Wined and dined big-city style

Brian Montana stands behind the bar of The Terrace Wine Bar & Bistro, a new drinks venue he opened inside Oak Harbor’s Harborside Village Mall on New Year’s Eve. - Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times
Brian Montana stands behind the bar of The Terrace Wine Bar & Bistro, a new drinks venue he opened inside Oak Harbor’s Harborside Village Mall on New Year’s Eve.
— image credit: Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times

Whidbey Island’s biggest appeal may be its rolling hills and peaceful views, but after seeing field after field, tree after tree, day after day, sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than a luxurious night in the big city.

Thanks to Oak Harbor resident Brian Montana, islanders are now able to soak in all the glitz and glam of a sultry downtown watering hole without fighting rush hour traffic.

On New Year’s Eve, Montana opened The Terrace Wine Bar & Bistro inside the Harborside Village Mall in Oak Harbor. Some of the bistro’s features include fine wines from Washington, Oregon and California along with three craft beers on tap, gourmet cheeses, succulent chocolates, smoked salmon, fresh artisan breads served with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, hummus and duck pâté.

Montana lived in Coupeville for 17 years but recently moved to North Whidbey to better control operations at the bistro. He said his wife and friends often talked about how there wasn’t a relaxing place on the island for adults to go and enjoy music and wine with friends. After much discussion, he said he decided to open a venue himself instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

“I wanted the place to have a little bit of style, like something you might find in a city,” Montana said. “I wanted it sophisticated and elegant, but casual.”

Montana signed a lease Nov. 15 for the Harborside Village location where eateries China City and Smoothie Fusion were previously housed. He added the last decorative touches to the bistro on the afternoon of Dec. 31 and opened for business that night.

The bistro’s decor is classic. Its low lamps, fireplace and glowing white candles create a sensual, calming atmosphere for customers to unwind. But despite the posh setting, Montana said the bistro’s dress code is casual, and he encourages participation from locals in dining events.

Montana will hold wine tastings and gourmet pairings at the bistro and said the venue can be rented out for private parties like anniversaries or girls’ nights out. Additionally, every week, he’ll hold Merlot Mondays and offer the wine for $5 a glass.

He said the reaction he’s gotten from visitors so far has been outstanding, and the opening was a great success.

“This place is really going to be centered on fun,” he said.

The Terrace Wine Bar & Bistro is located at 791 SE Fildago Ave. in suite 104. People can enter through the main mall entrance on Pioneer Way or through the private parking lot entrance on Fidalgo Avenue. It’s open 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 to 9 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about the bistro, visit its page on Facebook.

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