Forge & Vine sits behind The Groton Inn, a new luxury hotel which is situated on a historic spot. A hostelry was established on this site around 1678 and it hosted a number of Colonial era luminaries, such as Paul Revere. In 2011, the inn burnt to the ground but a new hotel was eventually constructed and it opened last May. The restaurant is located on the site of the original inn's blacksmith shop.
There are 23 options on their Wine List By The Glass, including 2 Sparkling, 2 Rosé, 10 Whites, and 9 Reds, reasonably priced at $8-$14. The list has some usual and popular choices, from California, Washington, France, Italy, Argentina, Spain, and more. The Wine List By The Bottle, with over 100 options, has more exciting options and is described as "a mix of old world and new world with a lean toward biodynamic wines." The list is broken into eight sections which they describe as "Baskets" and each section lists the white wines first and then the red wines, each group listed from lightest to heaviest.
The "baskets" include Biodynamic-Farmed & Natural; Commencement; Pizza Oven & Pasta Makers; Raw Bar; Wood Grill; By The Fire; Lingering At The Table; and Crowd Pleasers. These groupings will help diners select wines to pair with their food, and the servers can also offer advice. Our server seemed to have a good grasp of the wine list, and selected some very delicious and interesting wines for our dinner.
The vast majority of wines are priced from $24-$95, with about 20 wines priced over $100, so there are options at all price points. If you want to splurge, there are wines for you, including Champagne, French Burgundy and California Cabernet Sauvignon. If you're part of a large party, you can consider the two wines listed under Crowd Pleasers, the Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label Brut ($1000) and Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon ($1200). Both of these wines are offered in Imperial Bottles (also known as Methuselahs) which each hold 6 liters, the equivalent of 8 standard bottles.
On the list, you'll find some of the usual suspects, highly popular wines that will please a number of people, such as Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio and Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay. However, there are also a significant number of less common wines, intriguing wines from countries like Bulgaria and Lebanon, as well as a significant number of compelling Natural wines. The basket of Biodynamic-Farmed & Natural has 14 options, priced $28-$61, except one at $175, and the wines are from France, Italy, and Greece. During my dinner, I tasted 3 of these wines and was impressed with the selections, and will provide more detail about each choice later in this article.
The wine list caters to varied groups, from those who want the most popular choices, to those seeking something more unique. Too many similar types of restaurants opt only for the more popular wines, unwilling to place riskier choices on their list. For example, natural wines are much more of a hand-sell though the wines would please many people if they were willing to take a chance on them. Kudos to Forge & Vine for creating a wine list that will excite even wine geeks.
There are plenty of comfort food options on the menu, and you could dine on a number of small plates, or order a larger entree. They use many local ingredients, such as Little Leaf greens, and there are options for meat lovers, seafood lovers and vegetarians. Many of the dishes can be found on plenty of other menus, except that Forge & Vine often infuses their own unique twists. For example, the Tuna Tartare includes macadamia nuts while the Country Style Ribs use a Vermont maple barbecue sauce. I sampled several items on the menu but there were plenty of other dishes that I wanted to taste as well, which I'll have to do another time.
History of Carrot Cake, I decided to select the Carrot Cake for dessert, which has pineapple caramel, sunflower seed, and cream cheese frosting. The cake was moist and tasty, with nuts and no raisins, and the pineapple caramel was an intriguing addition. Though I usually am not a big fan of cream cheese frosting, this had a lighter version which was appealing. A fine ending to our dinner.
Overall, Forge & Vine is a fine addition to the culinary scene of the Groton area. The food was delicious, well prepared, and numerous dishes use local ingredients. From my location, I saw plenty of other dishes leaving the kitchen, and they were visually appealing, especially the Rack of Lamb. This is largely comfort food, well-made and with their own unique spin. The wine list by the bottle is impressive, with a significant amount of more unique wines which should appeal to any wine lover. Their cocktails are also well-made. Service was excellent, and there were plenty of servers working that evening, ensuring everyone received sufficient attention. I strongly recommend you dine at Forge & Vine.