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28 San Diego Uptown News | September 2–15, 2011

DINING Rose Wine Pub blooms at Happy Hour

Get Happy! Dr. Ink

Come On W

hen Susan Prise targeted the 1923 Rose Grocery Build- ing in South Park to create Rose Wine Pub, the space was in total disrepair, an empty vestige of early Mission Revival architec- ture from the days when trolley cars and horse buggies trailed past. Yet by the time she opened for business in October, the build- ing looked as healthy as a hectare of Napa grape vines basking in the late-summer sun.

“A lot of blood, sweat and tears when into this,” she says, referring to the help she received from the building’s landlord, her boyfriend and an interior designer friend. The result is an exquisite space dominated by planed wood from an old nearby home. Metals and fabrics punctuate the scheme to represent the four seasons, with a white-stone bar top speaking to winter, for instance. Furnishings are a mishmash of old and modern, offering a warm parlor-like feel. And the exterior (tastefully) flashes no neon or banners.

Daily happy hour nurtures the budgets of both wine aficionados and foodies. A select white and red are available by the glass for $5 each, as well as a featured bottle offered for half-price. And if you stick to the menu’s list of clever small-plates, those too are $5 a pop.

“We don’t focus on just one re- gion with our wines,” adds Prise. “I try to carry labels that the average wine drinker wouldn’t be able to access, and at affordable prices.”

The food was equally rous-

Reclaimed wood and comfy seating set the stage for wine drinking. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Rose Wine Pub

2219 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104 (South Park) 619-281-0718

Happy Hour: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays; 5 to 6:30 p.m., Sundays and Mondays.

Visiting as a trio, we lucked out on a bottle of Chateauneuf Du Pape, a French Rhone priced regularly at $70. Served to us way above its ideal 57 degrees on this warm day, we requested a chill-down. Indeed, after about

15 minutes the wine’s mel- low fruit and perky dry finish sprung to life. From the day’s glass offer- ings, we sampled a spicy Spell- bound Petite Sirah hailing from Lodi. (Editor’s note, “sirah”

is the correct spelling in this case.) As expected, it was darker and richer than the Rhone Valley juice lingering on our palates – the reason why it’s so darn easy to become addicted to California reds.

ing, starting with a trio of yellow banana peppers stuffed with asiago, mozzarella and Parme- san cheeses. Feisty and wine- friendly, they’re finished off with a whisper of truffle oil. Another small plate, called “feta-ishes,” paired particularly well with our French vino as the grilled, honey-glazed pita layered with feta cheese matched swimmingly to the subtle sweetness in our stemware. Wine sipping also demands bleu cheese in one form or anoth- er, thus the bowl of warm Kettle potato chips that we ordered, which were sprinkled generously with the creamy, sharp curds. The invention seems tailor-made for beer as well, should you opt instead for a Duvel Belgian ($8) or Stone IPA ($6.50). Those, plus a few other brews in the offing remain at regular prices dur- ing happy hour. But either way, everything comes up roses.

RATINGS: Drinks:

Though the wine deals are limited to only a couple of labels by the glass (a white and a red for $5 apiece) and a select bottle at half-off, they escape the ilk of the mass-produced, generic stuff.


From the small-plates menu, we en- countered exceptional stuffed banana peppers; honey-glazed pita encasing feta and warm Kettle potato chips en- livened by bleu cheese and scallions.


Opting for the half-price bottle deal, we would’ve needed to travel back in time more than a decade to spend only $35 for Chateauneuf Du Pape. In addition, the $5 food plates are easy shares among two or three people.


Staffers are attentive to detail and knowledgeable about the wine and food.

Duration: Naturally we’d love to revel in Rose’s wine-food deals well into the evening hours, but from a bottom-line stand- point, quality would be compromised.


space. Chovick’s exterminator is as creepy and in-your-face as audiences are likely to get from a fringe character.

Melanie Chen’s sound design

underscores the unbalanced lives of the four characters as if the set—and their lives—were an eerie echo chamber. Matt Scott’s design, an interior condo scene, touched on brilliance. He overlapped the field in which both characters use the same space at the same time, although they ‘live’ in separate homes. “Grace” is an intimate drama that’s guaranteed to demand your attention.u

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