by Scott Gold
The New Orleans Hot Dog Wars claimed a significant victim back in December, when Diva Dawg quietly shuttered its doors at 1906 Magazine St. The space, in prime Lower Garden District real estate, didn't take long to find new occupants. The Tasting Room, a new wine bar specializing in small producers and vineyards, opened its doors just this week, and is looking to satisfy local oenophiles.
The work of husband and wife pair Toby and Lisa Devore, The Tasting Room will offer local wine lovers a variety of vintages from all over the world, from Chile to Spain, Italy, Argentina, Germany, France, Argentina, and of course the United States.
Both Devores hail from wine country in California, and have been in the Big Easy for eight years now. "It's been a dream to open up a wine spot in New Orleans," said Toby. "We're really hoping, more than anything, to give people the opportunity to taste wines that maybe are off their radar a bit, off beaten path."
Wines are available by the glass and bottle in the chicly appointed room, which sports handsome couches and tables as well as the de riguer exposed brick. A small patio area in the back welcomes guests when the weather is fair. Daily tastings are also on the menu, with flights including a $20 "purveyors choice," as well as a flight of sparkling wine for $25, both of which feature three 2 oz. pours.
Food also accompanies the wine offerings, with a daily cheese platter available for $13, as well as a chocolate mousse cake and a cheese cake. For those looking for something more substantial to accompany their vino, a popup restaurant called Arabella Casa Di Pasta is on hand out back during the Tasting Room's open hours. There's a Caesar salad and bruschetta, as well as spicy pork, beef and andouille meatballs for starters. An attractive pasta menu is also available. Those enter at $4.40 before add-ons, and include fusilli, rigatoni, spaghetti or fettuccini topped with a variety of sauces, including shrimp piccata, house tomato sauce with onion, garlic and basil, puttanesca, and a hearty "pork neckbone bolognese."
The Tasting Room is currently open from 12 p.m. until 9 p.m. from Wednesday through Sunday at 1906 Magazine St. They can be reached at (504) 581-3880.