Food & dining

quick bite

Bottles, bicycles, and banter at Spoke Wine Bar

Pickled Sardines at Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
Pickled Sardines at Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville.

Where to Spoke Wine Bar. Felisha Foster, former wine buyer at Dave’s Fresh Pasta, is the proprietor at this tiny new Davis Square spot just a few steps away.

What for The intriguing wine list, which ranges from lightly effervescent txakolina to rustic reds. There’s also a well-edited menu of snacks, spreads, and small plates from chef John daSilva, formerly of No. 9 Park. And this wine bar doesn’t discriminate — you’ll find beer and cocktails, too. What you won’t find: television.

The scene A fine place to meet cute, Somerville style. A small fleet of bicycles is parked outside (it is called Spoke). Patrons settle at high-top tables or on metal stools at the curved bar, lighted by pendants of varying shapes. Warm wood in complementary tones and textures appears on floors, walls, and ceilings. Felt murals in juicy shades of orange, tan, and green evoke groovy wine bottles and glasses. Jazz and French pop play. At the bar, a couple shares a crossword puzzle and charcuterie. Preppy Tufts students have parents in tow. There are already regulars: Bartenders greet several customers by name.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
Patrons sat down to dinner and drinks at Spoke Wine Bar.


What you’re eating Fat, silver-skinned pickled sardines (top). They are served coiled in a jar atop pickled fennel with artichokes and creamy-yolked quail eggs, rye crostini on the side. Or, for something a bit more substantial, springy pea agnolotti with chanterelles, bacon, and sorrel foraged from the backyard.

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Care for a drink? Bartenders know the wine selection well and offer tastes and suggestions. So ask them. But you can’t go wrong with the Tenuta Migliavacca grignolino, a pale, dry red that complements the food and isn’t too hearty for summer.

Overheard A man being teased by a girlfriend and a bartender about his refusal of dessert: “I’m trying to get my beach body back,” he protests, giggling. Staffers from new Union Square restaurant Bronwyn trading shoptalk with their Spoke counterparts over Lambrusco. A barman and a customer discussing reading lists, the history of the English language, and the Normans. And everyone bemoaning the annual backbreaking installation of their AC units.

89 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville. 617-718-9463 (yes, that spells “wine”).

Devra First can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.

Due to a reporting error, a recent story about Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville stated that proprietor Felisha Foster is also the wine buyer at Dave’s Fresh Pasta. She is the former wine buyer at Dave’s.