A contemporary wine concept with a flair for Italian specialties, the Wine Guys Kitchen and Bar — or “W.G. Kitchen & Bar” for short — is a wine bar concept with three locations in greater Cincinnati. The walls are filled with vintages from around the world, and the large open interior dining area gives way to many intimate recesses for small groups to congregate along with large parties. W.G., the product and namesake of longtime wine connoisseur and Ohio food name Craig Decker, is is great place to go to try a few different kinds of spirit, whether you’re a novice to wine or an expert looking for a refined glass.
The food, of course, is my main focus, and the modern take on classic Italian dishes deserves some mention. The concept is creating many of those favorite pastas, seafood and turf dishes without making them exorbitantly priced. A great example is the chicken Marsala. A creamy Marsala wine sauce heavy on mushrooms tops the chicken, which also serves as a great complement to the mashed potatoes alongside. Also good options are the flatbreads; they’re topped with a ton of ingredients, almost like a pizza, but smaller. Not necessarily great to share unless you have small appetites.
The wine selection is top-notch. The neatest idea is a set of “wine flights” which offer a few different kinds of themes to them, from sweet whites to darker options. Each is set with a four-set of wine samples for about $15, which is very reasonable. Wines span the globe, from the esteemed vineyards of California to Italy itself, New Zealand, Germany, Chile and many places in between. They’re fantastic to newcomers of wine too, and there’s something to be said for that, there are plenty of both to go around in Cincinnati.
The atmosphere is great, it does get a bit more crowded at meal times and that open concept makes the restaurant less of a cozy place and gives it a little liveliness, but nothing too bothersome. The clientele is definitely adult friends, but that’s to be expected as far as wine goes. You can also take a bottle directly for a $10 corking fee, and then bring it home.
All in all, a great spot to try in Cincinnati. It can be romantic, it can be lively with a big group of friends, it can be welcoming for wine newbies and it can be accommodating to the most stringent of wine lovers. Great experience.
- Wine flights are great, for pairing with different dishes and also for some tasting of new flavors. There are a variety of vintages and names from all over the world.
- I’m a fan of the Italian dishes, the flatbread is a bit light but the surf and turf options are fantastic.
- Smaller groups can take small side rooms where they might have more of an intimate experience.