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Nov 6, 1999 09:18 AM

need wine bar rec - Le Bateau Ivre or Enoteca I Trulli?

  • f

I'm looking for a wine bar that serves high quality wines by the glass (or even better, flights of wine) and also good food. The latter requirement eliminates Soho Kitchen & Bar. Enoteca I Trulli and Le Bateau Ivre seem, amazingly, to be the only places that fit the bill. Can this be? Any comments on either place, or on other places that I have overlooked?

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  1. 'ino, a truly inspiring wine bar/paninoteca in the Village, must be added to this list. They serve only sandwiches...but what sandwiches!...and the few dozen Italian wines, mostly available by the glass, are well chosen.

    1. Fay,

      IMO, NYC does not really have a good wine bar that serves worthy food. Your best bet is probably I Trulli, but then you are limited to Italian wines and it is fairly pricey. I'm not a big fan of Italian wines, but they do have good choices at I Trulli. What is the story on Le Bateau Ivre; I don't know this place.

      Joe Moryl

      3 Replies
      1. re: Joe Moryl

        We went to Enoteca I Trulli last night, and it was exactly what we had hoped for: excellent selection of wines by the glass and very good food to match with the wines. The wine tasting menu offers a selection of 50 wines by the glass, plus around 14 "flights" of wine, which are three 2-oz pours that are matched either by grape variety or appellation. There were a number of interesting choices from places that are usually underrepresented on wine lists, like Apulia (the restaurant's specialty), but we mostly went for flights from the better known places, like Piedmont, Tuscany/Umbria (including a killer Antinori Pinot Nero from Umbria) and Veneto (from which a delicious, concentrated Amarone was the standout). The food was wonderful, too. Although one can order from the restaurant's main menu too, the Enoteca's menu was more than adequate, and a lot cheaper -- the lamb chop was the most expensive item on the Enoteca's menu at $18, whereas the prices on the restaurant's menu went up into the stratosphere. The four of us shared several dishes, including an amazing grilled octopus with fennel, orange and pomegranate seeds (delicious with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc) and platters of cheeses and antipasti. Desserts were less impressive, although I loved the Moscato dessert wine, which was served with little butter cookies in the shape of orrechiette pasta. The whole bacchanalian feast set us back around $50 a person, which is really a bargain considering we tasted around 19 wines and ate quite well. Highly recommended.

        1. re: Joe Moryl
          Debbie Schmidt

          Le Bateau Ivre does have a very good selection of french wines by the glass albeit a bit pricey. Beware once they open the bottles they recork them and leave them behind the bar -- which is warm. They do not even have AC in the place. The wine I got was past it's prime and warm. Stick to bottles, which are properly kept, whites and other wines by the glass which move quickly (ie they will sell the whole bottle in the evening). The reds I had had been opened too long and for $20 and $24 respectively were disappointing.

          1. re: Debbie Schmidt

            Le Bateau Ivre may well have a terrific wine list and reasonably good food. However, they also have extremely crowded-in tables -- forget elbow to elbow -- we're talking shoulder to shoulder here. On my one (and only) visit last year, around 9:00 in the evening, customers were packed in so closely that they were nearly sitting in their neighbors' laps, service was quite bad (due to inattentive and forgetful waiters, as well as the difficulty of negotiating between the tables where there really was no "between"), and the noise level was painful. Conversation with my husband, seated directly across from me at our tiny table, was impossible.
            Don't know if things are different at different times of the day, especially now that it's not a brand-new hot spot, but once was enough for us. If anyone has had a better experience here, I'd be surprised but would love to hear about it.

        2. s
          stephen kaye

          try Veritas

          1. Was just back home and noticed that Morrell opened a wine bar at 1 Rockefeller Plaza (49th on the Plaza) Looked interesting, especially since they have such an eclectic wine store...