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I am FINALLY on spring break! It feels so good to have week off class and just relax! Ahhh…I love laying around and doing nothing!

In honor of my freedom, and in celebration (although greatly missed) of Jon’s final day at his internship, Jon planned a date night for us! By the way, I LOVE a surprise so I was thrilled when he volunteered to pick a restaurant and organize our Friday night.

After much anticipation, we arrived at Jon’s restaurant pick, The Wine Bistro in Upper Arlington (also located in Worthington). The atmosphere resembled that of a Napa Valley winery. Designed with dark wood floors, merlot colored walls, and an array of leather seating, the interior design was very fitting with its goal: a unique and unpretentious wine experience.

After entering the restaurant, I knew Jon picked something special. Filled with large groups of people laughing and enjoying fabulous wine, The Wine Shop is definitely a neighborhood gem.

Although a tad bit overwhelming, our waitress helped explain the wine selection process. Customers can browse the restaurants’ wine shop, featuring over 5,000 bottles sold at state minimum prices, or order a glass of wine off the menu. If opting for a bottle, the restaurant charges an $8 corkage fee if you wish to open the bottle at the restaurant (no corkage fees Monday and Tuesday nights). They then chill each bottle for 10 minutes to bring it to the perfect temperature.

For our wine order, we each chose a glass off the menu. I selected a glass of the Caprari, NV Lambrusco Reggiano Dolce, a light-bodied and slightly bubbly wine that was fresh and fruity with a delicate sweetness. Although red, the wine is made from white grapes. It was the perfect blend of sweet and sparkling. Jon chose the JL Wolf, 2009 Pinot Gris, a bright, fresh tropical fruit flavor with a medium-bodied frame. It was much dryer than my choice but equally delicious.

OK, that was a lot of wine information! Hope I did not bore you to death…

For our dinner, we each ordered the winery salad and split a grilled chicken pesto flatbread. The salads were fabulous. The classic combo of mixed greens, candied pecans, dried cherries, thinly sliced pears and blue cheese drizzled in a maple vinaigrette, the salad was delicious and filling. As for the flatbread, it was OUT OF THIS WORLD! A super-thin crust pizza topped with garlic cream, mozzarella and provolone, sweet caramelized onions, fresh basil pesto and parmesan. The flatbread was a harmonious flavor combination and size perfect for sharing.

Additionally, The Wine Shop’s menu offers a large selection of small plates and appetizers, salads, unique flatbreads and Italian pasta dishes.

The Wine Shop is THE place to gather with friends and family to enjoy good conversation and fabulous wine. Jon picked a winner! I am already looking forward to going back in the near future.

As if date night wasn’t already exciting, trying a new restaurant and sampling delicious wine, we ended the night with a trip to our favorite ice cream shop, Jeni’s. Although I tried to be good and eat only a few bites, I got two decadent flavors: tres leches with here-n-there cherries (limited edition) and milky chocolate. Jeni’s was literately the cherry on top of our date night!

Here is more Information on Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.