Ruta del Vino is a Latin American wine bar and restaurant located at 800 Upshur Street NW in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC. We feature roughly 18 wines by the glass and roughly 10 wines by the bottle, all from Latin America. Our cuisine draws from across Latin America, including Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and elsewhere. Our cocktails all feature Latin American base spirits, including rum, cachaça, mezcal, tequila, singani, and others.
Our food features meats, sausage, and fish cooked over a wood-fired grill, as well as a full menu of seafood, appetizers and desserts. #NoSmallPlates.
Ruta is owned by wife-and-husband team Jessica and Justin Logan, and Michelle Rodriguez, all Petworth residents.
Jessica, originally from Mexico, and Justin conceived of the idea as great fans of Latin American wines; in particular, they saw the revolution that was underway in winemaking in Latin America, and the values that the region’s wines offer. Believing that there was no destination for great Latin American food or for wine in Petworth, they joined with their friend Michelle Rodriguez to open Ruta. They aim to bring attention to under-appreciated grapes, regions, and styles of wine, of course from Chile and Argentina, but also from Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, and other countries that are now producing high quality wines.
Chef Wille Harner hails from Happy Valley, PA, where Sunday dinners at his maternal grandparents’ home introduced him to Italian cuisine—risotto, polenta, tortellini, and biscotti. As a teenager, he worked at his paternal grandparents’ apple orchard and farm, getting hands-on experience with food production and the importance of terroir. He remembers peaches so ripe his fingers would imprint the skin if picked off the tree with too much vigor.
These early adventures steered him to culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. During summers and internships he crisscrossed the country from Philadelphia to the Napa Valley, where, toward the end of his year at Ubuntu, the restaurant earned its first Michelin star. Later, he traveled to Lima, Peru, to visit family and the food of Peru left a strong impression as he tried new flavors and experimented with unusual seafood. Chef Harner returned to the East Coast, working at another Michelin star restaurant, Rouge Tomate, in New York City, eventually finding his way to restaurant kitchens in Washington, DC. His culinary travels didn’t stop there. He spent time in Bologna, Italy, learning to make hand-rolled pasta, returned to South America, and even sold salmon burgers and yucca frites on the streets of DC.
The flavors of the family table, hours spent in the farm and orchard, and the adventurer’s spirit in Europe and South America have sculpted Chef Harner into an innovative cook and lover of eclectic Latin American cuisine.