By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Palisadians Gianbattista “Gianba” and Marlo Vinzoni are expanding their Monument Street footprint with Enoteca 5 by Cinque Terre WEST, a wine bar slated to open on August 31.
“It was a natural process,” Gianba said of the decision to open a wine bar next door to their restaurant, Cinque Terre WEST Osteria.
The restaurant, which operates in the space formerly occupied by Pinocchio in Cucina, opened in May 2019. It is known for its regional Ligurian dishes: “reminiscent of the small Mediterranean coastal villages of the Cinque Terre region Chef Gianba grew up in,” according to a statement.
Gianba, who now lives in the Lower Las Casas neighborhood, brought with him years of experience at Los Angeles places like Fig & Olive, Soho House and The Beverly Hilton.
Since its grand opening, the restaurant has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic, which first prompted closures less than one year from its opening date. They did so by focusing on curbside and takeout orders, as well as delivery, before restrictions lessened and they were able to welcome guests back to their outdoor patio dining area and eventually back inside.
Now, they are looking forward to the opening of Enoteca 5, and serving new faces alongside loyal customers who have supported Cinque Terre since it first opened, and especially over the past year and a half.
“The wine bar came as an idea because in Italy, that’s what happens,” Gianba explained. “When you have a restaurant, you have a small storage space or an underground space … you try to make the best out of the space, and what is a better idea than to have a glass of wine or finger food to go with it?”
Enoteca 5 will offer more than 100 varieties of wine, the majority of which come from smaller wineries with “absolutely great” wine from Italy. Other selections will include some of California’s top white and red wines, mostly from the Napa region. They will also serve bottled beer.
Marlo explained that the wine bar will offer a flight, so customers can sample a few different wines.
Alongside drinks, the 500-square-foot space will also have a special finger food menu available only at the bar, with things like charcuterie boards, pizzette, olive ascolane (deep fried stuffed olives) and other options—some served in Bonassola, where Gianba grew up. Customers can also order from Cinque Terre’s menu.
Gianba shared that he expects Enoteca 5 to evolve over time, that a space like this can inspire creating new things, so repeat customers may see new menu items and changes in the future.
The majority of seating at Enoteca 5 will be indoors, but with a walkway located outside, dining can be arranged in that space as well. The indoor space features a “sleek bar” with seating for eight as well as small tables. It has been designed with exposed brick walls, concrete floors, white subway tiles and hand-painted murals by Italian artist Rosie Tos.
“We want to thank the community for everything they have been doing for us,” Gianba reiterated. “We wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t for the love that we got from the community, so thanks.”
“If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here through this,” Marlo said, adding that they have connected and made friends with many of their customers.
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