First Look: Vin 25 Bistro & Wine Bar, Roswell

One of the newest additions to Roswell’s lively dining scene, Vin 25 Bistro & Wine Bar is a full service, chef-driven restaurant with a serious wine program. Owner and Master Sommelier Philip Cooper, who for many years served as the wine director for Ray’s Restaurants, says the menu was designed for “pairing and sharing” with all sorts of beverages, including beer and spirits.

The look: Vin 25 is tucked away in a historic stone cottage on Plum Tree Street that was once home to a tea room. The completely remodeled interior has a cozy but contemporary feel that recalls the kinds of places you might find in Napa or Sonoma. The L-shaped bar makes a convivial spot for a snack and a drink.

The scene: One recent evening, the bar was filled with neighborhood regulars, sipping wine and sharing small plates under the guidance of an eager bartender who offered generous samples. Around the dining room, a couple of larger parties gathered at long tables, creating a congenial clamor against the vintage R&B music coming from the sound system.

The menu: The seasonal fare is divided between snacks, small plates and entrees, though the line between the first two categories is a bit blurry. Fried bacon and mushroom risotto balls ($7) and Sappelo Island clams in San Marzano tomato sauce ($11) are among the snacks, while shaved fennel and arugula salad with peppadew peppers ($10) and pepper-crusted beef tenderloin chops ($15) are among the small plates. Under entrees, look for the likes of scallops with mushrooms and celery root risotto ($23) and a braised short rib with caramelized Brussels sprouts and balsamic shallots ($23).

The drinks: Cooper’s wine list is eclectic and pitched toward fellow wine lovers, with lots of Old World classics and other selections ranging from Lebanon to Napa. Right now, there are some 200 selections in the bottle priced between $30-$200, plus 25 wines by the glass between $8-$30, including a 2008 Peju Cabernet Sauvignon ($16) Cooper considers a great value. On the current craft beer list, you’ll find Bell’s Two Hearted, Boulevard Tank 7, Founder’s Breakfast Stout and Terrapin Lowryder.

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The extras: Weather permitting, there’s live jazz and blues on the patio on Fridays and Saturdays. Cooper has plans for weekly wine tastings, and beer and wine dinners on Mondays, when the restaurant is closed.

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