As reported in my previous post, I did in fact make it out to a wine bar tonight. Said wine bar is technically located in the West Village, but it is just North of trendy Tribeca – and it definitely had a trendy aura to it.
The good: the staff was really great. I was a pain in the ass as I often tend to be (unintentionally) at wine bars, yet the staff was warm, patient and very cool. The two people behind the bar that helped out were also quite knowledgeable, and definitely NOT pretentious. Oh yeah, and the place had great stemware!
The bad: well, there was no “bad” per say. But if I had to complain about anything it is that I felt limited with my wine options . Which is not to say that the wine list was not extensive, and clearly very well thought out. Because it was. But sadly, following my passion (wine) has not coincided with my prior dream of making my first million by the time I was XX years old. The wine list is comprehensive as all the major wine regions and corresponding wines are covered. They even have wines from Israel (which you all know I think is great) as well as a very enviable “reserve list” mainly comprised of Bordeaux & Burgundy (with some Napa Cab, & Barbaresco thrown in for good measure) ranging in price from about $200 per bottle up to $1750 for a 2000 Chateau Margaux.
The Ugly: again, nothing quite ugly, but I was definitely surprised when I first walked in. There are NO TABLES! The place is dominated by a large oval bar right in the middle of the space that allows the bartenders ( who are located on the inside of the oval bar) to interact with virtually everyone in the place. Yes, there are some chairs (stools) against the outer walls with a shelf of sorts for drinks for people who choose not to sit at the bar. But the real charm of the place is the intimate setting created by the warm staff who interact very naturally with the patrons.
SO…based on our model for successful restaurant/bar, this place definitely hits on the two main points. They have a well defined concept, that of rustic, intimate, neighborhood wine bar. And they have an excellent staff. As to their advertising, well, I’m not sure how essential that is. On a rainy Wednesday night they seemed to have a good crowd in the place throughout the night. I was surprised by the male/female ratio (at one point there were more men than women), but a good crowd nonetheless. And who knows if advertising would help or possibly take away from the mellow/chill/neighborhood feel of this place.
Happy warm, funky & rustic Wine Tasting!