EURO VI­SION

A low-lit ele­gance and lived-in charm set the tone at this stylish Wind­sor wine bar where smart snacks are matched with crack­ing drinks for a grown- up crowd.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday - 150 Chapel St, Wind­sor, in­eswinebar.com.au

ME­GAN MILLER RE­VIEWS INES WINE BAR

PLACES like Ines Wine Bar give a city a grown-up edge. It’s a spot for latenight li­ba­tions and cool snacks when it’s not home-time just yet, and with a classy vibe to make you want to dress up, look sharp and show off.

All tim­ber, brass and mar­ble, this 60-seater chan­nels old-world Euro­pean wine bars, the per­fect an­ti­dote to its neigh­bours down this hip and hip­ster end of Chapel Street. The site housed a branch of Mat­teo Bruno’s Meat­ball & Wine Bar chain be­fore the restau­ra­teur – who also has Hawai­ian-style cock­tail bar Hana in the CBD – opened Ines in May, named af­ter his 93-year-old nonna.

The 100-strong wine list mainly fea­tures Ital­ian, French and Aus­tralian la­bels, bet­ter priced by the glass, with the rarer drops poured via Co­ravin. Crack­ing cock­tails like the Avi­a­tion (gin, cherry liqueur and lemon) served in vin­tage glass­ware add to the ap­peal. Feel­ing like this could be your lo­cal? Buy a bot­tle of wine or spir­its and store it be­hind the bar for your next visit.

The booze is matched with smart snacks, like the Sili­cian olives stuffed with Parmi­giano-reg­giano, crumbed and fried into some of the best salty morsels to put next to your drink.

Like­wise the croque sig­nore, fat toasted sour­dough sol­diers filled with mor­tadella, em­men­tal, fontina and parme­san, given ex­cel­lent zing with slices of pick­les on top.

Meat­balls still roll here, though now they’re polpette. A sin­gle plump herb-flecked sphere of veal and porcini comes on a bed of creamy po­lenta with roasted mush­rooms. Damn good com­fort­ing stuff. The same can’t be said for the tooth-crack­ing flat­bread, served with baked goat’s cheese that’s about as flex­i­ble as a sheet of MDF.

That was a mis­step in an oth­er­wise happy ex­pe­ri­ence. So­phis­ti­ca­tion counts at Ines, ser­vice is fun and a lit­tle flirty, and af­ter a visit you might just leave float­ing off mer­rily into the night.

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