Wine bars can be pretentious, expensive, and overwhelming – Pizza Vinoteca is none of these things. One of Ballston’s newest restaurants is showing visitors that it’s classy (and downright fun) to pair glasses of wine with pizza straight from the oven.
Whereas I love wine unconditionally, I struggle to have the same feelings about wine bars. For the reasons I don’t like wine bars, I like Pizza Vinoteca. The modern decor with a window looking straight into the pizza oven is a stark contrast from similar locations we’ve visited. Rather than trying to sell customers an expensive wine, their program revolves around hunting down bottles that can be offered at far less per glass than their competition. This is one of the reasons Pizza Vinoteca has created an ideal date night location.
One of our favorite attributes of this restaurant is the responsibly sourced local meat and cheese selection. We indulged to start on the Salumi and Cheese platters, both of which we strongly recommend to begin your experience.
With 36 different wines on the menu you’ll easily find several you will like. A Nebbiolo Brut Rose, a giant Petit Sirah, and a mouthwatering Gruner Veltliner highlight the menu of around the world classics. The bartenders and servers won’t try and outsmart the novices, but will certainly offer the more experienced connoisseurs some intriguing options. Red wine drinkers that like the full body complexities need to try a glass of the Nebbiolo Brut Rose because it’s far more than just bubbles. For the white wine drinker there’s plenty of lighter red wines you need to try. Some additional standouts from the list are the Merlot/Tannat, Nebbiolo, and Vouvray.
Pizza Vinoteca is more than just a wine bar, they have some deliciously-unique pizzas. Brussels Sprouts are good, pizza is great, but brussel sprout pizza is INCREDIBLE! You should try it with the Gruner Velitner and then recommend the pairing to friends – they’ll be impressed. The pizza menu also includes a Hawaiian pizza (fresh pineapple and prosciutto) a Jowlciale (smoked pork jowl), and a simple yet delicious House option. There’s several pairings for each pizza on the menu, so go in with an open mind and realize there’s more than just sparkling, white, or red.
We do strongly recommend not leaving before dessert, as a must-have are the bomboloni – any flavor. This Tuscan style doughnut was a melt-in-your-mouth experience, and one we will be reliving very soon.
Since we’re always looking for a different date night spot, Pizza Vinoteca made a solid impression on us. You can order pizzas and a couple glasses of wine for well under what you’d spend at another restaurant. If you’re out on a date or just looking to try several different styles of wine, this Ballston restaurant should be on your list.