Wine, Dine and More at The Curious Grape in Shirlington

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Home brew: Run down? Recharge at the Grape’s in-house, WiFi-enabled café, where you’ll find a range of coffees, sandwiches and desserts. (Brian Legate via Flickr)

I’m not quite sure what to label The Curious Grape.

Is it a restaurant and café? Check. Is it a beer and wine store? Yeah, it’s that too. Are they chocolate and cheese purveyors? Yup. If you rent an apartment in the area and like all of the above, should you pay a visit?

What do you think?

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Their site clues us in on what they’re about:

At The Curious Grape we have diverse passions and pride ourselves in providing a quality sensory experience for those who appreciate great food, wine, beer, and coffee.

Whatever it is, The Curious Grape sure has its fans. In fact, Northern Virginia Magazine ranked it number five in its 2013 list of 50 Best Restaurants. A bunch of other people have written them up too, including Wine Spectator, who gave them their Award of Excellence for 2013.

The Shirlington establishment features “exceptional coffee, pastries, desserts, and sandwiches served by the friendliest faces in Shirlington,” and that’s just in the café. Can you imagine how things are in the dining room?

They’re “passionate about food and dedicated to providing house-made dishes that are as unique, complex, and tantalizing” as their selection of wine. With entrée names like Mediterranean sea bass (lunch $17/dinner $30), orecchiette pasta ($10/$19) and chicken roulade ($12/$23), you know you’re in for some foodie food. Check out their dinner menu. In fact, take a gander at another one of their several menus on the bottom of this page.

But there are lots of good eats in the area, so let’s get to what makes this place special: the wine (and beer) store. The site calls it “‘Bringing Wine Back Down to Earth,’” claiming the title of “Shirlington’s most complete wine, beer and specialty store.” They carry around “400 different labels, spanning every wine region in the world … [including] over 20 ready-chilled sparkling, white, and rosé bottles.”

They also stock “some of the best craft and unique beers available with the majority available for purchase as singles.”

And we can’t leave out chocolate and cheese, can we?

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“The Grape has both a cut-to-order and pre-cut case stocked with the area’s highest quality cheeses handpicked by our resident cheese specialist Katie Park.” So if you get some bad cheese, blame Katie, not me.

They also consider themselves “the premier destination in Northern Virginia for satisfying your chocolate cravings with a complete selection of dark to milk, single origin, and specialty chocolates.”

The store is open every day at 7 a.m., and closes at 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the week, and the kitchen stays open an hour later during the weekends. Check the site for weekend brunch hours.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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