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The Wine Spot - Featured Wine Bar of the Month
Contemporary Setting and Perfect Pairing in Old Town Pasadena
By Karen Bells

Vertical Wine Bistro - Pasadena, CA
70 North Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103

Phone: (626) 795-3999
Website: www.verticalwinebistro.com

When you first arrive at Vertical Wine Bistro you are taken back to old Pasadena charm when walking through the quaint tiled courtyard. A stairway greets you as you ascend to the transition point from old world elegance to a contemporary yet inviting lounge, wine bar and dining room that has made Vertical so popular among locals. After entering you are immediately drawn to both its floor-to-ceiling glass wine cellar holding more than 650 bottles of fermented temptation; and the romantic fireplace perfectly placed in the dining room; creating an atmosphere of warmth and invitation.

The aroma of food parings fills the air as you make your way past the sleek wine bar and into the comfort of the lounge to start off your evening off with a Kir Royale and fried calamari appetizer. You look around and see that even though the décor says sophistication, the mood is casual and comfortable. The friendly staff and attentive GM give you all the assurance that you will be well taken care of this evening.

While you wait for your order, you learn that the owner of Vertical is respected producer Gale Anne Hurd; most recognized for producing the Terminator, Aliens, The Incredible Hulk and Armageddon (among others). The executive chef, Laurent Quenioux, of Bistro LQ fame, has a reputation of culinary creativity and tantalizing taste buds with his flavorful dishes; and rounding out the trifecta is GM Manuel Mesta, a masterful operator and conduit to a delightful patron experience.

With over 70 wines available by the glass, and a variety of compelling flight options, you decide on Butterfield Chardonnay to compliment your second appetizer: mussels with chorizo de espana, saffron and coriander.

Modestly priced given the amount of food you receive with a small plate order, you leave feeling all your senses have been awakened; and say to yourself (a bit of a cliché given the owner) "I'll be back."

Happy Hour Tuesday - Sunday: 5pm-7pm; and Tuesday - Thursday: 10pm-12am


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