What kind of food do you think of when you hear wine bar? A charcuterie board and hot artichoke dip? The Open Door Wine Bar has both of those (done brilliantly, I might add), but this rustic Sisters joint has so much more. For starters, it’s also an art gallery with live music on Monday nights. Next, the staff is incredibly competent and friendly. And on the food front, this is the kind of place you can come for wine and stay for dinner, all while pursing the fineart and crafts that surround you.
My foodie posse started with cocktails and I chose a lovely, large glass of red before sharing the two above-mentioned appetizers. The hot artichoke dip, made with cream cheese, garlic and chili powder, was as rich as it was finger-licking scrumptious. The charcuterie board featured peppered Havarti, Gouda and summer sausage, all provided by the new Sisters Smokehouse. Both were served with Village Baker’s Striata, the area’s best bread.
Since most entrees come with a house salad, we decided to pop for a salad course and upgrade three of the four salads (for an extra $4 each) so we could sample most of the leafy offerings. The organic house salad, with its thyme-scented citrus vinaigrette, was a generous size and lovely. If you’re a kale fan, you’ll favor the chickpea salad, with its big pieces of curly kale, smoked chicken, red peppers, cucumbers, Kalamata olives and feta, all tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.
For a real change of pace, the Fall Salad features organic greens, roasted sweet potato, avocado, red onion and candied almonds in a curry dressing. Finally, make sure you try the warm beet salad with arugula, candied almonds and a house-madebrown-sugar dressing that provides a delicious (and not overly sweet) contrast to the tangy goat cheese that tops the salad.
One of The Open Door’s most popular entrees is its light, house-made, ground sirloin meatballs. My friends weighed in with four stars and an “I’m coming back for the meatballs” exclamation. The house-made lasagna is another favorite, especially with hungry locals. We ordered the hearty classic, which rotates as a daily special with vegetarian and seafood versions. Next time we all want to try the daily pasta, which on the day we dined featured penne in a blue cheese sauce with cherry tomatoes, spinach and chicken.
Feel like eating just a bit lighter and healthier? The Good Earth, made with French lentils, earthy roasted Portobello mushroom, butternut squash, sautéed lemon kale and house-made beet puree, finished with a white wine butter sauce, is a vegetarian’s dream come true.
My favorite entrée was the roasted pork with a hard cider glaze. Thick, juicy and tender with a hint of apple sweetness from the cider, this pig’s for you.
Whatever you do, treat yourself to dessert even if you have to skip dinner to do it. First, we tried the fluffy coconut custard pie with long shreds of coconut. In a word, divine. Then we moved to the flourless chocolate cake. I’m not usually a huge fan, but this one, served warm and gooey with salted caramel, turned me into a believer. It was all I could do not to start yelling, Yes! yes! yes! like Meg Ryan in the movie When Harrry Met Sally.
“All future chocolate cakes will be compared against you,” my friend Leah said to the cake.
Yup. When you start talking to the food, you know it’s seriously great.
The Open Door Wine Bar
303 W Hood Street, Sisters
Owners: Dan and