Cosy bistro fuses Japanese, European fare
Le Verre a Vin is a quirky 40-seater street-facing bistro offering a mix of flavors from Europe and Japan.
The cozy Japanese eatery has a chilled, home-like vibe and is an ideal spot for friends to gather over delicious fare and carefully selected beverages, thanks to the warm atmosphere and moderately priced dishes.
The bistro has gained a loyal following in its five-year existence, including many wine industry professionals, sommeliers and avid vino lovers.
Partner Jeff Yao is one of the city’s famous sommeliers, so he has privileged access to some niche, interesting wine labels from different regions.
The bistro provides more than 200 wine labels and changes half of them on a monthly basis to give customers an opportunity to try out new and exotic choices.
Le Verre a Vin also suggests wine paring meals on request.
The European fusion menu is also created by Yao who is keen on changing the menu every two to three months based on new ideas and seasons. Though there are several Mediterranean-sounding dishes on the menu, such as marinated razor clams, confit duck gizzard, mushroom and stewed clams with nduja salami, the flavors are unique and suitable for Asian tastes.
If you are keen on authentic European flavors, it is probably not your type of place. But, if you love to try creative dishes fusing European and Japanese elements, most of the dishes are executed quite well.
The appetizers, including marinated pork ears, smoked sardine and confit duck gizzard, are ideal for starting the night with a nice glass of white wine.
The main courses are mainly pastas and meat dishes.
I chose crab meat, plum with cream miso sauce fettuccine and it was a typical Japanese-style pasta dish.
The use of plum with cream miso sauce gives the whole meal an acid note.
However, the wine selection is the key attraction of Le Verre a Vin. The highly rated establishment serves special wine by glass every day as well, while house wine by glass is priced at 48 yuan.
Opening hours: 5:30pm-midnight
Address: 1221-1 Changle Rd
Average price: 270 yuan (US$38.33)