By Meghann Finn Sepulveda
Those looking for a sophisticated yet inviting dining experience will find that and more at Vintage 95 Wine Lounge in downtown Chandler.
Featuring contemporary American cuisine, an extensive wine selection from around the world and a classic cocktail program, Vintage 95, which marked its fifth anniversary last month, is a culinary gem.
Upon entering the restaurant, it’s hard not to notice the beautiful décor and walk-in wine cellar, complete with an intricate chandelier and custom wood doors. The design inspiration came from Vintage 95 owner Tricia Hills, who, along with her husband Craig, wanted the space to feel like an extension of their home.
The chilled wine cellar houses more than 300 different wines from all over the world, including Israel and Croatia.
“We want to focus on different regions and expose people to these wines,” said Grant Rembis, general manager of Vintage 95. “It’s a great opportunity for our guests to try something new.”
Whether you’re feeling adventurous or simply looking for your favorite glass of red or white, Vintage 95’s staff can provide guidance and offer recommendations based on preference and price point.
Wine and dinner pairings along with tastings led by local and national wine makers and classes are offered regularly. The restaurant hopes to obtain a retail license to sell wine soon. Wine is available either by the glass or bottle, however, and prices vary.
“Regardless of whether a guest spends $20 or $3,000 on a bottle of wine, he or she will receive the same service at Vintage 95,” Rembis said.
The menu, which changes seasonally, remains simple yet classy, offering delicious starters such as warm brie with grilled vegetables and hummus along with an artesian cheese board.
The bruschetta, one of the most popular items, includes four savory and sweet flavor combinations like pistachio, date and mascarpone and house made mozzarella with heirloom cherry tomato and basil vinaigrette.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” Rembis said. “We’re focused on the flavor profile and the wine or cocktail that complements the food.”
An assortment of tapas is great for sharing and include vegetable, chicken and lamb options.
Locally sourced ingredients are used in items such as the grain salad, featuring grain from Hayden Mills, white Sonoran berries, red quinoa, bronze barley, chickpeas, hearts of palm, orange, chopped fig, cranberry and goat cheese with orange vinaigrette.
Traditional entrée favorites such as pan roasted duck breast, poached salmon, braised lamb, grass-fed beef burger and grilled NY strip steak are prepared to perfection under the direction of Vintage 95’s executive chef Jose Farias.
Brunch, which is served on the weekends until 3 p.m., includes buttermilk pancakes with blueberries or chocolate chips and eggs benedict with tri-tip steak and tabasco hollandaise over potato fritters.
Weekday lunch is offered daily and features soup, salad and sandwiches including the Havana with crispy pork belly, Beeler’s ham, housemade pickles, yellow mustard and Swiss cheese on a brioche bun.
Happy hour food and drink specials can be enjoyed indoors near the cozy fire or on a comfortable couch on the quaint outdoor patio. The restaurant can accommodate large parties such as business dinners, bridal showers and other special occasions. Live music is available Wednesday through Saturday featuring local performers.
A New Year’s Eve celebration and a Prix Fix menu with two different seating will take place on Dec. 31. Reservations are recommended.
Vintage 95 Wine Lounge
95 W. Boston St.