Eight years ago Swing opened its vineyard-chic doors in a historic bungalow perched above sweeping Capitol Lake with views of the Cascades. When owner Nicole Butigan had first spotted the site, she’d pictured the views as the perfect setting for a wine bar—one type of dining venue Olympia was lacking at the time. Not only did she bring this dream to life, but today it’s more energized than ever with the buzz of diners who adore its cozy European ambiance and top-notch drinks and cuisine.
Upon arrival you see the swanky, warmly lit glass mosaic bar, where in-the-know servers pour more than 60 wines by the glass and 200 bottle selections. You can enjoy your sips here, at the bar’s close-set tables, on the summer patio or down in the spacious, party-friendly cellar. Bring friends for wine flights and experiment with sparkling wines, white flights, organic wines and top regional reds, European tastes, and the spirits included in the appropriately named “I’ll Drink My Dessert, Thank You” flight.
Even if you don’t imbibe, you can indulge in the delicious food, in sampling or sharing portions. Try the Jarlsberg caraway fondue, truffled popcorn, Thai peanut wraps, chèvre toast points, or Gorgonzola-stuffed mushrooms.
Dinners are simply cooked and beautifully arranged. Beecher’s rustic chicken is smothered in a white cheddar sauce and served with the perfect comfort side dish of a creamy potato mash. Desserts, ranging from cold to flaming depending on the season, are on par with both drinks and main courses.
Along with romantic touches such as quiet tables for two, candlelit corners, fresh flowers and abundant warm woods, you can enjoy your wine and food with the mellow backdrop of live jazz every Wednesday.
Swing’s Euro-cool, flirty yet familial ambiance makes conversation flow easily and drinks pair simply. In short, life has a little more flair while you’re dining at Swing.
HOLLY SMITH PETERSON
825 Columbia St SW, Olympia