After much anticipation, the brand new bottle shop and wine bar Ladro Enoteca is now open on Main Street in Downtown Champaign. Ladro offers natural wines from small wineries by the bottle or by the glass. 

Inside Ladro Enoteca, there are shelves of wine and a small bar with two white women sitting on barstools. The lights are all on, and the walls are painted a peach color. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Open everyday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. (subject to change), the bottle shop has just a few tables inside and a small bar where people can order drinks. All pours are $8 a glass which is pretty affordable for wine in Downtown Champaign.

On a brown table, there is a wine glass with red wine inside Ladro Enoteca. There are empty tables for two with simple flowers and branches on the tables. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I love that all of Ladro Enoteca's wines by the glass all cost the same, so the choice is taste not budget. If you like the wine by the glass, you can buy a bottle to take home. All wines in the shop can also be enjoyed at Ladro Enoteca, but there is a small fee added to the retail price of the bottle.

Also a special gin and tonic is on the menu at Ladro Enoteca. The gin and tonic here features a rotating specialty gin and a rotating specialty tonic.

On a silver shelf, there are handmade pottery with brown elements. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Ladro Enoteca has a small menu featuring platters and small bites, and the pretty plates and bowls were handmade by Hye-Min Kim of ohmk design. Each unique, these dishes are one of the many curated touches at the wine bar.

The main attraction of Ladro Enoteca is the selection of vino. 

Inside Ladro Enoteca, there are shelves of wine. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Bottles are arranged from light to dark, and there were a variety of price points from super affordable to more expensive bottles. The staff can make recommendations, so ask questions and find a new wine to like.

On a concrete shelf, there are tins of sardines lined up on a shelf. Each tin has a unique drawing of art. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Ladro Enoteca also offers little tins of seafood called conserva for sale. The cod, mussels, or scallops conserva is served with guindillas peppers and artisan crackers, but you can buy a tin to try at home, too. I adored the art on the containers.

On a green-gray platter, there are a variety of cheeses. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

On the menu, large platters are available like this cheese platter. The cheeses include Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego, Cacio al Tartufo, buttermilk blue, and Capriole fresh chevre, and there was a tart cherry and white tea marmalade and aged balsalmic drizzle. All of the cheeses were so good especially with a little spoonful of the cherry marmalade.

On a large platter, there are variety of cured and smoked meats. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The cured and smoked meat platter had 'nduja, Coppa Piccante, Cantimpalo chorizo, bresaola with porcini, and salami with a shallot and red wine marmalade, long stem artichokes, and escalivada. The coppa was absolutely amazing with a glass of the bar's Lambrusco.

On a handmade platter, there is a selection of smoked seafood. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This platter of smoked seafood had smoked sockeye salmon, smoked Maine shrimp, octopus, Cantabrian anchovies, marinated white anchovies, and a rainbow trout spread. I was obsessed with the octopus and that trout spread. This is a must order if you like seafood.

On a brown plate, there is an open tin of mussels. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I tried some of the shop's Spanish conserva, and these tinned mussels were my favorite. The mussels were brined in wine vinegar with paprika, nutmeg, garlic, and cinnamon. They were so delicious! Do not be afraid to try this on a cracker with a glass of wine.

Ladro Enoteca's menu also includes small bites like banderilla, Manchego cheese wine chips with dip, smoked paprika almonds, stuffed peppers, and more. The stuffed peppers were tiny red cherry bomb peppers stuffed with olive oil poached tuna, and they were fantastic.

The curated collection of wines drew me in, but intimate vibe and tactile details made me want to stay. This is exactly the sort of place Downtown Champaign needs. It's a swanky place to have a glass of wine or get a bottle to go — and it's already one of my favorite places in town.

Ladro Enoteca
1 E Main Suite 108
2 p.m. to 10 p.m., daily

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.