModuleShow Tags