Sip Wine and Tapas has been in the Crabapple area for a year or two now, and from what I can tell, it seems to be doing pretty well. The last few times I’ve been there it has been packed with waits longer than 30-45 minutes.
Let me clarify what Sip actually is. First, it’s a tapas restaurant offering 20-30 different small plates (similar to an appetizer) each with it’s own wine pairing. Of course you are not obligated to get the wine pairing. But it just goes to show you the breadth of their wine selections. Second, it’s a wine bar which allows its guests to be served by a waiter or to use its unique wine vending system. The vending machine, which I will elaborate on later, allows you to sample about 20 different wines with pours of 1.5, 3, or 6 ounces.
With regards to food, I think Sip does a really good job of putting out high quality dishes with creative combinations of flavors and textures. A lot of the dishes have spice, which is good for me. Their tapas range in price from 5 dollars to 11 dollars. Of course the cheaper tapas are things like their papas fritas (pretty much thin french fries). I recommend you get the papas fritas because it serves as a great filler for the rest of your meal. If you are anything like me, you like to at least fill up when you go out to eat. It sucks leaving a restaurant and then hitting up Chickfila because you didnt get enough to eat.
Some of our favorite tapas are the tuna tartar on crispy wontons, the smokey beef short ribs, BBQ pork tacos, and the pork tenderloin. Each time I go there, I find my eyes gravitating toward one or two of these dishes. The tuna tartar is particularly good. But I like tuna, and I like it rare.
For those of you that like to drink and sample wines, Sip is worth your time. What I like is they offer wines by the sip, half glass or full glass. This give people like me who dont know exactly what they want a chance to try a bunch of different varieties. I dont think this concept is revolutionary, but I like it. Now about that wine vending machine. The way it works is you purchase a key a card with however much money you want to put on it. Keep in mind, there will be tax applied to the card because the vending machine doesn’t charge tax. But who cares, you can splurge the extra 7%. With glass in hand you step up to the three or four vending stations where you can read about the different wines being offered. Put you card (which is like a Dace and Busters Card for grown-ups) in the machine and select the wine and amount of that wine you want. It’s simple, fun, and a great conversation. I think more of these systems will pop up in the future.
Ok, lets talk service. Last night Laura and I went to Sip because of their advertised Valentines Day special being offered through the weekend and Monday. It was 30 bucks for 3 tapas, papas fritas, and a dessert. A GREAT DEAL!! We were told about this special by one of their staffers the week before at a wine tasting (held on Saturdays, a good time). When we arrived around 6:30 we were told the wait would be 25-30 minutes. After 55 minutes, and a nice glass of wine later, we were finally seated. I guess we forgot to account for the hostess not being good at estimating. Oh well, we occupied ourselves and it wasn’t a huge deal. I just wish they took reservations. Upon being seated we asked for the special menu, and were told they didn’t offer that at the Crabapple location until Monday. Excuse me?? We were told it was being offered all weekend! This kinda sucked. We had waited an hour for this deal. Shit. But soon after we raised the issue, they came back with the special menu and told us we could get the special. This was a great relief, and we were glad they were able to honor their deal.
If you are a fan of tapas and need a place to go for Valentines Day because you have put off making reservations, call Sip and make one for Monday if you can!
Sip isn’t a place I find myself having cravings for. But it is a good date option. So here are the Cliff’s Notes of my thoughts on Sip. Food – good. Wine selection – good. Service – good. Convenience – average (needs to take reservations, needs a larger dining area). Overall – good and worth a visit.