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Grape Street Cafe

If you’re the kind of person who appreciates the atmosphere of a restaurant as much as the food itself, it’s worth checking out Grape Street, a casual, local Las Vegas café with an emphasis on wine.

Unfortunately, Grape Street is contained within one of the many strip shopping areas that plagues Las Vegas, so you wouldn’t even know the restaurant exists if you weren’t looking for it, but it has done a good job in making use of the space it has. The front of Grape Street has a contained patio seating area, which is surrounded by shade screening and contains mist sprinklers to keep the heat at bay.

Inside, Grape Street looks like a wine cellar. Exposed open brick walls and warm, muted colors create a homey feel that encourages long, leisurely meals over several glasses of wine. Wooden crates and shelves filled with bottles of wine are accented with sparkling white holiday lights, and candles are lit on the tables in the evening.

And though the atmosphere is enough to encourage people to drop in and stay for awhile, the menu certainly has something to offer as well. Guests are welcome to start their meal off with one of several appetizers, which range from baked brie to calamari. The tapas plate offers a selection of Greek meatballs, olives, vegetables, goat cheese cigars and baguette slices. Though the addition of bread seems a bit superfluous (every table is served with a basket of warm, homemade bread anyway), the other selections are a nice way to whet the appetite.

The dinner menu consists of salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes and specialty entrees. With such an emphasis on wine, it is a bit surprising the the menu doesn’t more lean more heavily toward Italian selections, but the diverse offering does provide more choices to those who might not be particularly inclined to dip into pasta. The dishes are relatively reasonably priced; salads run $10.00-$15.00 (though they aren’t particularly generous in size), sandwiches run $10.00-$12.00, pasta dishes run $15.00-$20.00 and entrees (which include several different seafood dishes) run $20.00-$35.00.

An exhaustive wine list includes regional and international options. Whether you’re in the mood for a red, blush, white, blend or sparkling wine, there is something on the list to suit you. If you’re not sure what you’d like to drink, consider ordering one of the tasting trays, which consist of four related options at two ounces each. This is a great way to taste your way through Grape Street Cafe.

If you’ve left any room after your meal, take a look at the dessert menu, which is also extensive. And, if you haven’t left any room after the bulk of your meal but want to linger a bit longer at Grape Street, order a port or cappuccino to prolong your return from this cool, calming wine-inspired cellar to the streets of Las Vegas.

Grape Street is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.

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Photo credit: jenny downing