A wine bar-market combo with a gourmet touch is coming to Dallas this summer: Called Trova Wine + Market, it'll open at the Plaza at Preston Center, with wine by the glass or bottle, plus snacks, a deli counter, imported foods, tastings, and classes.
Owner Michelle Bonds is fulfilling her dream of owning a special place where customers can celebrate wine, sip a glass or two with friends, enjoy some nosh, or shop for the perfect foodie gift.
"Trova translates to 'find' in Italian and I hope this is the place where you can do just that," she says. She hopes to open in mid-July.
Bonds previously did marketing for Pizza Hut, but got into food and wine while living in Chicago, where she would frequent shops just like the one she has created. She and her husband also spent a few months in Argentina, soaking up the natives' enthusiasm for food and wine.
"I'd been tinkering around with plans and finally got to a point where I felt like it was time to take the plunge," she says.
Part of the momentum was her sense that she could provide something that didn't already exist.
"I felt like there was a gap in this Northwest Highway-Preston Road area, where you have all this shopping and great restaurants, but not a place to sit down and grab a drink," she says. "One of the coolest things about wine is that there are so many wines to explore, but I think it can be hard to do that in a restaurant setting, where wine is centered around the food."
Their location at 4004 Villanova St. is a former antique shop which they've retrofitted with necessary equipment for a food and beverage operation. They'll definitely have food, with a menu devised by their brand new chef, Sophie Lynn, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who most recently worked at Homewood.
They're still honing the menu, but Bonds says it will include cheese boards, a tartare, a rotating toast, with four sandwiches, four salads, and some marinated olives. "We're going to do our best to find organic and local farms," she says.
They'll sell unique imported and locally made foodstuffs such as sweets by Le Gourmet Baking; ultra premium honeys from Sparta, Greece; and early harvest extra virgin olive oils from a small Greek fishing village called Koroni.
Their sommelier, Cameron Cronin, is another Homewood alumnus who also worked at Sachet; he's in the midst of creating a cellar of about 200 bottles.
"We're not focused on any one region but we do want to emphasize organic and biodynamic wines," Bonds says. "We've been trying hard to make sure we differentiate ourselves. When we consider adding a label, we ask, 'Where else can you find it?' We want to make sure people are getting a variety and not the exact same experience at other restaurants."
They won't have trendy wines on tap, but they will have a unique signature sipper: the vermouth spritz.
"Vermouth is having a moment and these are popular in California," Bonds says. "Everyone loves aperol spritzes, but we technically can't sell aperol, since it's distilled, and our license covers wine and beer. But we love having our own signature."
One thing they'll definitely be doing: rotating the list. "It'll be ever changing," she says. "I enjoy going to places where the menu changes, where it's not the exact same every single time."