Corktree Cellars Wine Bar and Bistro (910 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, 684-1400) has recently nestled in downtown Carpinteria, but walking through the front door feels more like walking into a friend’s inviting home than a formal dining establishment. Wine aficionado Jessica Pintard opened Corktree with the intention of encouraging sampling rather than having diners remain inside the box of a typical restaurant. This space welcomes patrons with open arms and is characterized by plates being passed across the table for sharing and sips of wine being traded among friends. Over 10 flights of wine have catchy names that reflect the establishment’s laid-back atmosphere: “I would like the ‘Hey There Pink Cheeks'” is code for ordering a flight of rose wines. Description cards accompany each individual tumbler and highlight the flavor profiles. Wines by the glass are also available to purchase at retail prices if you find one that you cannot bear to leave behind. Bistro favorites such as flat iron steak, creamy corn bisque, and sweet potato fries pop up on the menu as well as cheese plates, charcuterie, and one of the most mind-blowingly rich chocolate lava cakes this town has ever dipped its spoon into.


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