Arlington, VA

The Curious Grape has reopened as a wine store and restaurant in Shirlington.

The wine shop traded its former location at 4056 Campbell Avenue — now a Cheesetique wine and cheese store — for a much bigger location a couple of blocks away, at 2900 S. Quincy Street (next to the Energy Club). The larger, sunnier space has allowed owners Suzanne McGrath and Katie Park to to reinvent their store as “The Curious Grape Wine, Dine & Shop,” complete with a sit-down restaurant, coffee and wine bar, and fresh, house-made pastry selection. As before, The Curious Grape also sells wine, beer, cheese and other gourmet items retail.

The Curious Grape restaurant — which quietly started serving diners last night — is helmed by executive chef Eric McKamey, whose resume includes PassionFish in Reston, 2941 in Falls Chuch, and Central, CityZen and Proof in D.C. McKamey’s menu offers “an eclectic selection of seasonal starters, small plates and entrées,” with ingredients “sourced from the Mid-Atlantic region whenever possible.” A press release listed some menu specifics.

Standouts include the Crimini Mushroom Soup with toasted sunflower seeds and preserved mushrooms; Lightly Cured Hamachi with pomegranate, cumin, and preserved lemon; Lamb Empanadas with pumpkin seed salsa and crème fraiche; Sweet Potato Gnocchi with thyme, Taleggio cheese and black truffle; Pan Roasted Sea Scallops with black rice, bok choy and a plum wine sauce; Pene Pasta with a Vietnamese-spiced beef and lamb Bolognese, as well as Coffee and Cacao-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with potato-fennel gratin, wilted spinach and Malbec bordelaise. A unique menu layout directs guests to wine pairings for each dish, and also encourages customers to “drink what they love”. Prices range from $7 to $8 for starters, from $13 to $17 for appetizers, and from $19 and $25 entrées.

In its 5,200 square foot space, The Curious Grape has a 10-seat wine bar, a 55-seat main dining room and a 40-seat private event space. The coffee and pastry “cafe” is open starting at 7:30 a.m. daily. For bar and restaurant patrons, the eatery offers a seasonal selection of beers on tap and by the bottle. Additional hours and reservation information are available on the store’s website.

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