Wine and cheese after theatre
Don't know if the East Side is within your geographical range, but by chance my wife and I tried the Divine Bar just last night. It is located at 244 East 51st Street, just west of 2nd Avenue.
We had met after work and decided to walk over to 2nd Avenue and just try some place that looked inviting, and we happened to select the Divine Bar, which we had neither heard of nor visited before.
The Divine bills itself as a Wine/Beer/Tapas place, and it lives up to its description. Their menu is divided into different sections: tapas, sandwiches, beers, champagnes, wines and wine flights (multiple small samples based on some commonality).
We had the fruit and cheese platter and the olive assortment along with a flight of 5 California red blends of wines. The fruit and cheese platter was quite substantial, especially for a tapas portion. It had slices of apple (several types), kiwi, strawberry, grapes, walnuts, and four hefty chunks of cheese, including cheddar and brie.
The olive assortment had four types of olives and one ramekin each of hummus and babaganouj dips with toasted pita slices. It also was a lot bigger than we had anticipated.
We ordered a second flight of reds, this time four glasses of California Pinot Noirs.
The bill came to slightly over $53, which we judged to be a real bargain.
The downside of this place (for us, anyway) was that, although it's not really small, they REALLY pack a lot of people in. We ate in the upstairs area at a tiny table, but the service was quite friendly. Another unfortunate thing is that the sound level is quite high, so everyone kind of yells at their table mates.
When we left it was difficult to get outside because of having to navigate through the large crowd that had appeared in the downstairs bar.
All in all, we liked it a lot and would go back, albeit during less prime times. We think we got a real bargain on what we ordered, but some of the tapas servings we saw at other tables looked both good and substantial as well.
If you try it, I'd love to hear your thoughts...
Morrell and Company's wine bar would be a perfect fit in all respects but one: There is no "medium" attached to expensive there. It is in Rock. Center, 48th (?) b/w 5th/6th. Huge wine list, both bottles and glasses. I don't recall a specific focus on cheese, but I have to think they have a cheese tray.