Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Mar 22, 2008 09:14 AM

Cork vs Vinoteca?

Hey - I need the other wine bar fans among you to give your opinion. These are the only 2 in the area that i know of that we haven't tried yet. I like the fact that both offer wine and food so tonight we will venture forth. But we dont' want to migrate so i need to choose one. So if you were me, would you choose Cork or Vinoteca? We will be driving in so there's no preference area wise. Not being overly familiar with U street or Logan, i need to know for both: Is there street parking nearby if you arrive at a reasonable time like 5 today (sat)? Or is there valet? Are jeans and a sweater acceptable attire? is the food good, and do they have tasting sized glasses of wine? Is the wine the right temp when served (I really loathe warm reds).

Thanks!! appreciate the help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've only been smashed into Cork once, so I don't think I can give a proper review. I went when it was brand new, so it was packed and service was still iffy. However, now i'm sure they have those kinks worked out and I have lots of friends who love Cork.

    I happen to be in the U Street area more than Logan, so I've been to Vinoteca a few times. There isn't any valet, but you should be able to find street parking in the residential area if you head up 11th past U. Jeans and a sweater are totally acceptable and they do service tastings of wine, just be sure you tell the bartender because you get a full pour if you don't specify. The wine I had was served at the right temperature, because I share your disdain on room temperature reds.

    Please let us know what you decide to do!

    1 Reply
    1. re: dckw

      We went to Vinoteca about three weeks ago and it was fine. We had salumi and cheeses, no cooked dishes. Had to stand a while and eventually got bar seats, which was our preference to a table. Service was excellent and owner/host came by and asked where we were from and all that.... we will be back. Haven't been to Corks, would like reports on the wine, food and service.

    2. Have you been to Veritas? It is at Connecticut and Florida. It isn't a huge food menu -- all cheese and meats, but 40ish wines by the glass.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ikobi

        We go to Veritas all the time, and to Proof and Bardeo and Dino too. Just haven't hit the 2 'newer' ones. Thanks! we do love Veritas.

      2. I've been to Cork twice now. The wait can be long (you can do call ahead seating, though), but it's well worth it. The small plates are all excellent -- my favorites are the chicken liver bruschetta and the fries. The staff is knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. Quickly becoming a favorite spot.

        1. I visited Vinoteca for the first time this week and found it...loud. The food was quite tasty, loved the salumi and cheese, we were able to get a reasonable bottle(s) of wine, but it was so loud that it was hard to have a conversation, even at a table. Needless to say, the live jazz trio didn't improve matters.

          In other words, it's a nice addition to the U St collection of bars and restos, but don't expect to be able to hold an intimate conversation.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ksherk

            that's funny; that's exactly what we thought. we sat at the bar for some WBTG first, and having the happy hour on friday now too is great! we had some cheese & salumi and then sat down at our table in the main DR at about 6:30 (this was right after i posted in march). the service in the DR was spotty compared to the bar. The food was good; i had the shrimp & grits and a salad and paired half glasses w/ both courses which was great. BUT it was so dang noisy at the bar by 7 we couldn't converse. And, the tables are SO close together that when our food arrived, a woman at the next table told her S.O. "i wonder what that is, it smells really good..." now THATS too close...
            i think if you lived in the area, stopping in for a glass or two and some of the happy hour eats would be a fun/tasty/inexpensive dinner a few times a week. But stay at the bar. until it get slammed...then exit stage right...

          2. Really very disappointed in Cork. Live less than 50 yards away and have been several times from 9pm on a Tuesday to 5pm on a Friday and every single time it is unbelievably crowded and the wait ridiculously frustrating. The atmosphere is lovely but the food simply doesnt justify the amount of effort it takes to get a meal at this restaurant. I would definitely go to Vinoteca, they actually take reservations.