elephant wine bar - kingston, ny - wow!
ok. first thing: this place (elephantwinebar.com) is NOT for everyone. it's a wine bar ,it's got tapas. if you're looking for all you can eat for 12.95, don't read further.
just got back...was blown away. in uptown kingston (310 wall st)...you walk in, looks like the lower east side.
wines - they've got a decent variety, though i'm no wine expert. they also had some beers (ommengang was one offbeat one i knew), and champagne cocktails ($7).
food...that's why i came. they had a good variety of cheeses, and wonderful array of tapas. i had the chorizo / chocolate (on bread, $7), jamon serrano (with some almonds? and a type of jam on top) both of which were wonderful, and a pork belly confit with apple glaze and smashed potatoes. the confit didn't hit my palate perfectly, but the rest was quite good (and i only say that because i ordered it while ignoring the 'confit' part).
there were a few paninis (including one tuna one) and some other tapas included cod, an escargot dish, a duck (and something) dish which looked outstanding...and some salads and soups.
one person walked out after waiting about 15 minutes for her salad. she complained that she was a professional chef and things should never take this long. my thought was, you've got your wine, you KNOW the place is preparing each dish as it's ordered, why get upset?
they're basically one person understaffed - maya (who is front of the house / bartender) has to dip out from the bar to take plates back to the kitchen, bring bar orders to the kitchen, drinks out to the customers, etc. so things will take a little longer than you'd expect because of that. but nothing to get upset about.
oh, their desserts change daily. i had a cookies/nutella combination with a shot of chocolate milk which was beautiful.
the music there was adult punk - i heard blondie's parallel lines, kick out the jams, some b 52's, a couple 90s pseudo punk stuff but mixed in with some french music (!) and other oddball things. they have a turntable, but when they can't change the record, it auto-plays to an ipod without any discernable loss of sound.
it's unlike any other place up in the hudson valley. go, bring your palate and sense of adventure. can't wait to go back again.
Sounds great for food and wine but I have to ask you, How is the seating? Is it comfortable? Only ask because i just recently went to the wine bar around here in Mt. Kisco, and while they had all the offerings as far as food and tapas type plates their seating was so uncomfortable and awkward that we couldn't stay long.
Well, have to agree on the food, which was authentic, savory, spectacular.
BUT -- we witnessed a weirdly uncomfortable scene where the female owner and then the chef went freakin' medieval on the trio at the table next to ours, because they wanted to upsize to accomodate 2 late arrivals. Evidently, they'd been offered the bigger table to begin with and declined.
It was just weirdly angry and aggressive on the part of the restaurant staff. The place has an otherwise very cozy, relaxed vibe, and these folks didn't seem loud/obnoxious or to be acting entitled. In fact, they were locals who'd been telling us how much they like the place only minutes before!
The specials really were outstanding. I guess I'd go back if we were visiting the area again.
310 Wall St, Kingston, NY 12401
This place is a gem. Where else can you enjoy chorizo and chocolate, excellent terrines, and beef heart on crostini? The food is all terrific, the wine list is well selected and fairly priced. A comfy, unpretentious place where a woman in shorts and flipflops or a man in a jacket can feel welcome.
Agree! Elephant is one of the best things to happen to this area in a LONG time. I've been several times and always leave very happy. On my last visit I had the truffled grilled cheese sandwich with serano ham and fig jam...it was sublime. They also make a really great pate'. The wine selection is wonderful and the staff is very knowledgable, friendly and enthusiastic about the food. The coffee is really good and they serve Lucky's chocolates...which I loved. Sometimes all I want it a little bite of something sweet to end a meal. Also agree that they play great music... I remembering hearing some old Replacements song. This is now in my top 3 favorite places to eat in the area along with Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson and Mercato in Red Hook.