Every neighborhood needs a welcoming, relaxed, romantic little wine bar like the Village Cork, which was renovated last year but kept its original wine-bar ambience, which has drawn fans for fourteen years. Wine snobbery isn’t on the menu here; instead, the staff is friendly, easygoing and knowledgeable, eager to walk you through a refreshingly off-the-beaten-path wine list. Wine flights focus on region or varietal, and the liquor list is heavy on small-batch, locally produced spirits. The seasonally inspired menu highlights French and American cuisine — mostly organic, and free of added hormones or antibiotics. But it’s the seductive interior, awash with warm, golden light and the clink of glasses touching, that makes the Village Cork a first-date no-brainer. That, and the unbeatable wine offerings, which make everything seem a little more romantic.
Readers’ choice: The Infinite Monkey Theorem