Spill the Wine's Pinterest-like perfection

The well-rounded restaurant makes the trek to Uptown and thrives

Only slightly off-key was the grilled skirt steak, which itself was nicely seasoned and cooked, but the celery root and apple slaw on top was overly vinegary. And although I heartily applaud the choice to go outside the potatoes/puree/pancetta treatment that you see everywhere else, the scallops with already bitter frisee were given an added dimension of bitterness when grilled. Desserts — particularly the lemon ricotta fresh-fried doughnuts and the tropical tres leches with tart passionfruit sauce and lime zest — were solid and, in keeping with the theme here, sized to share. Brunch is served on weekends and is perfectly suited for a lazy Sunday. Start with hangover-friendly fried rice with Chinese sausage and poached egg, move slowly into thin, eggy, baked Finnish pancakes, and conclude your meal with savory and nostalgic cheddar rarebit and scrambled eggs, served over toast with a little summer squash.

For a wine bar, the wine list is not overwhelming. Wines are divided geographically and sold by the glass and bottle, and also curated into smart, complementary (no, not complimentary — you gotta pay) flights. Spill the Wine actually offers about the number of bottles that a lot of non-wine-bar restaurants keep in stock, except the selection here is rotated much more frequently. Servers will certainly share their knowledge, comments, and suggestions if you wish, but if you just know what you like and go for it, don't worry — you're not going to get any snooty lectures or looks. But one of the most unusual aspects of this lovely wine bar is that it's not wine-only. The grape-averse will be happy to know that they can also get a Deschutes Mirror Pond pale ale, a Sazerac with 10-herb-infused syrup, or a seasonally appropriate sparkling treat made with Proseco, lemongrass vodka, and St-Germain. For the full experience at a fraction of the cost, I'd especially recommend going on a Monday when the restaurant is criminally quiet and the by-the-glass wines are sold for half-price when you order them by the bottle.

So did they make the right move by relocating? My early opinion is absolutely yes. They'll be more visible and higher-profile in Lyn-Lake, which is a good position when making a second debut, but more important than what the neighborhood will do for them is what they will do for the neighborhood. They're helping to reshape the image of a wine bar, moving away from something stuffy, and possibly creating a whole new generation of oenophiles.


Spill the Wine
901 W. Lake Street; 612-339-3388;spillthewinempls.com;
small plates $3-$13; large plates $11-$20

Don't miss our Pinterest-perfect pics of Spill the Wine!

Don't miss our Pinterest-perfect pics of Spill the Wine!

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