La Cave Promises a European Vibe, Extensive Wine List in Darien

La Cave in Darien (Credit: Lauren Helsing Photography)


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Darien – La Cave opens its doors tonight, promising a European vibe, without the costly airfare or jet lag.  The new wine bar is the latest creation of Jared and Lindsey Sippel, the husband and wife team behind the popular French restaurant, L’Ostal.  

Sippel, the chef at L’Ostal as well as the owner, said he and his wife were inspired to create a “true European” wine bar modeled after the tapa bars of Spain, the cicchetti bars of Venice and the wine bars of France.  

“There are a lot of restaurants that pretend to be wine bars that are really just a restaurant that serves wine.  This is a true wine bar by the fact it’s just focusing on small plates, snacks, charcuteries, nibbles.  It’s not a place where you come for a full dinner,” he said.

In fact, La Cave doesn’t have a kitchen. Instead, guests can share plates of meats, cheeses, seafood, olives, mustards, nuts, preserved fruits and vegetables chosen by Sippel.

“The finest products that I can source and buy are what I use,” said Sippel. “The products are from artisanal producers that are some of the finest in the world and known as the top tier. All the vegetables are from Italy, grown in the volcanic soil of Vesuvius and very famous in the region.  These are some of the most prized sardines and octopus from Spain. They’re hand-packed and there really is a story behind the products and that’s what I’m trying to tell.” 

La Cave also offers three types of caviar, each less than $100.

And, of course, there is wine.  Sippel said La Cave will offer nearly twenty varietals by the glass.

The couple said they didn’t want to create an extension of L’Ostal but a distinct European-inspired vibe.  “It’s a different price point, it’s a different experience.  So I think we’ll have a broader reach outside of our already existing clientele,” Jared said.  

La Cave is located next door to L’Ostal in what was once the restaurant’s wine storage. The compact space is bathed in Provencal blue ceiling tiles and wallpaper. “I wanted it to be dark because it’s a small space and I wanted it to feel cozy,” said Lindsey, who designed the wine bar’s interior.  

The pair is hoping to have outdoor seating by the summer and will have space for private parties.  

“If you’ve been to Spain and you’ve been to the south of France and you’ve been to Italy, you will understand what we’re trying to do here.  And hopefully it will excite people that haven’t been over there,“ she said. 

“Come in for caviar and champagne.  There’s really nowhere like that around here.”