Vertical Wine Bistro (CLOSED) (CLOSED)
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Turn into an alley and climb the wrought iron staircase that leads to this eclectic wine bistro as the sounds of Sinatra pick up and suddenly you feel as though you're far from LA. A domed glass ceiling reminiscent of Paris’s indoor market marks the entryway of this sleek, elegantly-lit and dark-toned noble house of wine in Pasadena. Old World is the focus here with French and Italian terroir-driven wines (think: earthy and mineral-y), though equally impressive is a list of New World crowd-pleasers—fruit-forward, lush, opulent wines from California. Ask to try a vertical flight—a tasting of three wines from three consecutive vintages from a single producer—poured in Riedel glasses. After work bar-goers stop in early evenings, while hipsters join in after 9:00pm. Groups convene at the communal tasting table, while date nighters snag a table by the fireplace. There are small plates—cheese, charcuterie, chorizo steamed mussels, sliders and pizza—for snacking and sharing, as well as a full dinner options like the three-course, Sunday night fried chicken dinner ($29/person) and Thursday burger night when Kobe beef ($15) to veggie ($14) two-fisters are paired with a three-beer flight ($12).