Vinotecca’s spacious quarters on South Old Woodward in downtown Birmingham is a definite improvement over the former location in Royal Oak.

The menu, reworked to fit the new location, is creative and interesting, and of course designed to be compatible with the wine selection that father-daughter duo John and Kristin Jonna are well-known for.

The softly lit main dining room and spacious bar have numerous seating arrangements, from the bar itself to high-top tables, some along the wall, conventional tables and a screened-in patio overlooking Woodward Avenue, which is still in the throes of road construction that is scheduled to be completed soon.

That hasn’t stopped people from coming by to check out the place. One of the features is, of course the impressive wine selection displayed along along one wall. Guests peruse the various choices via an iPad that contains a wealth of information.

The menu, overseen by chef Adam Galloway, is as eclectic as the array of wine, which is aimed at both the older crowd in Birmingham and those just learning about wine. It features completely garnished dishes, each available in half and full sizes, typified by ponzu-glazed trout with  ginger-sparked sushi rice cake and bok choy ($21/$36), and braised short rib with locally grown radishes and crème fraiche ($24/$36).

The only exception to the half portion style is the 30-day aged Angus burger on brioche bun with foie gras aoli and black trumpet crust.  The choice of portion size is something that should be copied by many more establishments, in my opinion.

Those who would rather have small plates have the choice of many appealing appetizers, some shareable, including charcuterie and cheeses and bruschetta.

The brunch menu is offbeat, with much more than the expected pancakes, French toast and egg dishes (although they are available). It also offers what the menu called “taco truck” items, including tamales and chilaquiles, typifying the international flair through out the menu.

 Lunch will be added to the schedule sometime this summer. Service is friendly and helpful, with not a hint of wine snobbery, just genuine enthusiasm.

Best bet until street construction is completed is to park in the deck at the corner of Maple and Pierce. It is less than a block to 210 S. Old Woodward.




210 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham

 (248) 203-6600

Rating: 2 and a half stars

Hours: 4-10 p.m. Tues.-Wed., 4-11 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m  Sat., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun..Bar later. Closed Mon.

Prices: Appetizers, some shareable, $5-$28, salads $9-$10, entrees $17-$44, brunch dishes $14-$16.

Credit cards: All major.

Liquor: Full bar with emphasis on wine.

Noise level: Moderate

Wheelchair access: No barriers

Parking: Nearby deck.

What the ratings mean:

1 star -- routine

2 stars -- good

2 1/2 stars -- very good

3 stars -- excellent

4 stars -- outstanding

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