I realize it must seem like we did nothing but drink wine and eat…well that is partially true. Thankfully lugging a stroller with a 3 year old or wine bag up & down the streets and subways does burn a few calories!
Before we left I did a little research on where to eat. With so many options and so much potential I wanted to make sure we took advantage of every meal to either try something new, visit an old favorite and/or visit an account. For research I turned to my favorite food blog tablehopper (http://www.tablehopper.com/) by Marcia Gagliardi. She is a prolific and gifted writer and we clearly share food preferences. She has 3 visits to NYC archived so I compiled and culled until I had a nice little one pager to carry around in my pocket. On of several I sought on her recommendation was the Monday Room which is the wine bar associated with the restaurant PUBLIC in the LES on Prince Street. Jared and I had the pleasure of spending the start of an evening with Ruben who is the som. I’m not easily impressed and can say both the wines and food were highlights of our visit. For wines, we tasted two stunning and unique whites. One was a 2002 Cour Cheverney made from the Romorantin grape which I was unfamiliar. The other was a 2005 Vin de Pay of 50/50 Viognier & Muscat that was wholly unexpected in it’s aromatic profile and utterly enjoyable. We only sampled two menu items but one was again, riveting and rivaled a recent dinning experience at Daniel Patterson’s COI in San Francisco. It was a pickled beet and eel “bite” topped with a poached pheasant egg. The flavors and textures were amazing. The Monday Room was special b/c Ruben is extremely passionate and knowledgeable and personally attends to each guest.
The other wine bar experience we thoroughly enjoyed and found from Marcia was Inotecca, also in the LES at Rivington and Ludlow. We landed at JFK on Sat at 6pm and by 8pm with our 3yr old fast asleep in her stroller we relished our first meal back in NYC. The locals looked surprised and then impressed to see our sleeping beauty in this hip and happening spot. And the light dinner was perfect. Of course, any place that focuses the menu around “stuff” on bread is going to draw me and this was certainly up there with the best of them.
Also worth mentioning from the favorite new spot category are two of David Chang’s places: We took Isabel for lunch at Momofuko Noodle and Ssam. Both were fabulous but being the pork loving girl that I am if I was pressed to pick one I’d go Ssam.
Finally, our last meal together (Jared sadly was in New Jersey when I was sipping the 1947 Rioja at BLT Market) was Sunday brunch at The Tasting Room. This qualifies as both a favorite and an account but this was our first time for brunch. Not surprising Colin’s culinary artistry is not limited to dinner time. I’m from North Carolina and it is not easy to please me where biscuits, corn bread and grits are concerned. He made all 3 to a level even my grandmother would have approved of.
All of this food writing has my stomach grumbling…I wonder if wine critics get thirsty when writing about wines?!?