Repeats with a Twist - Farina's Winery & Cafe, Grapevine, TX

Farina's Winery & Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Grapevine, TX. My first trip was just over a year ago with Joni for lunch.  Then in March we went back for lunch, sat on the patio, and used a gift certificate to save $50 on our meal.  If you've never used, you're missing out.  There's restaurants all across the country that participate, and basically the certificates get you half off when you spend at least a certain amount. I've found quite a few restaurants for this blog through the site, restaurants I never would have found otherwise.

Last Saturday evening we were discussing where to have dinner, and we finally decided on Farina's.  I had never been there for dinner, so I was good with that.

There are 2 entrances to the restaurant.  The main entrance on Main Street, and then at the back of the restaurant, through the patio.  We entered through the back this time, since that's where we parked.  Farina's is a very unique space, as there's no direct path between the main dining room and the patio; you have to walk through both the kitchen and the antique shop next door. I've seen reviews where people hate it and complain; to me, it just adds character.

Grapevine is always crowded on the weekends.  And on Saturday night, the restaurants were packed.  We wanted to sit on the patio, but there was a private party in there, so the wait was going to be about 30 minutes. That wasn't a problem for us, so we waited at the bar. I really like the chandelier hanging over the main dining room

Our wait ended up being closer to 45 minutes, but it still wasn't too bad.  And we didn't mind because they have live music on Saturday nights.  It was one guy playing the guitar and singing, and he was really good. The patio is a good size, seating about 50. Half the patio is covered, and the other half is uncovered. When it's daylight and not too hot, sitting in the sunlight is great. We sat in the covered section and it was a little dark, but too much light is going to bring out the bugs. They also had fans moving the air so it felt good.

We started with a cheese plate

I'm not a big fan of olives, but I really liked the tapenade.  I've had a couple other tapenades that I really enjoyed as well. Maybe I just do better with a mix of olives.  The pesto was delicious. I'm not sure what the different cheese were, but they were all pretty mild, and were all good.

Garlic bread came next.  This caught me by surprise, because we'd only ever been here for lunch and they don't do bread then.

It was served warm, and they definitely didn't skimp on the spread.  It was delicious, but I was good and stuck with one piece.

Our entrees came with a salad, and I got the homemade creamy Italian on the side

I've gotten this salad before and it was like they dumped all the olives in the restaurant on there.  This time it was much less, which works for me. The salad was good, but way too much cheese. I only ate about half the salad to save room for my meal.

Tony got the basil pesto pasta with meatballs. Joni got pizza with all veggies (mushrooms, pepperoncini peppers, and spinach) and I got the shrimp scampi

Basil, pine nuts, chopped meatballs and fresh garlic sauteed in a cream sauce
and served over penne pasta
This dish was excellent.  The pesto was so fresh and flavorful. And even though it was a cream sauce, it was very light.  

I didn't try any of Joni's pizza, but she said it was good, as always.

Succulent shrimp sauteed in a garlic butter sauce, topped with Italian seasoned bread crumbs
and Romano cheese, then baked to a golden brown. Served with spaghetti alfredo
The shrimp was a little overcooked, but the outstanding flavor made up for that.  And it was served scorching hot, so I was really happy. It's a good thing I wasn't kissing anyone, because the garlic was powerful. I mean, I was breathing fire.  But that didn't stop me from eating the whole thing, and even dipping some of my pasta in the remaining sauce. The spaghetti alrfedo was awesome.  So often alfredo sauce weighs down the pasta, but this one was very light. I really liked that the portions weren't outrageous. 

I was able to download a certificate to use here again. It was a $50 certificate, so we had to run up the bill.  It really wasn't that hard with 3 of us.

Yes, of course I will be going back.  Most likely on my next trip to Flower Mound.