In search of an outdoor patio to soak up some summer on a recent Saturday afternoon, we ventured into D.O.C Wine Bar, attractively set off a pedestrian-only section of Yorktown Center in Lombard. Its bistro fare, expansive international and domestic wine list, and beckoning, umbrella-shaded outdoor seating flush with flowers provided the lure. The wine bar's name, D.O.C, refers to Italy's designation of origin for the fruit of the grape.
We started our meal with a lusciously creamy tomato soup prepared in-house with chicken stock, oregano and basil. In a perfect pairing, the soup arrived with a slice of baguette toasted to a lovely stage of crisp, and covered in delectable, melted mozzarella. My dining companion particularly enjoyed the soup's subtle spiciness.
Next, we split an order of two chicken salad sliders, featuring a beautifully balanced blend of juicy chicken and grapes with crunchy celery, and served on buttery rolls for wonderful contrasts in texture. The sliders were topped with arugula for a peppery zing.
My companion ordered the smoked turkey panini, again served on a delicious bread. The tasty sandwich included avocado, pancetta, fontina, seasoned tomato and field greens. A standout side dish was the sauteed spinach, with a fresh burst of flavor that really popped.
The menu extends to crab cakes and pairings of cured meats and cheeses, plus salads, flatbreads and entrees such as cedar plank salmon, short rib tacos and steak. I opted for the chicken saltimbocca, served with a comfort food side of mashed potatoes and al dente asparagus. The chicken medallions are wrapped in prosciutto and served with a touch of melted mozzarella.
We overestimated our appetites, and had generous leftovers for the next day. For another visit, we'll plan to leave room for in-house prepared desserts, which include such dishes as flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and Zinfandel glaze, and the banana “beignets” with caramel, brown sugar and vanilla ice cream that we heard the neighboring table's patrons exclaim over. Dessert choices also include wine snow cones in flavors of Moscato, peach, Zinfandel and blueberry.
The bistro's “Wine for Dummies” list includes flights for sampling, and the bar also delivers wine-based cocktails, bottled craft beers and a few added lessons in single malt Scotch.
The restaurant's website notes the bistro, which carries more than 100 labels, wants to introduce people to the world of wine without intimidating the uninitiated. Half-price incentives include flights Sundays, bottles Mondays, and glasses of wine Tuesdays for much of the collection.
People dining indoors at D.O.C Wine Bar will find a chic, contemporary space, showing off accents of wood, stone and granite, with a fittingly dramatic bar as the focal point.
The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at Suburban Life Media. The diner's identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. Only positive dining experiences will result in published reviews.
WHERE: 326 Yorktown Center, The Shops on Butterfield, Lombard
HOURS: Open seven days for lunch and dinner, with lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and dinner starting at 4:30 p.m.; kitchen closes at 10:45 p.m., except Sundays at 8:45 p.m.
DRESS CODE: Casual
INFO: www.docwinebarchicago.com, 630-627-6666