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There’s a new wine bar in town

By Nora Tarte

Does Reno need another wine bar? When it looks like Midtown Spirits, Wine & Bites, we certainly think so. The new bar, co-owned by Anthony Layton-Matthews and Amanda Flangas, took over the space that was previously Midtown Wine Bar and gave it a facelift. 

The ultra-lounge is swankier than its predecessor, giving off big city vibes with purple accent lighting that sets the room aglow. The locale features live bands to serenade clientele and employs a cheery staff pouring bottles by the glass.

A cocktail at Midtown Spirits Wine & Bites.
A cocktail mixed with Frey Ranch spirits at Midtown Spirits Wine & Bites. Image: Midtown Spirits Wine & Bites

It is, of course, important to note that the wine selection here has been upgraded. Guests can sample three as a flight for $11 or commit to a glass. Truchard Cabernet Sauvignon is a bestseller and for good reason, but a Klinker Brick red blend, a tempranillo from rioja and an Argentinian Malbec all excite, as well. 

If you’re sharing with a group, wines by the bottle provide a larger range of offerings. And for those who got dragged along for the ambiance, beer and cocktails are here, too.

The specialty cocktail list features a few familiars. If you still want a splash of vino, the French 75 will serve you well—and the purple hue created by the gin matches the plush and luxe purple couches and chairs. 

For an old fashioned with a twist—perhaps my favorite cocktail to order anywhere—the Smoked Old Fashioned is made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, bourbon cherry, angostura bitters and an orange peel. 

Other mainstays are the flavored gin and tonic options—choose from blackberry, basil and cucumber (or combine two)—and an espresso martini.

Bartenders got creative with the rest of the list, which currently features a wintery bourbon cocktail, a blood orange cosmopolitan, and a Happy Little Accident (Jameson Irish Whiskey with Jameson Orange, soda and an orange twist).

One of the best upsides to Midtown Spirits, Wine & Bites is the list of small bites available to patrons. Our best recommendation is the charcuterie board. A picture is worth a thousand words and that probably best describes how undeniably sexy this board is. 

The charcuterie board at Midtown Spirits Wine & Bites. Image: Midtown Spirits Wine & Bites

Served in style, customers enjoy a sampling of meats and cheeses (such as brie and manchego) with plenty of accouterments. Snack on grapes and fresh strawberries, slather meat-and-cheese-creations with orange marmalade and nibble on nuts and other goodies expertly laid out on the gorgeous wooden board. 

The presentation is done well but it’s not beauty without substance; the sheer number of options, which included four different cheeses, and a loaf of fresh bread, served warm with every charcuterie board, make it a no-brainer.

A few other options are on the table, as well, including a burrata that’ll knock your socks off.

All in, Midtown Spirits, Wine & Bites harnesses a vibe all its own. Rather than mimicking the former business, it kept the concept of wine and ran in a completely different direction. And while live entertainment is already underway—debuted on March 10—the owners may add some additional gathering events to the calendar. 

Just don’t expect bingo to pop back up. That’s moved across the street to Polo Lounge and everyone seems okay with it.

Details

1527 S. Virginia Street
775-384-6002
Monday – Thursday 4 to 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Sunday 12 – 9 p.m.

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