Whether it be pre or post Sun Theatre Movie drinks you are seeking or a great place for dinner and cocktails then give Acqua e Vino in Yarraville a try.
Meaning "Water and Wine", I would say the main attractions at Acqua e Vino are actually the cocktails and tapas so potentially this place could be called "Cocktails e Stuzzichino" instead but it doesn't have the same ring to it.
Located on the same side of the street as the movies and the next block away, you may find a single doorway leading up some very steep stairs. You could be forgiven for walking past the entrance a number of times before deciding that must be Acqua e Vino as there is one small rectangle sign up above but that is about it.
The super steep stairs always seem easier to get up than to emerge down after a number of mind blowing cocktails.
The bartenders have quirky character. They can be busy at times and it seems that when you want them they are nowhere to be found but when you don't need them they keep popping by the table. They did forget my order once but seem to find a way to make it up to you with a funny quip about something or other.
The bar/dining room is just one room which peering into it looks like a big cozy lounge room. At the back of the room is a very small stage, well its not really a stage more like a clearing of the floor for a small band to setup. Music is usually on Friday and Saturdays and ranges from soul to jazz, to r&b, to swizzle.
It can be pretty loud in the room with or without live music so if you are after a quiet romantic spot or are up for a nice long chat then this probably isn't the place for you.
If you are in a hurry then I suggest you try the one pager of drinks which includes a good selection of wines and beer as well as their favourite cocktails. If you have some time and want to make sure you have exhausted the whole cocktail list to make sure you are ordering the best then grab their cocktail bible that has over 100 delectable cocktails to choose from. There are some old fashioned classics as well as some familiar favourites, but the majority of cocktails are different and creative putting an unusual twist on your standard same old cocktails. I'm sure whoever put this cocktail list together must have a double degree in mixology.
The meals are for sharing and have a good spread of vegetarian, seafood and meat as well as yummy flat breads and a cheese board. The items are well priced ranging from $4 to $24. The patatas bravas are the best I have had and instead of dessert I opted for a Lemon Meringue cocktail to finish off the evening.
Aqua e Vino can cater for a variety of functions and they do have a room off to the side that can be used for your special occasion.
The bar is open Tuesday to Saturday 5pm to late and Sunday 4pm to late.
Not the best service around and I booked online and they didn't have my booking, but fortunately I got a table and the food, drinks, band and character of the bar staff all made up for it. Its a great find that I will keep going back to.