The jovially-named Belly Wine Bar is now open in Kendall Square, from the team behind next-door neighbor The Blue Room and nearby Central Bottle. Aside from wine, the 45-seat restaurant focuses on charcuterie, cheese, and small plates; think marrow bones, rabbit offal, and steak tartare. For those whose bellies require something more substantial, the $68 "rhinestone cowboy" features a 24-ounce rib-eye (for two) that hits the hyphenated fancy meat trifecta: house dry-aged, grass-fed, and wood-grilled. Parties of four or more can make a reservation for the "arm & a leg," a $62-per-person feast of "meat, bones, and other obligate carnivorous paraphernalia."
Belly's wine program, which co-owner Liz Vilardi directs, is meant to feature wines that are "off-beat, geeky, and classics," and sizes range from two-ounce pours to jeroboams. The current by-the-glass selection features 30 wines, split up into fun if not helpful categories like "once you go orange, you never go back" and "rocks in your mouth."
The space was designed by architect Dave Rubino, who is also a co-owner of Central Bottle. Most recently, it was a private dining room for The Blue Room, but the large, heavy wooden support beams hint at its earlier life as a fire hose factory. Owners Vilardi and Nick Zappia salvaged chestnut for the tabletops, balancing the rustic wood with Italian porcelain tiles on the floor and marble on the bar.