The Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant located on 156th and Meridian (Sunrise Village Shopping Center) in Puyallup is first class. Leather couches surround fireplaces, tasteful paintings; leather seating throughout the restaurant, bar seating is available with a television; including outdoor seating with umbrellas. Appetizers range from bruschetta to stuffed mushrooms, salads range from the “man” salad to a chicken ranch salad, soups range from creamy crab bisque to bloody Mary beef soup, pizzas range from chicken ranch to steak lover’s, entrees range from lemon pasta to herb crusted prime rib, there are an assortment of sandwiches and wraps for lunch, as well as desserts, and a wide selection of homemade and unique wines and martinis.
The restaurant opened on April 4, 2011. Nicola Mc Donald explained the history of her restaurants, “We have another one [restaurant] downtown which has been open since January 2009. We were open 2004 to 2006 downtown and then we had a car drive through our business one night, which drove us outta business. [The restaurant was] leased out to another place and re-opened in Jan. 2009.” Nicola expressed what she thought of her restaurants, “I felt the one on the hill is great for expansion of our concept. We focus on Washington wine and other wines in the Pacific Northwest, hence Northwest vintage. Washington has many great upcoming wineries, 800; I believe in our state. We have such a huge market to pull from…A nice that a lot of other places don’t have. The South Hill location is making our concept work on a larger scale.”
Nicola explained the best thing about the Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant, “Probably our atmosphere, we are not our typical restaurant. [In most other restaurants], people come to sit down, eat, and get out; turning tables quickly. [At the Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant, we want customers to] come in, sit down, relax, and enjoy their evening…And go “oh” and relax…[Nicola described how her restaurant is different than other restaurants] couches, fireplaces mixed in w/table seating go out for an evening and relax at one location.”
Nicola further explained how the Northwest Vintage Bar and Restaurant was different than other restaurants, “[We] wanna come to try new things, different things, supporting [our] local economy. The wine is local and [our] martinis are a recipe we created a new mixer, all of them are scratch martinis. People are coming and visiting local business and we wanna support local wineries…Wines from all around the countries (CA, France, etc.) We just chose to support local wines… Local family owned business not a franchise.
We have three different beers on tap and three of the four are locally brewed; one [beer] in Puyallup. We serve Puyallup’s monastery beer (locally brewed in Puyallup) and two others out of Everett (Jack Rabbit Washington ale) burisIPA type of beer…Mac-n-Jack (African amber).”
Nicola recommends the following menu items, “Oh gosh our pizzas are really popular. And we do everything from scratch even the vinaigrettes. Red sauce tomato based goes on our North West Veggie pizza made with Washington syrah port (sweet dessert style wine)…Gives it a sweetness without sugary…Very, very, good. Our tequila lime chicken is fresh roasted chicken served with jasmine rice, really, really, well. Both of our soup creamy crab bisque and a bloody Mary beef soup are both made from scratch and are very good. Bruschetta is really, really, good. Our salads are really fresh; like I said all of our dressings made from scratch.
I would tell people to do lunch every day from 11 to 2. We have whole wheat wraps like a chicken Caesar wrap and ginger chicken wrap with lettuce, fresh bell peppers, cilantro, and a tai ginger dressing…Either one [wrap] is served with soup or salad and lunch is only $8.95 seven days a week. We also do happy hour Monday through Friday from 2 to 5. We do full size portions at a discounted price.”
Andrew Kremer, a server at the Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant, expressed how he felt about the restaurant, “I like it, I like it a lot. I think that this place has a lot of promise. I like the food; I never was such a wine connoisseur until I tried some of these wines.” He explained the best thing about the restaurant, “The ambiance. I like that there’s comfortable couches, and fire places. I’m really just about the comfortable couches and fireplaces. I like the track lighting and the paintings.”
Andrew explained how the Northwest Vintage Bar and Restaurant is better than other restaurants, “Well, it’s one of those kind of places as long as it’s not past two am we don’t kick people out… some customers enjoy wine all day…Makes it more like an intimate feel [Andrew’s referring to the Northwest Wine Bar and Restaurant].” When asked if he ate the food at the Northwest Wine Bar and Restaurant, Andrew replied, “The pizza; have you had it? You wouldn’t be asking me if you’ve tried it.” He added,“ I like the people that I work with really friendly, kind, I like the demographics that this place draws in. Everybody’s affluent. It’s not a sports bar feel, kinda family or mature adult restaurant…Mellow.”
Andrew recommends the following menu items, “Chicken ranch pizza is delicious. I like the tequila chicken, sautéed prawns are bomb, chicken, bacon, macaroni and cheese is really good…Creamy crab bisque is really good… Prime rib sliders, can’t go wrong there…Stuffed mushrooms are good. I don’t know; there are so many things on here [the menu] that I do like.” When asked if he would recommend his family and friends to the restaurant, Andrew responded, “Definitely besides the food and the great feel when you walk in here, for the wine.”
The Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant also does events. Nicola explained the upcoming events at the Sunrise Village Shopping Center in Puyallup, “Next Saturday, June 11th a wine tasting from Dumas station winery out of Walla Walla will take place from 2 to 5 pm and is a free wine tasting featuring: cabernet, merlot, and their red blend and they’re a great winery. When we have a wine tasting and selling at retail prices, not restaurant pricing. I try to feature wines that aren’t featured at grocery stores…Almost all of my wines are not at the grocery store around here.
June 21st is our Scotch tasting a company called “Ramsey” will be doing a tasting and do a presentation on the different regions of Scotland and they’re gonna taste scotches from all different regions and we will also have specifically paired food with each scotch. This event is $40 per person.
[Those that are interested can visit] http://www.nwvintagewinebar.com/ for more information. We will definitely have more [events] in July and August… other events including live music. We’re just working on scheduling that and that will be posted on our website.” Nicola also explained that when customers come into the restaurant, they can sign up for [the Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant’s] email list for coupons and upcoming events (the Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant does not sell or distribute customer’s contact information).
Visit the Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurants; the Sunrise Village location is open seven days a week from 11 am to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am to 11 pm Friday and Saturday. The downtown Puyallup location is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4 pm to 10 pm. “I definitely recommend it [the Northwest Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant] to family and friends…A really nice place to relax, enjoy and be social; wine is about being social. Wine is about friends, family, communication, getting together very social behavior. What’s really nice is the opportunity and atmosphere to enjoy it that way…Can really sit and be with friends in different spaces to be able and do that the couch areas and our outside seating is open with umbrellas for people to sit and relax and enjoy the sun when we get it,” Nicola expressed. “Gotta try the blackberry martini,” Andrew concluded.
by Carly Calabrese, Tacoma.com staff writer