Food & dining

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Swapping daytime coffee with nighttime wine

Curio Coffee in Cambridge becomes Curio Wine Bar on Thursday through Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m.
Justin Pronovost
Curio Coffee in Cambridge becomes Curio Wine Bar on Thursday through Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m.

Several nights a week, the lights dim at Curio Coffee. By day, the East Cambridge cafe is a neighborhood gathering spot for Belgium Liege waffles and cappuccinos or cortados brewed with Counter Culture beans. Collections of intriguing objects adorn the shop. But now, Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m., the cafe trades the coffee menu for a wine list and switches to Curio Wine Bar. “There’s a lot of cross interest in coffee and wine,” says Justin Pronovost, the owner with his wife, Rachel. He realized the coffee crowd dwindles by late afternoon, but figured the regulars would find the intimate setting a great place later to hang out with a glass of wine. The list changes weekly but is made up of natural wines (no chemicals or additives in the vineyard or cellar) from small producers. “We’re not serving the typical recognizable grapes but new things,” he says. Among the dozen choices, you might find a Greek rosé crafted with the unique grape Black Muscat of Tyrnavos; an Alsatian blend of Auxerrois and Sylvaner; or a Chilean red made from the once-ignored Pais grape ($12 to $14 a glass; $42 to $49 a bottle). There’s beer, like Somerville’s Winter Hill Brewing Co.’s Mosaic IPA, and snacks that rotate, too — grilled cheese sandwiches, Pearl hot dogs, maybe even a lobster roll, all on bread from Hi-Rise Bread Company. But what you can always expect to find are the curiosities hanging on the wall — a fiberglass cow’s head from the long-closed Hilltop Steakhouse, a taxidermied barracuda, and a dried wasps’ nest. 441 Cambridge St., 857-242-3018.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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