1249 Wine Bar and The Good Life Wine & Spirits

1249 Wine Bar and The Good Life Wine & Spirits

I know 1249 Wine Bar has been posted about here before for their appetizers and martinis, but the full dining experience there deserves another mention.  Besides, Joe (who says he’s always right) lost another bet to me last week, and the wager was a nice dinner out.  These sometimes go unpaid, but when I mentioned that The Good Life was having a Patrón tasting, Joe thought he could pay off his bet afterward at 1249 next door. 

First, let me say that I love the set up at The Good Life Wine and Spirits. It’s a liquor store with a nice, open layout, so you feel more like you’re shopping at a boutique market rather than the corner liquor store.  The staff is pretty knowledgeable about what they carry, so if you’re at a loss for which wine or other libation to choose, they are more than happy to make suggestions.  They have usually tastings on Friday and Saturday’s at the bar set up in the back corner of the store.  The theme of the tastings is often carried over in the restaurant next door.  For instance on the night we were there the “Patrón girls” were offering various samples of interesting Patrón-based cocktails at the restaurant to dinner guests.  Nice touch!

Patron Girls at The Good Life Wine & Spirits

When we wandered over to 1249 Wine Bar, we opted to sit on the patio. The weather was perfect, and there was live entertainment to soften any noise that might drift over from the nearby road.  Lee Dimo provided the entertainment with some great Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett classics. Perfect background music for date night!  We were seated next to Brett and Carolyn, another couple who were at the tasting next door, who provided great company throughout the meal.  You can’t go wrong being seated next to other Patrón lovers, right?

Claudia, our server, stopped by shortly after our arrival and helped us carry on the cocktail theme for the evening with some Tequila Sunrises.  Prior to our meal being brought to us, she came over with a small sample of the chef’s own special tasting of the night of Baba Ganoush on toasted pita with a shot of watermelon juice with chili sauce and squeeze of fresh lime.  Not only is Baba Ganoush fun to say, but it was also clearly fresh made and the tastiest I’ve ever had. The shooter was a refreshing blend of delicate sweetness, with a little kick at the end.  Who knew that watermelon and chili sauce would make such a great combo?

Claudia also offered great guidance in helping me decide between the lobster roll and Chilean sea bass special.  I did not regret her suggestion of the sea bass at all.  It was grilled to perfection, topped with herbed tomato butter and served over a bed of summer vegetables in a white wine sauce.  I started the meal with a seasonal appetizer of fresh figs broiled with blue cheese and served with a balsamic reduction for dipping – as Rachel would say, “Delish!”

1249 Wine Bar & The Good Life Wine & Spirits

1249 Wine Bar & The Good Life Wine & Spirits

Joe opted for his favorite appetizer – jumbo shrimp cocktail, which can be ordered by the piece.  The dish arrived with nicely chilled and crisp shrimp and a cocktail sauce that wasn’t your basic ketchup and jarred horseradish offering.  For dinner he chose the filet mignon with a béarnaise sauce served over freshly roasted potato wedges and asparagus.  He truly enjoyed every bite!

If you’re not into the full meal at a table, belly up to the bar, where you can simply opt for  a cocktail and/or appetizers, or have your full meal there.  We’ve done this in the past, and not only will Rob Martini engage you in great conversation if he’s on, but Nelson Viega, the owner, is more than happy to share his insights on wine, tequila, or his passion for great food!

1249 Wine Bar, 1249 West Main Street, Waterbury, CT   203.756.1249


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