Wine bar rants

Went out to a bunch of places with different friends last night. Fun but exhausting.

I want to talk about the wine bar/restaurant I went to. The place is in my neighborhood and while I have walked passed it many times this was my first time in. A very nice spot. This clearly was not a traditional wine bar, but the front part of the space was in fact much like a wine bar, while the back was a more traditional dining area. The front section had a long bar, a long COMMUNAL TABLE and some smaller spots scattered around.

communal table

One weird thing that seems to drive the help nuts and was a bit of a bummer for me was the wine list and its two columns. The first being the glass price and the second being the bottle price…right? WRONG! I was excited to see a very reasonable price in the last column and thought I was getting a good deal on a bottle. Sadly there are very few good deals left in the world of NYC dining. The server was quick to point out that I was looking at the HALF LITER price and the full bottle price was listed with the other bottle prices in the back. I thought it was somewhat misleading and was definitely disappointed but I actually felt bad for the server who seemed to have to explain this multiple times per day. I shouldn’t complain as the wine was served in a carafe and we all know how much I prefer that method of serving wine. In the end we had the half liter of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and it had beautiful grapefruit and tangerine aromas and was a nice crisp and refreshing wine.

The other thing that stood out to me was the communal table we were sitting at. Given the precious & expensive real estate in NYC establishments these communal tables seem to be popping up everywhere from midtown breakfast & lunch spots to sushi and wine bars. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about them though. I can tell you that I almost reached in and helped myself to a piece of my neighbors bread like 5 times. With all the small plates (another big trend) the people across from us had ordered, their plates were all over the table. And the bread was right in front of me. I wasn’t hungry at that point but the bread was literally staring me in the face begging me to EAT IT.

The intimate & close proximity resulting from the communal table did make for a nice way to strike up conversation with the people sitting across from us but detracted from any potential privacy. I guess like life, it is all about trade offs.

Either way, half liter and communal table aside, it was a nice place with good wine and a fun time had by all.

Happy half liter/communal table Wine Tasting!


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