Yes, the abbreviated name looks like a sports-car model fueled by grape juice. But it stands for VINe Wine Bar and The First Street Restaurant, an informal, popular hybrid for, of course, food and drink.
The corner wine bar has been pouring since 2006. This year, the restaurant, with a short menu, was added. The combo has an easygoing affinity with Greenport, especially in autumn.
Vine's actual bar is a mahogany beauty topped with marble. There are a few tables in this area where you can have dinner as well as down cocktails, wines, and herbal infusions. A communal table, made with yellow onyx and artfully lit, highlights a nearby dining area.
If you wander in on a busy night, however, expect uneven, erratic service, bartender excluded. Regulars sometimes fare better than newcomers. When the food arrives on a Saturday night, you'll definitely be hungry.
White chocolate adds smoothness and sweetness to savory, ivory-hued cauliflower soup. Lightly charred, grilled baby octopus poke through a good salad of wild arugula, white shelling beans and slivers of piquillo pepper. Plump, pillowy ricotta gnocchi, made with cheese from Catapano Dairy Farm, arrive with tomato marmalade, crisp pancetta and sweet-tart purslane, for a mellow opener. You also may begin with house-cured salmon, accompanied by roasted beets and hard-boiled egg, with a flourish of crème fraîche. The house's coq au vin is far removed from either Île-de-France or the Auvergne. But a tender, organic chicken is the star, supported by bacon spaetzle, cipollini onions and baby carrots. The grilled-peach shortcake, with a cumulus cloud of whipped cream, is a fine finale, along with one of the eatery's vanilla cupcakes.
Crescent Farm duck and house-made pasta can't rescue bland Bolognese. "Crispy" pulled pork is dry on its "heirloom grits cake," refreshed a bit by a matchstick salad of Granny Smith apple. The sauce on local bluefish puttanesca has some spark and the manchego cheese-spiked polenta makes a savory bed, but the fish itself is tough.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Sip and taste.