1320 SE Water Ave., 232-1633, carmellaswines.com. 4-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-late Friday, 5 pm-late Saturday.
Despite its generic brick, hardwood and neutral-green décor, Carmella's Wines reveals unexpected comforts, from an occasional rescue border collie to a front hearth, sometimes fired with real wood and stoked regularly. Above the hearth is a framed Model T license plate, found by owner Maggie Shippy next to an old tire in the train tracks that run underneath the bar's floor—the presumed remnants of a terrible accident. Shippy will open a hatch in the hardwood to show you the tracks, provided you don't look drunk enough to fall into the yawning chasm. The vast stores of wine—the menu is the length of a book—are hidden behind a ground-level bank vault door, but for ease you can just collect one of the four $16 flights, and sit back by the fire.