Tag Archives: wine bar

AFB: Where to Go

HEY NEW YORKERS!  Need some restaurant inspiration this week?  Here are 5 spots to try.

Just Opened, Casual: the fried chicken and apple pie at Hill Country Chicken, 1123 Broadway nr 25th, in Flatiron.

Sexy Small Plates/Bar that You Haven’t Been to Yet: L’Oubli for a brandy smash, steak tartare, a glass of wine, croque monsieur, a country pate, more wine.  From Eric Demarchelier’s son Benjamine.

Well-Reviewed Asian ‘cue: Fatty ‘Cue for Heritage pork ribs slathered in smoked fish sauce and Indonesian long pepper sounds cool. As does Red Curry duck with sweet pickled daikon, washed down with a cold bottle of Tiger.  91 South 6th St, Brooklyn

The Sweet Little Favorite that Never Disappoints and is Cheap: Lovely Day. 196 Prince nr Elizabeth, Nolita.  This lovely little vintage-Asian-gamine Thai spot was closed for the longest time due to a fire, and is now BACK. Ginger-fried chicken and chow fung noodles, yesssss.  And it has a brand new downstairs level with more seats so now you don’t have to wait so damn long.

The Upscale but Pretty Farm to Table Restaurant: ABC Kitchen. Love roasted squash with parmesan and lemon, roasted carrot and avocado salad, spaghettini with shrimp and red chili flakes,  and am crazy for the Sundae: salt caramel ice cream, candied peanuts and popcorn, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Inside Hill Country Chicken


Inside L'Oubli

Fatty 'Cue

I love Lovely Day

ABC Kitchen's Kitchen

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Gottino

 

Italian Bar Food at Gottino

Italian Bar Food at Gottino

Last night Erin and I popped into Gottino for a little bite after a cocktail party in the back bar at Smith’s (worth visiting for their spring cocktails which are spectacular).  Gottino is a cool Italian sliver of a spot in the West Village with a long marble bar and a few little tables tucked into the back.  It’s perfect for those evenings when you just want a taste of something really good to go with your glass of wine, and perfect for those evenings when you just want to catch up with your girl…or guy… over some Italian deliciousness.  Jody Williams, the owner and former chef at Morandi, labels Gottino a “gastroteca,” which means she thinks the food is much better than any normal wine bar.  I have to agree with that. We sampled artichoke crostini, lamb sausage wrapped in thin slices of eggplant and served in a perfect tomato sauce,  brandade, all of which we sopped up the extras with slices of olive-oil drizzled bread and washed down with a lovely Petit Verdot.

cod brandade

cod brandade

Gottino: 52 Greenwich Ave in the West Village.  Visit website here.

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Bar Carrera, Best Spanish Wine Bar

 

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that is some serious jamon at Bar Carrera

I love a sexy wine bar that isn’t afraid to serve up some serious meat for those in need of a little something with their glass of Tempranillo.  That’s why I’ve had an ongoing love affair with Bar Carrera, a Spanish-inspired spot from wine bar specialist Frederick Twomey.  The first spot, in the East Village, was a winner from the start, which explains why Frederick took the concept west, to Greenwich Village.  I went recently with two friends for a low-key evening, some tasty bites and an easy buzz.  A great glass of red is only $8, and the tapas are excellent- grassy olives, serrano ham sandwiches on baby brioche, and my favorite, the chorizo bocadillo.  The chorizo bocadillo is the Spaniard’s answer to a good old-fashioned ballpark sausage sandwich, and it’s so much better.

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A perfect wine bar evening: wine, olives, bocadillo

 

Bar Carrera: 175 Second at 11th St in East Village AND new location at 146 W. Houston St.

Read more on nymag.com

 

 

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Happy, Happy Hours…

 

The bar at Aroma

The bar at Aroma

Arguably, one of my ongoing challenges in life is to eradicate the disparity between my taste for the finer things with my income. Hence the reason I pulled up to the bar at Aroma on a recent Friday evening. The cozy wine bar and restaurant on a quiet, rather uncharted block of E. 4th St offers a flight of 3 pre-chosen wines for $15, and with that you get unlimited trips to the antipasti bar.  I’d had an excellent meal there before, and loved the laid-back vibe and simple, clean décor.  This happy hour seemed promising, and better yet, classy.

The knowledgeable and generous bartender poured me a flight of interesting whites, including my first ever Muller-Thurgau, a crisp, light, semi-dry wine from Northern Italy.  It was so much fun “tasting” wine that I ended up ordering another flight; this time it was a tasting of four wines for $20.  The pours began to tip above the half-glass level, and a bonus glass of rose followed.  By 8:30PM, long after they had put away the plates of tomato bruschette, artichoke salad, and beets with gorgonzola, I was feeling pretty good.  We (by this time my friends Jen and Lucy had joined me) ordered their sicilian meatloaf.  It was fantastic- served over a creamy polenta dotted with cipollini onions and topped with mascarpone cream.  Too good.  

Meatloaf over Polenta (photo by Alexandra DeGiorgio)

Meatloaf over Polenta (photo by Alexandra DeGiorgio)

Unfortunately, we had dinner reservations that evening at James in Brooklyn, a restaurant I was eager to try (and wrote about here).  Unfortunate because after such a generous happy hour, I was in no condition to review a new spot. What I do remember of James comes in brief, pleasant, quite lucid flashes of memory: a juicy burger, a refreshing ginger fizz, some strawberry dessert, an attractive crowd, soft lighting, and finally spilling out a couple of hours later onto the beautiful, stately tree-lined street where the restaurant resides.

By next morning my happy hour buzz was long gone, replaced by an ache akin to someone having batting practice with my head.   With certain happy hours, I suppose it is prudent to avoid temptation and keep the happiness to one hour.

My other favorite happy hours:  Ed’s Lobster Bar, Lure Fishbar.

I also love a good prix-fixe…and while I didn’t try this, Aroma offers a 5 course chef’s tasting for $30 (add $25 if you want to pair it with wine and really make it an evening) every Monday night.  Sounds like a great deal.

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