The grand, double bronze doors of Cuvée Wine & Bistro glisten in the late afternoon sun. With an easy tug, they open and a refreshingly cool, romantically lit bistro is revealed. The soothing gray interior envelopes you, and the inviting aromas of freshly prepared dishes tempt you further inside. In an instant, you feel like you’re in a completely different world.
“Once you walk through the doors,” owner Marie Kim agrees, “you close the outside out and you are transported.
You think, Are we in Ocala or are we in New York?”
The good news, of course, is that Cuvée’s sophisticated atmosphere doesn’t come with big-city prices. In fact, Marie specifically designed the restaurant as an affordable luxury. She loved to dine out in larger metropolitan areas and decided last year that the time had come to create a similar restaurant experience right here in Ocala. In addition to fine dining, Cuvée has a full bar and a unique wine tasting system where you can sample 104 bottles of wine from all over the world in one-ounce, 2.5-ounce, and 5-ounce portions.
“The wines are symbiotic with the décor,” says General Manager David Lewis. “We have classic wines like Opus One and Caymus and fun ones like Boom Boom and Kung Fu Girl. We also have Wine Spectator’snumber-one rated Wine of the Year last year, Clos Apalta, and are currently featuring wine from South Africa in honor of the World Cup.”
As such, on any given evening, Cuvée attracts the savviest of wine aficionados as well as those new to the world of wine. Whenever necessary, the restaurant’s knowledgeable wait staff is on-hand to assist guests with their selection.
Because the menu at Cuvée is built around the availability of ingredients, dishes here regularly reflect the seasons.
“We try to stay as fresh as possible, so we only use those ingredients that are in season,” Marie says.
The menu features such tempting appetizers as the Mediterranean calamari, bistro flatbreads, and shrimp bisque and such divine entrées as the chili-rubbed bone-in ribeye, seared Ahi tuna smothered in smoked mozzarella, and incomparable Harris Ranch filet mignon. Executive Chef Jim Schumann, who spent 17 years at the Manor Tavern in Monkton, Maryland, serves up daily specials that complement the menu.
“Last week, he did a beef Wellington that was to die for,” David says.
Marie continues, “The presentation is as important to us as the taste. We want to provide a dining experience for our guests that wows them from the moment they walk through the doors until they leave.
“We want our guests to feel pampered when they dine with us,” Marie stresses. “That’s the goal at Cuvée Wine & Bistro.”
Cuvée Wine & Bistro
2237 SW 19th Avenue Road, Ste. 102
Ocala, Florida 34471