Dining Out: Sunday Vinyl & La Rola

European wine bar spinning records and urban Colombian food at Zeppelin Station.

Authored by Susan Fornoff & Sydney Feldhaus

Photo by Emily Teater

Sunday Vinyl

What do you love to do on your day off? If your answer is anything like, “Drink great wine and listen to records,” you and Bobby Stuckey are the match lighting up the future for Sunday Vinyl, the newest venture for the master sommelier and partner in Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine and Union Station next-door neighbor Tavernetta.

Not that Sunday Vinyl needs lighting up: It opened in February with lines out the door, an unfortunate (for cold Denverites) side effect of its now defunct “no-reservations- after-5:30” policy. Passersby on the train platform might have been lured in by the pink glow of the sleek, 65-seat dining room, with its drapes, small tables, and 12-seat horseshoe bar. On entry, though, Sunday Vinyl is all about the sound.

Two turntables mounted vertically on the wall behind the bar and a third turntable atop the bar spin music from the ever-evolving collection of vinyl albums curated by Denver’s Vinyl Me, Please. At the other end of the room stand two Italian Sonus Faber speaker towers, each 5 feet tall and hand-built to resemble, the description says, “a gleaming yacht moored off the beaches in the South of France.”

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Some guests have been asking for speaker-side tables 41-42; others prefer to be far away. For musical genres, think “East African Funk to French Pop” and everything in between—still, the acoustics, design, and small tables facilitate conversation.

So much for the eye and ear candy; there are also treats for the palate, with, of course, a global wine list of 225 selections (23 available by the glass), and globally inspired dishes created by chef de cuisine Charlie Brooks. Brooks sources what’s available locally and works magic on everyday ingredients. The appetizer list includes Deviled Eggs ($4) that are brined in golden beets, turmeric, and curry powder and then masterfully embellished; Anchovies ($6), so simple sounding on the menu, are exquisite buttered discs of pain Viennois topped with an Ortiz anchovy. And we won’t soon forget sharing the Spring Chicken ($22), grilled crispy and accompanied with sautéed seasonal wild mushrooms. That paired with the uniquely prepared Roasted Carrots ($12) on the side would make a satisfying light meal for two.

Busy as it is, Sunday Vinyl invites lingering, sampling, and sharing, even offering wines by the half-glass. The vibes no doubt amp up when happy hour kicks in at 9 p.m. with $7 wine offerings and a $16 pork burger.

Now you can make a reservation anytime. So, when’s your next day off?

Sunday Vinyl
1803 16th. St.

Photo courtesy of La Rola

La Rola

This family-oriented food truck has taken up residency at globally inspired Zeppelin Station in RiNo to share its unique urban Colombian cuisine. La Rola’s intentions are simple: showcasing colorful, bold flavors while giving a glimpse into Colombian culture through the staff’s warm personalities. With about 20 dishes starting at only $3, anyone can get these international bites without having to break the bank.

The empanadas, which are crispy, corn dough pastries, are a great starting point. With four varieties of fillings, try them all for only $10. Something sure to catch your eye is the Billionaire Hotdog ($9). It is topped with ingredients that include shredded chicken, bacon bits, pineapple sauce, and a quail egg. The Colombian approach to the humble hot dog will not disappoint.

Don’t leave La Rola without having the arepa rellena ($9). Made from scratch, it’s a warm flatbread stuffed with cheese and your choice of filling. Add the avocado aioli for some fresh flavor to the delicious comfort food. The classic Colombian dish arroz con pollo ($9), which is comprised of rice, chicken, and vegetables, is another must-try. It comes with sweet plantains and yucca, common starches in Colombian dishes.

From the empanadas to fresh juices, La Rola keeps things bold in flavor. Always keeping its roots in mind, it allows the food and hospitality to speak for Colombia’s culinary traditions.

La Rola
3500 Wazee St.