Located less than a five minute walk from the heart of Davis Square, Spoke Wine Bar first opened in 2013 but closed in 2016 before reopening under new management this spring with Eric Frier (Toro, Coppa, Ribelle) and Daniel Rodriguez (Uni, Clio) in the kitchen.
The restaurant serves “New American small plates”, and when I visited in August the menu was divided into three categories small, cold and hot with prices ranging from $5 – $23. My friend and I opted to sit at the bar which runs nearly the entire length of the restaurant and we were served by a friendly bartender who’s name unfortunately I never caught otherwise I’d be sure to give him a shout out for the excellent service we received.
We ordered four plates: one small, one cold and two hot plates to share, starting with smoked butter bean dip with sourdough bread ($8, shown above left) and the burrata served on a kohlrabi pesto with green strawberries and hazelnut ($15, shown above right). The smoked bean dip was really delicious with the thickly sliced sourdough but the burrata plate was disappointing. When we cut into the cheese it failed to ooze into the bowl and neither of us enjoyed the flavor of the cabbage-pesto. To our server’s credit when he realized we didn’t care for the plate he immediately took it back and offered to deduct it from our tab.
Fortunately, our two hot plates were very satisfying, starting with the quinoa risotto ($16) shown above with summer vegetables and a ricotta salata. I was really surprised by how much I liked this plate and think the creative combination of flavors and complementing textures made this an excellent choice. Following the risotto the striped bass ($23) with mushrooms, kholrabi and big, leafy mustard greens, which added a dramatic pop of color along with flavor was another personal favorite.
Although we were both satisfied after the three plates we dined on we were easily influenced to take a look at their dessert menu and quickly selected the rum crémeux ($10). It seems like crémeux are on many restaurant dessert menus, but for those unfamiliar with the name, think of a dense, creamy mousse almost the consistency of a pudding. This chocolate dessert was a decadent end to a delicious dinner and despite being small, was a great plate to share.
I really enjoyed my dinner at Spoke Winebar. The staff was friendly and more than competent, the menu was very creative and the space comfortable and pleasing to visit. Even though one of the plates wasn’t to our liking, I feel like I need to give bonus points to the staff for the way they responded. When a restaurant takes risks by combining different ingredients and flavors you have to respect the kitchen’s creativity. If we had a similar reaction to several plates, my opinion would probably change but everything else was so pleasing it is hard to fault the restaurant, considering how creative their entire menu is.
I wish the new ownership much success at Spoke Wine Bar and if you were to find yourself in Davis Square would certainly recommend this as an option. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday).
Spoke Wine Bar
89 Holland Street (Davis Square)