This Rockridge wine bar is sleek, cozy, and, if you go with the right company, downright romantic. Mostly, though, The Barrel Room sets itself apart with the unique model that owners Sarah Trubnick and Carolyn Johnson have devised: Every three months, the wine bar completely revamps its fifty-bottle, by-the-glass wine inventory around a different, often regionally specific, theme — and, because The Barrel Room is also a full-service restaurant, the food menu is also built up from scratch each time to match that theme. When France was the focus, the menu featured such classics as tarte flambée and beef bourguignon — both excellent. As for the fairly upscale wine list, the extensive selection of flights — three generous pours for the same price as a single glass — is where the real value lies.
Hours: Daily 3-11 p.m.
Payment Type: Cash, all major credit cards
Dinner is served 5:30–10:30 p.m., but the wine bar stays open late — past 11 p.m. — as long as there are customers.