COLLINGSWOOD Beginning this week, two eateries will have an item on the menu no other restaurant in Collingswood offers: wine.
Collingswood joins Moorestown in ending a long prohibition against the sale of alcohol in the borough. Dry since 1915, Moorestown approved a limited number of liquor licenses at the Moorestown Mall and entered a new era in November when Osteria opened at the mall with wine and cocktails on the menu.
Diners at the Tortilla Press and Bistro Di Marino in Collingswood can soon buy a half or whole bottle of wine to enjoy with their meal.
The Collingswood restaurants are teaming up with Sharrott Winery in Winslow under a new state winery licensing program that allows wineries to have additional retail outlets. New Jersey has 48 operating wineries
The law was passed two years ago to promote the winery industry and help preserve farming and open space. Sale proceeds go to the wineries.
"I'm delighted," Tortilla Press chef-owner Mark Smith said. "For years, I offered virgin pitchers of sangria to our guests. Now I get a chance to serve the real thing."
Smith and Jimmy Marino of Bistro Di Marino plan to hold several special events to promote the new wine selections, including Happy Hour Tuesdays, sangria nights, wine cooking classes, and wine dinners. Patrons can still opt to bring their own wine.
"It adds a great dimension to our restaurants and is the perfect accompaniment for both our cuisines – Italian and Mexican," Marino said. "My guests are going to love the long list of wine-only cocktails they can now enjoy this spring in our outdoor open-air courtyard."
Tortilla Press will begin offering Sharrott wines Monday, just in time for Cinco de Mayo. Bistro Di Marino will begin on Tuesday.
- Melanie Burney