New in Town: Tremolo Bar from Jarad Slipp of Knead Wine
Written by Sarah Hickner
New to East Washington Street, Tremolo Bar, opened its doors in March offering something most of us could use — an afternoon libation. The latest project of Jarad Slipp, proprietor of the already popular Knead Wine, a wine shop and carryout pizzeria Knead Wine, Tremolo Bar offers Slipp’s selection of excellent wines, thoughtful plates, and, coming soon, carefully crafted coffee.
Slipp was looking for space to open an eat-in shop in a nearby town, but none of the other locations carried the same charm as downtown Middleburg. When a space became available just one block east of Knead Wine, he snatched it up. His vision: a place for people to gather and enjoy excellent fare, without the snobbery that often comes with high-end food and drinks.
Left: Jarad Slipp and a glimpse of Tremolo Bar’s impressive wine selection. Photo by Kaitlin Hill. Middle: Tremolo cocktails: Jarad’s Gin & Tonic, Last Word, and a negroni. Right: Roasted carrots with pistachio, turmeric, and labneh. Photos by ultrastudio.co.
To experience Tremolo Bar, I stopped by the restaurant for a quick lunch. The space is pristine, offering delicious food and excellent service. When my fingers were coated in sauce from the Sticky Angry Wings, one of the waiters discreetly slipped me extra hand wipes and we had a good laugh. Excellent food, no snobbery, mission accomplished.
While dining, I took in my surroundings. Downstairs, the large windows are perfect for enjoying the scenery and people-watching downtown. And upstairs, I could envision business partners meeting for a glass of wine while talking over papers, friends grabbing an after-work cocktail, and birthday parties celebrating in the stylish space.
For Slipp, a master sommelier, the true source of inspiration for Tremolo Bar is the wine. “We’re pouring wines that you don’t find anywhere in the world by the glass, but I do it because it’s cool and interesting to me,” he says. It’s a wine bar first and foremost. There are 60 wines, from all over, including Italy, France, Spain, California, Virginia, and the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The carefully curated selection includes sparkling wines, whites, reds, and fortified offerings like Gatinois, Grand Cru Ay Tradition from Champagne, France, or RdV’s Friends & Family Red from just down the road in Middleburg. Guests can enjoy any selection by the glass, half bottle, or full bottle.
For patrons interested in cocktails, Tremolo offers Slipp’s take on all the classics: sidecars, margaritas, Manhattans, or a gin and tonic with lime, orange, and botanicals. Slipp is a quality over quantity guy. If you’re more interested in beer, you can expect, “Good, interesting, esoteric beer.” As Slipp put it, “This isn’t the place to get a Budweiser. You can get that anywhere.”
Left: Hummus with charred Brussels sprouts, fried shallots, and chile. Middle The spacious upstairs space is flooded with natural light. Right: Sticky Angry Wings with gochujang, scallion, and sesame. Photos by ultrastudio.co.
The food comes in small, snack-sized portions. It’s reminiscent of tapas, but the offerings are internationally inspired. Slipp has lived in many places, including Scotland, Italy, and of course the US, and he brings his diverse background and Culinary Institute of America training to his unique menu. Drop in for a snack like Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Cucumber Raita and Chili-Spiked Honey or Duck Confit with Warm Lentil Salad. Or add a few more small dishes like Lobster Mac n’ Cheese and Pan Con Tomate to make a full meal of it.
Currently Tremolo Bar is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, they are open until 9 p.m. Slipp plans to add breakfast soon, and of course, excellent coffee. “We’ve interviewed seventeen roasters and have narrowed it down to two,” Slipp says. He adds that it won’t be your typical subpar bottomless breakfast coffee. Tremolo Bar guests can expect a proper cappuccino and Slipp’s take on other espresso drinks.
Whether visitors are hungry for a full meal or are looking for a place to escape for a glass of wine and bowl of Castelvetrano olives, they can expect great things from Slipp’s newest venture. Tremolo Bar is a welcome addition to Middleburg’s main street. ML
This article first appeared in the April 2022 Issue.