Dine LBC enters its 5th year Saturday with nine days and nights for you to try out dozens of restaurants offering specially priced meals from $15 to $65 per person or dinner for two options from $25 to $65. Dine LBC begins Saturday August 4 and runs until August 12.
My companion and I enjoyed a preview of Dine LBC at District Wine, named for the East Village Arts District where it’s located. We sat with owner Angela Dutton and learned how District Wine came to be. She and her husband at the time opened District Wine about eight years ago. She lived right down the street and always loved the building. About three years before opening the business, she saw a For Rent sign and jotted it down in her idea book.
At the time she was working in the design field doing high-end hospitality and restaurant design. Her husband was a teacher. When her firm closed in late 2008, she decided to make her dream of opening “something like this” a reality. They decided to take the plunge feet-first. Both had worked in the restaurant industry and she had always loved wine and going to wine tastings. “I had a real passion for it.” They took classes and learned all they could.
District Wine is comfy cozy. She hopes you’ll consider it an extension of your living room. Wines from all over, although primarily boutique style wines from family owned wineries in California, France and Italy are on the menu. There’s food, too, mostly tapas, and she designed the menu which features several family recipes. She’s also partnered with a local chef who help revamp the menu.
They offer wine tastings every week, “all day, every day” with a constantly changing tasting menu. Tastings usually run $16 – $18 with occasional high-end tastings going for $20 – $25. There are also two wine clubs, premium and regular.
Our visit began with a glass of Deutz Brut Classic Champagne for Kat and a glass of Smokescreen’s The Chemist GSM from Paso Robles. Angela also wanted us to try her Prosecco cocktail with house made watermelon purée, basil and lime garnished with fresh fruit. We tasted from the Dine LBC menu, starting with the Prosciutto bon bons, dates stuffed with chèvre and wrapped in prosciutto, then roasted. We followed that with roasted balsamic mushrooms and sliced baguette, then Buffalo cauliflower with her grandmother’s yogurt-based blue cheese dressing made with Danish blue. We ended with the sublime pulled pork sliders with apple and cabbage slaw. Although these were small bites, we left totally satisfied. Each bite was absolutely delicious. There’s also a dog menu during Dine LBC with boiled fresh veggies, chicken and hamburger patties all $4 and under.
Prosciutto Bon Bons
You can choose any combination of three from the Dine LBC menu for $25. It’s up to you whether you prefer one wine with two food items, two wines with one food item or… If you haven’t discovered District Wine yet, here’s an ideal opportunity. Although it was our first visit, it most certainly won’t be our last. 144 Linden Avenue in Long Beach.