Pasadena >Food & Dining > Vertical Wine Bistro
70 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110334.147071 -118.148600
Tues-Thurs 5pm-12am; Fri-Sat 5pm-1:45am; Sun 5pm-12am; Mon-Closed
Neighborhoods: West Central
An undiscovered gem for lunch – I tried this place for the first time today for a nice Friday lunch. I understand they only recently started serving lunch so they weren't crowded, but from my experience they should be! I suspect the decor of the restaurant was designed with evenings in mind, but it was still quite congenial with the sunlight streaming in the tall windows down one side of the room. The service was perfect--attentive and very friendly without being obtrusive. I was dining alone with a book and have sometimes found in that case that I will be either abandoned or rushed, but the waitress had just the right balance of timing. The wine she recommended went very well with my food, but the main reason I'll be back was the food itself. I had a goat cheese and pear salad, the lobster club sandwich, and an apple galette. It was all delicious, especially the lobster sandwich, which isn't on their dinner menu. The prices were comparable to the other "fancy lunch" places I've tried in Old Pasadena, but the food was significantly tastier and more interesting. I intend to try them for dinner in the future, but I definitely suggest trying them for lunch.
Lovely place – This is a beautiful place. The portions are indeed good for the small plates that they serve. The wine list is one of the best in Pasadena minus the dinning room at the former Ritz. Its nice to see this sort of intimate dinning experence that doesn't turn into a club after a certain time.
My wine was a tad bit off and the server was wonderful about it. You can't say enough about a good attitude.
Thumbs up by all in my party
Old Town Pasadena's progressive wine experience matches small plates to wine. – In Short
Film producer Gale Anne Hurd's ("Terminator") elegant eatery focuses on the concept that wine, not food, is the anchor of a meal. Sommelier Scott Teruya's (formerly of Pinot Provence) list carries a selection of 250 wines from around the world; 100 are available by the glass as well as 20 flights. A small plates menu features fig poppers, braised pork ribs and cheese and charcuterie plates. The decor mixes a palette of rich chocolate hues with a striking wine display, which divides the lounge and dining room. Cozy couples nestle up to the fireplace, gossipy groups of girls nosh and sip, and larger groups of older diners linger over still full bottles and dessert.
Hits: Portions are generous for small plates. The restaurant's signature grilled cheese starter is simply amazing, with Pt. Reyes blue cheese oozing between slices of sweet raisin-walnut bread. The wine list is wonderful, and features an assortment of themed flights, small tastes and room for customer notes.
Misses: With such an emphasis on the wine, it's really unfortunate that reds by-the-glass are not served at proper temperature. Also, with all the food sharing going on, it would be nice to see plates replaced more often.
Great ambiance, friendly hostesses, upscale decor, tasty appetizers! – I went here with a date for wine and appetizers; I haven't yet tried any of their entrees. Their hostesses were friendly and accomodating. Their front bar area features comfy couch-style seating and candles. The decor reminded me of an upscale loft -- exposed brick, wood beams, iron supports, etc., with darker earth tones everywhere. They have a great wine selection, but the pinot noir I tried was a little tart for my taste. (Granted, it was their cheapest pinot noir). Overall, it was relaxing and laid-back; not too noisy or crowded.
Great Wine, Food, Service, Ambience & Location – I've been here a few times and I love it. It's the only other wine bar I know of in Pasadena. This place has more seats and much better selecion of food than the other place, but I would still recommend both. It' nice to have an alternate choice of where to go by changing location every now and then.
Best Food and Wine in Pasadena! – I took a valued client here for dinner and had a marvelous experience! The food portions are perfect. We had a very informative waiter who made excellent suggestions. The polenta is the BEST I have ever had as well as the skirt steak. The ambience is a perfect balance of "New York City" meets cozy chic. The only problem is getting a reservation here!
GREAT PLACE – I went here on Feb 18th and had a really fabulous time with a group of friends of mine. The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable when it came to choosing wine. Overall, we had great food and drink and we were treated like they wanted us to come back.
GREAT PLACE EXCELLENT WINE – I went here on Feb 18th and had a really fabulous time with a group of friends of mine. The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable when it came to choosing wine. Overall, we had great food and drink and we were treated like they wanted us to come back.
Worst Customer Service Ever – My brother and I stopped by the place because we saw how cool it looked from the outside. The menu didn't look too bad and the wine selection sounded great. When we got up to the hostess area we were standing there waiting for quite a while. Then a middle age caucasian lady (whom I presumed was the hostess) walked up to us and asked if we had reservation. We said no and she proceeded to say that the wait would be half an hour. We thought about having dinner at the bar but decided to dine in the dinning room. In less than a minute, she went from quoting us HALF an HOUR to AN HOUR wait. She then proceeded to immediately seat a couple who came in after us. Before she sat them at their table, she did tell me that I couldn't take the bifold menu sitting in the basket. Nonetheless, what would've turned out to be a nice dinner at a cool looking place turned into an experience of poor service and arrogant behavior from the hostess. If that's the image this restaurant wants to portray then they have the right person working for them.
Great Wine Flights and Generous Portions! – I called to make a reservation at 8pm. The hostess was gracious to put my name down on the list. Upon arrival we sat immediately. (half the tables were filled.) They had a elaborate list of sixteen different flights of wines. (pinot noir, cabernet, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and more)
We ordered the Duck confit, day pulled pork, acorn squash, jumbo prawns, and fries. Prawns, decorated with pine nuts and bell peppers was delectable. The acorn squash was soft, and deliciously sweet. The day pulled pork accompanied by prunes and brie was dry but palatable. The duck confit, mixed with a mesh of chestnuts, and ??? was moist and tender. I tried the California Big Pinot Noir flight of three wines for $24. The second and last ones were everlasting. Will go again. Superb for Pasadena area.
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