Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Parallel Wine Bistro

Last Monday was Dan’s official birthday, so I decided to take him out to Parallel Wine Bistro, a restaurant I had heard about from multiple friends. Located in Ashburn, Virginia, Parallel Wine Bistro provides a fun atmosphere, a unique wine experience, and delicious food. It is a little more expensive than some restaurants. However, you can easily avoid a high bill by sharing plates or by looking for their coupons on Specialicious.

For those who were in the area last Monday, you remember how absolutely beautiful the weather was – temperatures in the low 70s to high 60s and mostly clear skies. It was the perfect evening to sit out on a patio, and that is exactly what we did when we arrived at the bistro.

After saying hi to a friend who works there, we settled into our seats and started scanning through the menu. We started with orders of puff pastry wrapped brie and tomato bruchetta, which were fantastic. The brie came with apple butter (yum!) and walnut and raisin compote, and the bruschetta had the most delicious vinaigrette drizzled on top.

With our appetizers ordered, we turned our attention to the wine lists. What’s fun about Parallel Wine is that the food menu takes up two pages and the wine and specialty drinks menu takes up four! (there are many specialty and local beers for those who do not like wine) Because there were so many wines that we wanted to try, Dan and I decided to choose wines from their “Flight” list. The Flight list gives you 2oz glasses of three different wines on the menu. (2oz is about a 1/3 glass of wine) For my choices, I went with Lucky Star and Pennywise from California and Fingerprints from Argentina. Dan chose Maximo from Spain, Cigar box from Argentina, and Wine Men of Gotham from Australia.

Dan showing off our first flight round

While we were enjoying everything, we ended up joining in on a trivia contest that the bistro holds every Monday. Dan has participated in these many times before, but it was my first time playing. The questions were very diverse, and for a while, Dan and I were in fourth place!

Since it was a special occasion, we had fun sharing some extra food and wine. For dinner, we split the lamb shank plate that came with a bunch of veggies and wonderful risotto; and for dessert, we enjoyed a chocolate raspberry torte and some caramelized bananas with ice cream. In my second round of flight glasses, I had Sivas Sonoma from California, Domaine Guicharde from France, and Cigar Box from Argentina. Dan tried a few other wines that were not really his style and switched to a full glass of Maximo which had been his favorite.

My delicious raspberry torte

For people who love supporting Virginia wines (Woot for VA Wine!), you will see options from Fabbioli, Breaux, Veritas, and Tarara on the menu. However, I do recommend trying some of the global wine, because it is always a good idea to expand your taste and knowledge of other winery locations. :)

One unique feature of Parallel Wine Bistro that Dan and I did not have time to try was their wine machines (see image at the top). These machines contain 32 different bottles of wine from which you can either get a tasting, a half glass, or a full glass. To use the machines, you need to obtain a wine card that you can swipe to select and pay for the wine you want to have. I thought this was a really cool concept, and we are looking forward to using it on our next visit.

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