With the dry season just around the corner, Aperitivo bar offers refreshing cocktails and crisp wine to help cool you down in the summer heat. Review by Claudia Davaar Lambie.
Whilst zooming about Thao Dien it has become a habit to spot the new bars and eateries on the drive around. Every few months another one crops up on the scene to try and entice the expats and locals alike. Aperitivo is one of them.
This wine and cocktail bar opened a few months ago and is situated towards the bottom end of Xuan Thuy. At first glance, the dark exterior shrouds the bar in mystery but when the sun goes down, the red neon sign on the window lights up and the bar comes to life.
Attilio Bottero and three other business partners opened Aperitivo to bring something a little different to the usual sports bars or pubs which are sprinkled around the area. Having already successfully opened North End Deli next door, the bar seemed a natural next step. “We wanted to have a place for ourselves to enjoy [in Thao Dien], more like a lounge style space to enjoy from happy hour to late night”, says Italian born Bottero.
Aperitivo, albeit small, is smart and slick. The grey speckled bar and elegant black bar stools add an air of coolness to place. There is a definite European influence here in both the aesthetics and the atmosphere. On the main wall there is a collection of black and white photographs of iconic Italian landmarks, movie stars and sports stars spanning from Milan, Rome and Venice. It’s important to have “style combined with practicality”, says Bottero.
The menu contains an assortment of delicious sounding cocktails, wines and beer. Cocktails are reasonably priced from VND 100,000 to VND 120,000 and beer from VND 30,000. To start, I sampled the Bottero special cocktail which had generous measures of vodka, Campari, orange juice, lime juice and bitters. Very refreshing. The strawberry daiquiri is also a must try and there is a twist to this fruity cocktail which I won’t give away. The creative flair of the bar staff gives Aperitivo another edge; always trying and testing new combinations of flavours.
The bar is stocked with a varied selection of fine wines such as Pinot Grigio and San Brunello. Bottles of wine are priced between VND 450,000 and VND 3,600,000 depending on your taste and budget. A glass of white wine starts from VND 90,000 or red from VND 95,000. Bellavista Franciacorta, a classic Italian sparkling wine, is also stocked by the bottle should you fancy some bubbles (from VND 2,900,000 to VND 7,800,000). “Bellavista defines Apertivo in terms of Italian wines, it’s unique and sets us apart”, says Bottero.