By Mitchell Nover
LeKoKé Wine & Bites is a family-owned boutique wine bar and café, located smack on 8th Street (between SW 12th and 13th Avenues). But don’t let the location fool you, once you walk inside you’ll forget you were ever on Calle 8. A true labor of love, LeKoKé started as an idea to have a small place where people could go to share and enjoy good wine and delicious snacks with friends and family. In fact, since opening in February 2013, it has been the mission of husband and wife owners, Ronald “Koko” Torres and Laura Espinosa, to instantly transport their guests into a different world.
Well, they’ve managed to do just that by creating a very warm and welcoming environment that’s cozy, casual and elegant. Resembling an old-school speakeasy, LeKoKé is chock full of antique grandfather clocks, colorful porcelain vases, a beautiful chandelier in the entryway, a huge wooden bar, and shelves upon shelves of wine.
Now that we brought it up, let’s talk about the wines. That’s what this place is really all about and they pride themselves on having one of the city’s best selection of wines from both the Old World and New World, at a wide range of prices. Even if you’re not a connoisseur, Koko is always around to provide some tips, recommendations and even offer up a taste of what he’s drinking on any given night.
Additionally, LeKoKé offers a menu of simple yet sophisticated snacks available to share tapas style, always served with a smile and a laugh from Laura. For a simple snack, try the Marinated Olives with olive oil, garlic and herbs ($4.50). Or, for something a little more sophisticated, I recommend the Camaron que se Duerme with shrimp, olive oil and garlic with a side of baked tostones ($12.50) or the Seared Tuna Salad with avocado and ponzu sauce ($14.50). And, finally, if you have a sweet tooth, the Molten Chocolate Cake ($9.99) is an absolute must!
LeKoKé is a great spot for a quiet date night or just a casual night out with friends. Koko and Laura treat all of their guests as if they family, always hospitable and gracious. For me, that’s reason enough to recommend this place, but their wines and food are actually really good too. What more could you ask for? Salud!
Hours of Operation:
Monday & Tuesday: 12pm – 8pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 12pm – 9pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 12am