Urban Wineworks: the winery with eats
by Jennifer | December 10, 2012
Urban Wineworks is a unique concept combining a winery, various food options, a gift store, and an urban industrial vibe all located in the eclectic 16th Street Plaza District. I was drawn to UWW for several reasons. First, it has the only outdoor space available in the Plaza District (now they have been joined with a small space outside by neighboring restaurant, The Mule). Second, I love wine. Finally (and most importantly), it is walking distance from my house!
Like most Oklahoma wine I have had, many of the varietals at Urban Wineworks are too sweet for my liking. I do enjoy the Pinotage and the Plaza Red blend. I have had better wine, but the price per glass is decent and the people in my group who enjoy sweeter wine seemed happy with their selections.
The problem is you can’t buy a bottle of wine and drink it at Urban Wineworks. You can only buy it by the glass. This isn’t by their choosing, but is rather a result of our state’s liquor laws, since Urban Wineworks is technically a winery. There is one benefit to this, however. Because of its winery classification, Urban Wineworks can sell you a bottle of wine on Sunday! Yep, you read that right — wine on Sunday. Being a winery has its ups and downs, I suppose.
Urban Wineworks has a full menu, including what they call Small Bites, Shared Plates and Large Plates. They have also recently added a brunch option. Personally, I found the menu a little confusing as I tried to determine the sizing of the Small Bites compared to the Shared Plates and if either of those were sizable enough for a meal or were intended to be appetizers. Still, most every small or shared plate I have had here is great and a perfect addition to their wine. And after trying several I can tell you that Small Bites are best meant for one person or a maximum of two people, while Shared Plates are larger appetizers that can be split amongst a party of up to four.
From the Small Bites, I especially enjoyed the Roasted Garlic ($6 – see a pic). It didn’t come with enough bread for the whole table and we had to request more several times, but they didn’t charge us for the extra which was nice. From the Shared Plates, we enjoyed the Artisan Cheese Plate ($14 – see a pic) and the Fondue ($14 – see a pic). Though not served in the traditional continuously-warming pot, the Fondue was hot and had a great taste and consistency and came with high-end dipping options like steak tips and crimini mushrooms.
We recently returned to try their brunch. The menu is small, but my husband had the Deep-fried Hazelnut French Toast ($8) and it was exactly what he hoped for — crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. I had the Urban Eggwich ($7) and found it to be better than your average breakfast sandwich with plenty of crispy bacon. However, I didn’t particularly care for their version of the Mimosa, the Urban Sunrise ($7), as it didn’t have any bubbles and was fairly expensive compared to most brunch drink specials. But overall, I think the brunch is a good value and I would come back again, especially since they offer it on Saturdays and Sundays.
I was a little concerned about the value at dinner, however. While the food is good, I’m not sure the level of service and casual atmosphere at Urban Wineworks justifies dinner pricing in the $20-$30 per plate range. My husband had the rack of lamb ($22) and I had the steak ($26 – see a pic) which came with a flavorful red pepper aioli. The food was well-prepared, but our plates sat on our table for a long time after we finished and I just didn’t find the service typical of what you would expect from a restaurant with these prices. The service wasn’t bad, just more befitting a casual restaurant so the higher-end dinner pricing seemed a bit mismatched to me.
Dinner pricing aside, Urban Wineworks does have a lot to offer. There aren’t many places in town offering decently-priced house-made wine with quality appetizers in a cool, urban space with an awesome patio. They’re also a solid brunch contender on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Have you tried Urban Wineworks? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
More Photos from Urban Wineworks
Photos by Nicole McDaniel Photography.