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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Dining out

Cozy bar features good wines, strong cheeses, and cured meats

Flat gray skies, an insistent wind, dark streets. In summer, I’ll take color and invention on my plate, but winter calls for elementary comforts. A cozy place away from drafts. Good wine with strong cheeses and cured meats. Simple things, done well.

That’s what makes Belly Wine Bar such a welcome destination on a recent night when Kendall Square could double for the steppes of Siberia. Belly takes all of the elements of a classic wine bar and presents them in ways that first comfort, then surprise and delight. Launched by Nick Zappia and Liz Vilardi of next door neighbor The Blue Room and Cambridge wine and cheese store Central Bottle, Belly offers interesting and unusual wines and the salty, smoky, savory morsels that go with them. It’s all set in a simple rustic space with wood plank tables and a painted tile floor. We walk in and sit down, though the no-reservations policy occasionally translates into a wait.

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