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Patio Dolcetto: Wine Lounge, Artisan Gallery & Bier Garden in San Marcos

Patio Dolcetto is a gorgeous indoor/outdoor wine, beer and art lounge situated in a meticulously remodeled near 100-year-old home on historic Cheatham Street not far from downtown San Marcos, Texas. It opened in October of 2015 and is the culmination of the vision of two wine loving childhood friends who attended Texas State University in San Marcos.

The Wine

Patio Dolcetto’s expansive wine list includes more than 90 labels, most of which are available by the glass or in one of the 28 thoughtfully constructed flights. Consistent with the owners’ desire to cater to all tastes, these signature flights traverse the entire spectrum of wine—single varietal reds and whites, rosés, sweet wines, sparklers, regional specialties, and groupings by style. And if that isn’t enough, there are also wine, Sherry and Port cocktails, house made Sangria, Mimosas, and fruit wines made in Refugio, Texas. There is even a Port flight!

The Bier

Beer fans will feel as welcome at Patio Dolcetto as wine drinkers, with over 40 selections to pick from, including four rotating craft beer drafts (available by the glass or as a flight, of course), ciders, and meads. Most of the beers are made within the United States, many in Texas, but there is good representation of European brews as well. As with the wines, the beer menu offers a wide variety of styles and types, ranging from domestic and Mexican Lagers, to various Ales, Browns, Porters, Stouts, and everything in between.

The Food

Though wine and beer remain the focus, Patio Dolcetto’s food menu continues to grow and now includes eight made-to-order flatbread pizzas, cheese plates, dolmas, hummus, an assortment of desserts, and a Saturday morning bagel brunch that features Mimosa flights. During Happy Hour (4-7 p.m., Sunday through Friday), pizzas are half-off or free with the purchase of a flight. Sparkling soft drinks, coffee, and a no alcohol beer are also available.

The Art of The Setting

Facing a quiet stretch of Cheatham Street, Patio Dolcetto’s outdoor lounge is a lush oasis shaded by huge native pecan trees, and it is beautifully appointed with comfortable chairs, tables, couches, soft lighting, and a fire pit. More seating is available upstairs overlooking the garden, where guests can enjoy the antics of squirrels who nest in the treetops. On weekends, there is live music on the patio, free beer or wine tastings, and artists in residence from time to time.

The indoor bar is filled with original local art in a variety of media, all of which can be purchased directly from the artists commission free. Computer tablets are scattered about to guide guests through the works, with direct links to the artists’ portfolios and contact information.

The art, serene lighting, couches tucked into corners, and pecan wood rustic tables create an elegant, yet relaxed and welcoming atmosphere in the indoor lounge. The heart of Patio Dolcetto, though, is the show stopping bar top, crafted by the owners themselves from a 42-inch-wide log of a native pecan that fell on the banks of the San Marcos River, a waterway that is the very soul of the city. Carved into this magnificent piece is a cartographically correct rendition of the San Marcos River inlayed with crushed Malachite, Apatite, Turquoise, and Jade. WOW.

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Patio Dolcetto | 322 Cheatham Street | San Marcos, TX 78666 | 512.366.3605

Sun-Thurs: 4p - 11p | Friday: 4p - Midnight | Saturday: 11a - Midnight

Happy Hours: Sun-Fri, 4p-7p

About the author: Cynthia Spanhel is a member of the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas. She lives on a farm in Driftwood, Texas, where she raises horses, goats, chickens, and bees.

Photos: Leah C. N. Spanhel