Taste and learn about new wines at Luna Vine Wine Bar. (Jessie Caballero, jessieshungry.com)
Luna Vine Wine Bar is a new hotspot in Burbank’s Magnolia Park with an excellent menu and knowledgeable staff. This unpretentious neighborhood location is the perfect place to expand your palette and taste buds with farm-fresh dishes.
Luna Vine also has some pretty interesting programs that range from a Girls Night Out affair to an ever-changing menu on Grilled Cheese night each Thursday. If you do not have a doctorate in wine, do not fret. The staff can walk you through the wine offerings and ensure you get exactly what tickles you pink (or red or white).
The 45-person venue has an extended, dark wood bar that is 95-percent reclaimed wood from Millworks. Local art adorns the red and grey walls, providing a warm atmosphere. Meanwhile, the industrial-chic light fixtures give it a modern flare. The crowd varies from locals popping into their neighborhood bar to studio executives having a work meeting.
The wine list boasts a wide range of varietals with a strong local focus. The two main goals of Nick Caballero, Luna Vine’s general manager and wine director, are to showcase boutique wines and educate customers.
The most popular white is the Albariño by Turonia from Rueda, Spain. The well-balanced white is fine and crisp, with notes of grapefruit and lemon peel. The red of choice is the Syrah by Duende. This California red is bold and balanced. If you are not sure what you want to sip, ask Caballero for a recommendation and he will unveil some hidden treasures.
Executive Chef Wesley Pumphrey developed a comprehensive menu consisting of local ingredients and fresh herbs. All menu items are cooked in an electric oven, and no gas is used.
The Zucchini Fritters are a standout dish. Zucchini is breaded in pistachios and served on a plate with honey and crème fraiche. The crème, freshly made in house, is perfection.
The Ahi Tartare is a scrumptious dish and includes a delightful delicacy, a quail egg. The Roasted Pear offering is a perfect light salad, with hints of hazelnut. The Roasted Bone Marrow has a wonderful garlic-herbed crust and is accompanied by a fresh onion confit.
The trick to dining at Luna Vine Wine Bar is saving room for the Bread Pudding. This fig-and-walnut loaf is served with a bourbon crème and vanilla ice cream. It is as equally sweet as it is delicious.
Luna Vine Wine Bar isn’t relying on the standard wine-bar programs. On any given evening, they bring something different and unique. Sunday nights from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., they offer half-price glasses of wine on all open bottles. Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., happy hour includes $3 off wine and beer. Thursdays are Grilled Cheese Nights with a new sandwich option every week. The last Friday of every month, the entire block celebrates Ladies Night Out. Luna Vine Wine Bar is the go-to spot on this evening, with wine flowing nonstop.
If you are looking to sample some wine of the world in a casual environment, Luna Vine Wine Bar is the spot for you. The amazing selection, coupled with the informative staff, provides the perfect atmosphere for a relaxed night out. The extensive food offerings compliment the wine and beer selection perfectly. The friendly staff makes you feel like an old friend, while sharing insights on the growing trends in the wine trade. The best part is that pretension is left at the door. If you find yourself in the area, stop in to Luna Vine, ask for Caballero and sip your way to happiness.
Luna Vine Wine Bar is located at 3206 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. For more information, call (818) 561-4305 or visit lunavinewinebar.com.