Tags: Bar · City South · Patio · Restaurant

European Wines at Fourth Avenue Wine Bar
Fourth Avenue Wine Bar
Foods from Fourth Avenue Wine Bar
Comments

2013 Jul 31
This place seems to have changed its name - can't find anything about why. When I was there last week everything indicates that is now called 107 Fourth Avenue Wine Bar & Café. Menu seems to have been expanded. From what I remember the food quality is similar.

2011 Dec 20
I like the mood of this place – trendy but still casual and relaxed. As well I find the food to be along the same line - solid, interesting but not too flashy. This time we shared a salad (good but nothing memorable), beef meatballs in a white wine & almond sauce (very delish and flavourful) and pizza that had béchamel sauce instead of tomato sauce, prosciutto, mushrooms and peppers and was served on naan bread (innovative and very tasty). The list of wines by the glass is decent, although it might be nice to see a few more Canadian wines.

On other visits I have tried the charcuterie plate and the cheese plate both pleasingly displayed with a good assortment of choices.

One of my top choices for small plates in the city.

2011 Nov 8
Get your act together!!!! What a waste this place is turning out to be...I enjoy the food and the ambience but who wants to be treated like they are IMPOSING on the staff.

2011 Oct 27
I wonder if the waitress who wordlessly removed my steak when I pointed out its topping of a long, black hair, then just as wordlessly presented me with the bill so she could continue chatting with her friends at the bar, hoped I too would wordlessly slink away into the night. As just another casualty of an establishment gone way, way, WAY downhill.

I came in this evening wanting to give another chance to this cozy little neighbourhood wine bar that has sadly, let me down several times before. In the last year, the food has left much to be desired - small portions, high prices, no attention paid to the details. And the service can best be described as a general "I don't give a ****" sort of demeanour. I have found hair on my food at other places before, but this is the first time no one has apologized for it. The waitress said "yes" when I asked her if someone with long black hair worked in the kitchen; the manager on duty told the waitress he didn't know how it got there since the owner of said hair had left for the evening, and she then snapped back at him, "Well, I didn't bring it from downstairs." No one said the word "sorry", nor did they offer to get me anything else or attempt to make it up to me.

A few months ago I came in over my lunch break and ordered one of the specials on the chalkboard. Forty minutes went by and the waitress appeared to be avoiding eye contact with me; finally I flagged her down, and she confessed that the cook had "forgotten" to put my order in the oven, and it would take at least another 30 minutes. She never gave me the option of whether I wanted to wait that long, just assumed I had nothing better to do than sit in front of an empty table, stomach churning. I had to leave, with no lunch, to go back to work.

I had heard from several sources that this place was a hobby project by the owner, done out of love rather than for profit, which may explain a few things - but no matter what your motivation, you gotta do it right.

There are way better places to go to in this city. I will never be back.


2010 Aug 13
Stopped by last night. I made a point of trying menu items that I had yet to experience. My observations:

If you don't mind the fat content, the bacon wrapped dates are out of this world.

The "pizza 107", a small plate sized pizza with caramelized onions, brie, capicollo ham, etc...is wonderful.

Two of our party ordered the beef steak, and both sent it back as overcooked. This can happen, I suppose, and to the credit of the service team, the orders were replaced promptly, were done to taste, and complimentary desserts were offered as an apology. I also gather from our dining companions that this is an unusual occurrence - they are regulars and have not had this happen before.

The soup of the day was a broccoli and spinach soup with blue cheese and bacon - YUM!!

Overall, a really nice experience, good food, attentive and genuinely interested servers. I'll return.


2010 Jul 10
My husband and I made our first visit to the 4th Avenue Wine Bar for a casual bite to eat a few nights ago.

While we sipped an excellent crisp white wine, we shared several of the small plates. My favourite was the stuffed portabella mushroom - the spicy mascarpone added just enough of a kick to make it interesting. The chipotle shrimp were also delicious, again with lots of flavour but not overwhelming. The scallops were tasty, although perhaps a tad overcooked. We finished with a cheese plate that proved to be quite generous relative to what I've experienced elsewhere.

All in all, it was a very pleasant evening. The atmosphere is very casual and friendly. There are clearly a lot of regulars from the neighbourhood, which contributes to the comfortable vibe. I will certainly go again, and try everything I didn't get to this time around.

2009 Dec 5
Last week I was there for dinner and I had a terrible experience. I was a fan of this wine bar but something has changed now. The service was very slow and our server came to our table after 25 minutes. I had a steak frites, portions were very small and the meat was not very tender. I am not sure about the freshness of my meat because I was really sick after. I had a stomach ache for two days after my dinner. I also had a glass of Malbec from Argentina, it was a mediocre wine. Their wine list is very limited now. My wife had a soup and she was disappointed because her meal was very cold and tasteless. $ 100 was too much for us.
In Ottawa there are better places for that price( Infusion Bistro, Play Food and Wine, Divino Wine Studio, B-Side Wine Bar just to mention some names). I think the are going in the wrong direction and I don't think I will be there anymore.

2009 Sep 12
Wednesday evening visited the bar for the first time with friends who live nearby. We all tried two wines. All were excellent. I had a Malbec that was deep and smooth, lovely berries. Also the New Zealand Astrolab Sauvignon Blanc which had the most amazing nose - gooseberry and citrus.

We shared a variety of tapas. Dates in bacon, spicy shrimp, charcuterie plate, olives, meatballs, hummus, and pita. The only one I wouldn't have again is the meatballs as the flavours were not as interesting to me.

The atmosphere was lovely, the servers were attentive but not intrusive. We sat inside although those sitting outside had a lovely evening and view of the sun setting through the trees. The larger table inside was good for the plates of food we were passing around.

Will happily return.

2009 Apr 1
Dined several weeks ago. The ambiance was great. Nicely decorated, and although it was loud, one could still have as pleasant a conversation one could expect at a bar. I forget the wines we had, but they were nice. Nothing mind blowing, and a tad expensive, but I did get to try a varietal I'd never tried. But it wasn't that good. phooey.
The charcuterie was quite nice to munch on with the wine. We especially enjoyed the artichokes, which had a great dressing I can't replicate for the life of me.
Everything was humming along wonderfully, until the server brought the bill unrequested. I paid, but continued to converse. After my credit card had been rung through, the main server for the night came over an politely asked us to leave the table. He felt we had been there long enough, and although he didn't say so, he wanted the table for other customers, even though the bar was empty and they could've eaten there. I am of the opinion that a server shouldn't ask people to leave there table, and was quite disappointed in his decision to do so.

2009 Jan 19
my husband and i used to come here often to share a bottle a wine and a few plates of food. it has been at least 2 years since we have been. i ventured out on friday night with a friend who wanted to try it. we were both disappointed.

the prices have gone up considerably for wine and good. the wine pour was barely at the 6oz mark (though my view was jaded after a very generous pour two nights before at a reception at the museum of civilization).

i had the rioja, which was really lovely. i can't remember what my friend ordered.

on the special's board, the soup of the night was carmelized onion with potato and cheddar cheese. it was freezing cold out, so a bowl of hot soup was calling me. when the waitress came back, she gave me a bowl of blackbean soup with no explanation (she dropped it off and disappeared). it was a very tiny bowl of soup, which we had a laugh over. sadly the taste was not good. the blackbeans were not properly rehydrated and i had several hard, crunchy bites.

my friend had the caprese salad, which was a huge bowl of tomatoes with a few chunks of soft monzarella. it was good, but the mound of tomatoes was overwhelming. this could have easily been shared between a few people.

i never did see our waitress again and didn't have a chance to complain about the soup. i was in wonderful company, so it didn't bother me as much as it could have.

we sat in the back near the door (the only option) and it was very cold. people also left through the door a few times, letting in cold air and snow.

due to the increase in price, i won't be rushing back for more visits.

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2008 Sep 9
Attention Peter Logan Weemala Fans, I recently tasted the 2007 Pinot Noir at Fourth Avenue Wine Bar, and found it to be excellent. Here are the details:

Logan Weemala – Pinot Noir – Australia 2007
13.5%
$ 9.75 (6 oz glass)
Rich, smooth, easy drinking… very pleasant.

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Also of note, several (all?) of the wines available by the glass have increased in price at Fourth Avenue Wine Bar, increases generally seem to be 25 to 50 cents per glass. Not sure if this is because (a) certain wines are more popular, (b) a particular wine is coming to the end of their supply on hand, or (c) all wines have increased in price.

2008 Jun 5
Recently spent a Sunday Afternoon here sitting at the cozy table upfront with the cute leather love seat. Had two glasses of wine each (and shared a third), they were:

Domaine des Cassagoles – Sauvignon Blanc – France 2006
12.5% from Cotes de Gascogne
$ 7.25 (6 oz glass) $ 29.00 (bottle)
A summer sipper – see my Review of May 22, 2008

Astrolabe – Sauvignon Blanc – New Zeland 2007
13% from Marlborough region
$ 12.50 (6 oz glass) $ 47.00 (bottle)
This is a weighter Sauvignon Blanc – Floral, Grassy, Peach flavours.
It is a Meadow in a Glass and will stay with you. White wine on steroids.

Terra Noble – Carmenere Reserva – Chile 2006
14%
$ 8.75 (6 oz glass) $ 35.00 (bottle)
Smokey earthy scent. Amazing legs.
Mineral, smooth finish, fruit less obvious than a cab.

Pedrocelli 3 Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon – USA 2005
14.6% from the Dry Creek area of California
$ 9.50 (6 oz glass) $ 38.00 (bottle)
Fuity nose – a bit of licorce, buttery
Dark fruits – hit of pepper
High Alcohol and intensity
Would go wonderful with BBQ Strip Steak

Weemala – Shiraz – Australia 2005
13.5% from the Central Range
$ 9.00 (6 oz glass) $ 36.00 (bottle)
Always a favourite - See my Review of May 22, 2008

NONE of the above wines are available thru the LCBO

We accompanied our wine choice with the 3 Cheese Platter and Ace Baguette. All was good as per usual.

2008 May 22
Visited on a recent Saturday afternoon. Settled in at one of the high-top tables and were immediately greeted by the friendly bartender.

As it was late in the afternoon, we decided to turn our visit into an informal dinner of small side plates and a sampling of wines.

After reviewing the wine list, we chose the following:

“The Man” started out with a Paul Zinck, Pinot Blanc 2006 from France. Clean and fresh on the nose, medium bodied with a crisp finish. A nice summer sipper on its own or to accompany salmon. 12.5% alcohol = $ 8.75 a glass - $ 35.00 a bottle

I chose a favourite from our last visit, Domaine des Cassagnoles, Sauvignon Blanc 2006 from France. This is a great summer wine to enjoy on the deck. 12.5% alcohol = $ 7.25 a glass - $ 29.00 a bottle.

We started out with the bread basket, an Ace baguette served with oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

For our second round, “The Man” and I both moved onto the Red Wines. And added two more dishes to the mix. The Three Cheese Plate (all Quebec cheeses, a cheddar, brie and a smooth light blue) plate came with a fan-sliced apple and walnuts. The Sage, Lemon and Garlic Meatballs with Balsamic Dip. These dishes had enough “weight” to stand up to the reds.

He chose the Australian, Weemala Shiraz 2005. A favourite of both of ours whenever we can find it. Black cherries on the nose, medium bodied… smooth loveliness. Balanced out nicely with the cheese tray that we ordered. 13.5% alcohol = $ 9.00 a glass - $ 36.00 a bottle.

I settled on the Henry of Pelham, Merlot 2005 from Niagara. Tastes and aromas of dark berries, a smooth gentle finish. Also went well with the cheese tray. 13.5% alcohol = $ 9.75 a glass - $ 39.00 a bottle. This wine is available thru a variety of sources in Ontario, including the LCBO (Vintages #291120 $ 29.75 per bottle).

For his last glass, “The Man” chose a new world Malbec by Weinert of Argentina. At 14% alcohol a big wine with a spicy nose and lots of fruit. Available at the LCBO (Vintages #556795 $ 15.85 per bottle).

Another great visit and an easy way to spend a couple of hours on a weekend.

2008 Mar 6
Dropped by the Fourth Avenue Wine Bar this weekend after an "arsty" afternoon.

We settled in at a great table, and the bartender quickly came by with a hello and two tall glasses of ice water.

After reviewing the wine list we settled on the following:

"The Man" chose the French, Domaine des Cassagnoles, Sauvignon Blanc 2006. A very nice lite summer sipping type wine with 12.5% alcohol. A good choice for $ 7.25 a glass / $ 29 per bottle

I tried the Australian, Annie's Lane Riesling 2003. Also a nice easy drinking wine, although somewhat heavier than the Sauvignon Blanc. Balanced out with 11.5% alcohol. $ 9.50 a glass / $ 38 per bottle.

We accompanied the wine with a favourite from the food menu, the 3 Cheese Plate. The cheeses were Cheddar, Blue Cheese and Brie and the plate was rounded out with walnuts and pear slices $ 10. A perfect match!

For our second choices, both "The Man" and I moved onto the Red Wines.

He chose a Californian, Mandolin Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, 13.5% alcohol. This wine had a wonderful nose of smoked cherries, leather and earth. Nice fruit in the mouth, good structure, nice finish. $ 8 a glass / $ 32 per bottle.

I selected a New Zealand, Pinot Noir called Hunter's Pinot Noir 2006. At 13.5% alcohol this wine was a wonderful melding of dark cherries ad blackberries. A real value for a Pinot Noir of this calibre at $ 12.50 a glass / $ 47 per bottle.

We chose to match the red wine selections with the Mediterrean Plate – which featured Hummus, Infornate Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Garlic served with warm & toasty pita wedges = $ 8

All-in-all a fantastic way to spend some time on a winter weekend afternoon. Unfortunately, all of the wines I have mentioned are not available at the LCBO, however the NZ Pinot was available as a Vintages limited release back in September 2007 at $ 22.75 per bottle (750 ml). So once again the moral of the story is pay attention to the Vintages Releases and buy great wines when they become available.

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A couple of recent changes to the Fourth Avenue Wine Bar:

1) More extensive bar list (martinis, shots, beer)
2) Drum set has been removed from the back room... not sure if music nights are as important here as they once were.
3) Food & Wine matchings have been dropped from the menu... I for one think this a shame... in the past the matchings gave me a lot of info and encouraged me to try different things together (and in the end spend more money). They should bring this feature back.

2008 Feb 17
I love this spot. They have a great wine selection (99% of it by the glass), always something new to try, seeing as they change the list regularly. The people are friendly, and don't mind you checking out the various bottles or chatting wine favourites. The wine list / menu here comes in a duo-tang folder (because it is always changing), and lists their recommended wine & food matches. All that I've tried have been excellent. They serve small plates of food, perfect for singles or order several and share.

Haven't been there in 2008, time to go back for another visit!



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2007 Sep 22
Today I was at Fourth Avenue for a relaxing appetizer and I enjoyed a good Italian white: Normanno Insolia from Sicily, 2006. Good choice for a Mediterranean plate: Dolmades, black spicy Greek olives, tziziki, houmus, and Moroccan shrimp. Everything was fresh and tasty. Good value for this full body, medium finish white wine with flavours of orange blossoms, citrus and mineral notes. Very refreshing for these hot nights.