Drinker's Choice 2012 Winner, Best Wine Bar: Tria
For the second year running, wine-beer-cheese cafe Tria garnered the most votes as Philadelphia’s best wine bar. With three locations across the city, the petite bar has gained a loyal following, thanks to their interesting selection, friendly servers and fantastic Sunday School specials (which see a different little-known wine, cheese and beer on sale for nearly half-price each week).
We caught up with Jon Myerow, who, along with partner Michael McCaulley, owns the establishments (as well as Tria Fermentation School), to get his thoughts on winning this honor once again.
– Tell us what makes Tria special and deserving of the wine bar win.
What I think makes Tria different is the informal approach we take. We’re very casual, and the staff tries to make wine less intimidating than it is perceived to be. Wine is (really great) grape juice — a farm product! — and it should be fun. We have a very small wine list (along with our beer and cheese lists).
Small menus are actually a lot of work, because every single item has to count. In essence, we act as editors, trying to bring our guests a wide range of interesting selections, but without an overwhelming number of products from which to choose. We train our staff to know about each rather than relying on one "sommelier."
– What inspired you to open Tria?
The Tria concept came to me late one night after drinking way too much Belgian ale and eating way too much good cheese, but it was the result of many years of experience in the restaurant business.
– If you had to pick a different establishment to win Best Wine Bar, which one would it be?
If I had to pick another winner it would be Panorama. It's very different than Tria, with its absolutely huge selection, and Philly is fortunate to have it.