Vin’tij Wine Boutique is Unique and Delicious
Vin’tij Wine Boutique is well known for its delicious and unpretentious food. The experienced staff and curated wine selection has made the Miramar Beach restaurant a favorite for many years.
Boutique wines, limited in production and high in artisanal quality, dominate the landscape at Vin’tij. Creative menus of heavy tapas and gourmet entrees may attract foodies, but it’s the wine lovers who have staked their claim at this artsy hot-spot.
Walking through the door at Vin’tij you are teleported into a funky world where everything and everyone has a story. “If there’s a story, people identify with it,” said Todd Reber, Owner and Manager of Vin’tij Wine Boutique. Todd and business partner Chef John Jacob first met when they were honing their knowledge of the restaurant biz at Bud and Alley’s in the 90s. “That’s where food and wine became important to me,” Todd said.
Todd and John teamed up to open Vin’tij on the premise that people need a place to get great wines and take them with them or drink them at the restaurant. Sixteen years later, they’re receiving big ups from the industry as a prestigious Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award winner. Vin’tij was also featured in Travel Channel’s Best of Destin Restaurants and Emeril’s Florida, airing in February.
A wide glass window patterned with bold geometric squares lines entrance at Vin’tij. The mural was created during one of the restaurant’s annual Super Bowl Sunday cleanups during which the entire staff, the newest member has only been there six years, participates in giving their home-away-from-home a fresh look.
A fifth-generation cabinet maker created a bar height table using wine crates and corks. Then he constructed a wall out of floor to ceiling wine crates painted in bold colors that mimic the stained glass window up front. Even the nooks in the boutique were custom crafted to hold bottles of wine for drinkers, shoppers and diners to choose from.
Vin’tij is an easy and not-too-overdone place to enjoy good food-the stuff you would make at home if you had the skill set, along with a superb wine list curated from years of experience, and wonderful company. “It’s just a meld of all our experiences so you can just let the imagination go,” Todd said.
As an excellent way to learn more about wine, and try before you buy, Vin’tij offers a wide selection of wine flights and Thursday night wine tastings. Tastings tend to tell the story of a single wine maker or revolve around a special theme, like the recent Holiday Wine Tasting.
To create the ultimate wine and food pairings, Chef John takes notes on the featured wines and creates a menu of hefty tapas to bring out the flavors in each. From the food to the wine list, Vin’tij is influenced by fresh and local, and they even go so far as to source biodynamic wines made from hand sorted grapes.
Pinot Noir lovers rejoice, the Butt Rub Grilled Carolina Quail with Geaux Jus Crème Fraiche, Dried Cherry Jam & Plum Tomato Salsa was made for us. While the Tuna Poke – Diced Sushi Grade Tuna with Pickled Ginger, Cucumbers, Green Onions & Sesame Ponzu Sauce – satisfies sushi cravings and pairs well with the NxNw Horse Heaven Hills Riesling.
Thanks to the gracious and talented Susan Benton (author), Vin’tij and Chef John are included in the “Bringing the Sea to Your Table” in the Oct-Nov issue of The Emerald Coast Magazine. The article highlights some of the areas “top chefs who are passionate about the seafood they serve and the fresh ingredients they get from our local farms…”
Jacob builds his menu around seasonal ingredients, the freshest catch of the day, as well as customer favorites such as his molasses smoked salmon. He prides himself on searching for the best ingredients and uses a local fisherman at Harbor Docks for his seafood. He has a personal friendship with the owners of Dragonfly Fields and adds that he is first in line to buy anything local. When asked his cooking style, he says, “I cook unpretentious comfort food, paying attention to detail, and what is on my menu is what I love.”
Photography by Kansas Pitts
Our friends at Vie Magazine featured an article in their Spring issue about Vicki McCain’s Kitchenique, a cooking school and gourmet pantry. Our very own Chef John appears in the article and talks about his mutually supportive history with Kitchenique. And shares his recipe for Southern Bouillabaisse!
Kitchenique cooking school and gourmet pantry has been a cornerstone in the culinary community for over twenty years and has helped to give rise to some of the finest chefs and restaurants in Northwest Florida.
Thanks to article author Kim Turner and Photographer Dia Sather.
Over 725 guests raised glasses and auction paddles in New Orleans this past November for the 6th annual Carnivale du Vin. The Emeril Lagasse Foundation‘s sold out culinary event raised $1.9 million to transform children’s education through mentorship and the arts. Carnivale du Vin has raised almost $12 million for children’s charities since 2005.
The Emeril Lagasse Foundation seeks to inspire, mentor and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive and creative individuals.
One of the notable events was a live wine auction featuring 17 lots of highly sought-after wines, private dining and unique travel packages. Vin’tij was honored to participate as part of the “Weekend Retreat in Destin” which raised $40,000, with a donation of a private dinner to be hosted this spring.