#Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes from Episode 91 with Lindsey Anderson of Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar

Today Laura and Joelle are joined by Lindsey Anderson, owner and Sommelier of Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar. Uvae offers balance, flavor, and ingenuity in their food and in their service to community. Expect the personality of each wine to inspire stories to share at 5553 N Clark.

Lindsay Anderson, Owner of Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar recording #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast at Transistor: Studio C.

Lindsey Anderson, Owner of Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar recording #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast at Transistor: Studio C.

Listen to Episode 91 with Lindsey Anderson!

  • Lindsey has always been in the hospitality industry, since her start waiting tables in high school. She graduated from Kendall College with a degree in Hospitality Management. She is an instructor there in their wine program, and teaches their level one sommelier certification course. She managed restaurants for 20 years, and recently decided to branch out on her own recently by opening Uvae.
  • The word uvae means “grapes” in Latin. Before landing on that name, she considered many different names, and learned a lot about trademark laws in that process. It was important their name be unique and stuck with their theme, so she landed on Uvae. The logo and design was created by Lindsay’s sister-in-law who is an artist and designer.

Uvae Purple

  • Lindsey wanted a classic design that encompassed the menu and wine list, and the interior design that can be described as “old world meets new world.” The interior has vintage elements, utilizing pieces from the original space (the former Adriatic Cafe) and including them in Uvae’s atmosphere – tin ceiling tiles on the bar, vintage furniture, and added modern elements with wallpaper and teal banquettes. After advice from her designer, Lindsey decided on bold wallpaper, perhaps one of the most striking visual elements within Uvae. It is appropriately named “Power Plant.”
  • Uvae required a full-build out, including a new kitchen. It was Lindsey’s first experience with a full build-out, and she shares candidly that she was a little naive going into the process. It was more complicated than just adding a wall, a bar, and some paint. She learned a lot about plumbing, electrical and HVAC, and is grateful she had an amazing contractor to work with, and who helped her through the whole process. It took a full year, but it was worth it. It’s beautiful!
  • Uvae is on the corner of Bryn Mawr and Clark, a great spot. Being on the corner allows Uvae to utilize its street-facing windows, and Lindsey comments that people stop to read their menus, and that events like Andersonville Trick or Treat were successful for meeting people who had never been in. It’s a bustling area, across the street from Little Bad Wolf and close to Orange Shoe Fitness, City Olive, and Winifred Grace. A lot happening in North Andersonville!
Uvae's aesthetic is "old world meets new world" in design and palate.

Uvae’s aesthetic is “old world meets new world” in design and palate.

“One of the reasons why I chose Andersonville for our location is the sense of community. It’s great to be a part of it, and be friends with the owners of Little Bad Wolf and go to Orange Shoe, and help each other out as far as cross-marketing.” – Lindsey Anderson

  • The Uvae menu consists of diverse cuisine options, similar to tapas and meant to be shared. There is particular attention to earth, sea, and farm categories. The opening chef, Chef Rafael, was very passionate about his menu, and he liked to say he ‘cooks from the soul.’ Bringing together old world and new world, he took traditional ethnic recipes and put a modern twist on them, showcasing our community, and how diverse it is. Uvae is careful to accommodate all allergies and food restrictions, so there are a lot of veggies on the menu. Unique items on the menu are vegetarian zucchini and mole. That is the dish Uvae served at Taste of Andersonville – maybe you were lucky enough to try it! The new consulting chef is Chef Charity, who carries on the task of creating wine dinners as well as curating the menu.
  • The Uvae experience is thoughtful and inviting. When you walk in the door, you can expect a dedication to true hospitality, with a warm and welcoming environment. Laura recently dined there, and was greeted as a first time guest with a glass of prosecco. The food is meant to be shared, and as a wine bar, paired with the perfect wine, in 3, 6, and 9 oz pours allowing for different pairings.
  • As Sommelier, Lindsey strives to be very approachable. “Wine should be fun, it should be an experience, and it shouldn’t be scary or snotty!” At Uvae you can choose your own wines, but also experience their pairings. One Tuesdays Uvae offers a 3-course chef paired dinner, that includes opening a bottle from the higher-end bottle list. They also offer a featured wine dinner every month, most recently on December 11 it was a five-course dinner paired with Brewer-Clifton wines.
Cocktails at Uvae.

Beautiful cocktails against unique wallpaper at Uvae.

  • The Chamber has interviewed In Fine Spirits before, but Lindsey is our first sommelier. What does it mean to be a sommelier? Lindsey explains that she has always enjoyed wine, and her first job at 404 Wine Bar (now closed) fueled her passion for learning about wine. Her approach is reflective of her education, and her overarching theme of Uvae is old vs. new, warm vs. cool climate. She likes to show people that wines can be completely different from one another based on region and for other variables. Her own personal collection mainstay includes summer rosé, red wine in the cooler months, with spicier syrahs being a current favorite.
  • Lindsey’s favorite dish on their menu is the orange duck; a roasted half duck served with goat cheese chive polenta. It’s very simple, but very delicious. A customer favorite is the sausage pie, which is a take on an elevated burger made from in-house sausage made from beef and lamb, wrapped in puff pastry served with white wine tomato ricotta smear. Decadent and perfect for sharing! Customers love building their own 3 oz flights, which allows them to try a wide variety of wines.
Sausage Pie at Uvae.

Sausage Pie at Uvae.

  • Remember that Uvae is open late on Friday, December 20 and participating in the final Late Night Andersonville. As you get in your last minute shopping, stop in Uvae and warm up with a glass of wine and share a plate. During the holidays and always, Uvae is always ready to host a private party. They are now accepting reservations for New Year’s Day brunch from 10AM-3PM, and you can reach them here.
  • Uvae’s cocktail menu features all grape-based spirits, featuring vermuth, grappa. Because they are grape-based, they are lower alcohol level allowing customers to enjoy more than one. A hot spiced syrah is on the cold weather menu, featuring a warm drink similar to a spiced wine. The winter menu runs until May. Uvae also offers brunch on the weekends, featuring dishes like brioche French toast, with your choice of bacon ricotta, caramel apple, benedicts, sandwiches and salads. Completely different than the dinner menu – come find out!
  • Advice from Lindsey to up and coming entrepreneurs, based on experience in large and small restaurants, is to remember why you wanted to go into the restaurant business. Hers being that she loves to make people happy through hospitality on a day-to-day basis, not just to her guests but to her employees as well, and providing a positive culture for everyone.
  • If Lindsey could swap places with another Andersonville business owner for a day it would be Mark Liberson of Replay and Elixir, he is genuine, enjoyable to converse with a very successful and respected in the hospitality industry. Also, his favorite dish at Uvae is the octopus! 

Visit Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar on the following platforms:
Online: uvaechicago.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/uvaechicago
Instagram: @uvaechicago

This episode is brought to you by Foursided in Andersonville at 5061 N Clark St, the one stop shop for cards, gifts, and vintage you’ve known since 2005 and the brand new custom framing shop at 5111 N Clark you’re going to love. Come find your holiday spirit at Foursided and Foursided.com.