On paper, Northside Social makes about as much sense as a drive-through steakhouse. A coffee shop, a wine bar and a gourmet pastry/sandwich shop? Right. After 5 p.m., the communal table upstairs and its smattering of surrounding two-tops becomes a full-service wine bar under sommelier Alison Christ’s smart and unassuming direction. Believe me, her internationally focused wine list can stand up to scrutiny from even the snobbiest of air-pinkie drinkers. Downstairs the atmosphere is decidedly more studious, despite a loud overhead soundtrack seemingly designed to pull the laptop nation back into the real world. On either level, you can order from chef Liam LaCivita’s sandwich-and-charcuterie-heavy menu. Whatever you order, your meal will likely be served on or alongside baker G. David King’s house-made breads. If this sounds like an excess of riches, it almost is. Almost.
3211 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (703) 465-0145
Photo by Darrow Montgomery