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Best Wine Bar

My fiance and are very into wine bars with good food--small plates or appetizers. I'd love to hear your favorite places.

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  1. Grape & Grain in the East Village is really laid back and cute. I also love In Vino for that cozy rustic kind of wine bar.

    1. Sit at the bar at OTTO around 3PM on a Sunday and order up some cheese and salumi and try a couple of quartinos. Sit at Las Ramblas in the W. Village with a few tapas and their great, esoteric Spanish wine list. Order Txacoli and watch them pour it accurately, from high above, splashing into the glass below.

      Blue Ribbon Bar across the street from the Bakery in the W. Village, great variety of interesting wines alongside the more well known.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chow_gal

        I would also highly recommend Otto. The wine list is outstanding (and surprisingly affordable) and the cheese selection, while small, comes with superb accompanimenti.

        A friend and I also thoroughly enjoyed an evening at Centro Vinoteca and we thought the wine selection was good and gently priced. We did not order food there, so I can't speak to that.

        1. re: LNG212

          I've been to Otto and I like the food and wine but it's not a romantic place. It's always so crowded and it's not very intimate.

          1. re: jackieparis

            to be fair you didn't list romantic as one of your requirements :)

      2. Use to really like Morrell's because the incredible selection by the glass but overall quality of the place (not the wine selection) has really gone down. If you can get a seat at the bar it's still enjoyable until it gets crowded.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Spiritchaser

          Hi Everyone, I forgot to mention that I'd like a cozy place and a like candle lit wine bars. Thanks a lot for any suggestions that you may have!

          1. re: jackieparis

            You might also want to look into Casa Mono and/or Bar Jamon - cozy and dark - haven't been at night so I can't speak to the candles. Also, Casa Mono has a fantastic Spanish wine list, but I don't recall the offerings by the glass, so you might want to call and ask. Delicious small plates.

            1. re: MMRuth

              i second bar jamon. very small with tons of atmosphere. if you are looking for something intimate however, do not go here, but if you are willing to chat it up with all the people that are packed in with you, its fun times. the waiters/bar tenders are great resources especially if you are new to spanish wine.

              1. re: artfuldestruct

                I second Casa Mono-- great food and great ambience.

            2. re: jackieparis

              candle lit? that would be VON on bleecker at bowery.

              1. re: jackieparis

                VinoVino in Tribeca on W. Broadway. Quiet, comfortable and romantic. Never too crowded. Its set up with couches w small tables and candles all around....
                Or Terroir is nice too, but sometimes hard to find a seat.

            3. Bin 71 on 71st and Columbus is really nice if you're on the UWS. If you're on the UES...try Pudding Stones on 3rd between 82nd and 83rd (I think...). Both have nice wines and good food, including small plates and entrees.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Jill

                bin 71 is tiny and can get really crowded but they are good. bin no. 220 at south street seaport is fun.

                1. re: TBird

                  What is the name of the wine bar in The LES that specializes in French Wine? Sorry not trying to highjack this thread.

                  1. re: Sweatshirt Guy

                    Are you talking about Jadis? Its a really cozy spot with decent sandwiches and other snacks.
                    I haven't drank at Casellula,so can't comment on the drinks menu. but i love the cheese platters and other dishes in this Hell's Kitchen cheese and wine bar.


                    1. re: xigua

                      Thank You!

                      Casellula is fun and the wine list is alright. Good cheese selection's though

                    2. re: TBird

                      Bin 220 has nice ambience (dark, candles). Seems overpriced. Apps left a lot to be desired last time I went. Do they still serve only Italian wines?

                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                            just some cheese, so i can't chime in on the quality of their food.

                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          Bin 220 is the worst wine bar in Manhattan if not the world, primarily because of the attitude of the owner/server but also because of the mediocre food and drink offerings relative to the tourist-trap prices.

                      1. re: Jill

                        I should add Aroma on 5th I think and the Bowery. Really nice space...candle-lit and cozy with good small plates.

                      2. My vote for Grape and Grain....
                        8th Street Wine Cellar is really great too...The guys at In Vino are great and love to chat about the wines. Ara Wine Bar over in the meat packing district was a really nice treat one afternoon, but i imagine it gets crazy at night. Il Posto Accanto too.
                        http://www.drvino.com/nycwinebars.php is agreat website to check out

                        12 Replies
                          1. re: vegansusan

                            In SoHo I've been to the wine bar at Broome and, I think, Wooster, behind the wine store. It's exclusively NY State wine, but some of it is very good...I was impressed with the small food plate I had too. Sometimes it gets crowded, though.

                            That said, I haven't been to many wine bars, so I'm no authority.

                            1. re: comestible

                              Thanks so much everyone. I'm interested in wines by the glass, cozy candle lit atmosphere and good food is a plus. Small plates are fine but the food has to be good.

                              1. re: jackieparis

                                Riposo 46 on 9th ave. and 46th street is a fun, casual, cozy place to get some good vino and good food. Menu is limited, but small dishes are tasty and well executed. Its a an intimate space with a relaxed and approachable staff... brick walls, candles, only about four tables and the bar. I live in the neighborhood and find myself there often...

                                1. re: catewats

                                  Second Riposo, the flatbreads are delicious. Love Casellula, though the best part is the cheese and composed plates (salads with cheese, tartines) since the selection of wines by the glass is a little limited. A cute new place in the neighborhood is Xai Xai, a South African wine bar with a large selection of wines by the glass (all south african) and a menu of south african themed small plates. I can't really comment on the food as we just had a cheese plate, but it's really cute (though a little bit more room to breathe than Riposo), so I'd definitely check it out again.

                                      1. re: chow_gal

                                        Thanks! given its only 1 block away, I'll give it a try and report back.

                                        1. re: xigua

                                          xiqua, after you try XAI XAI i hope you check out XICALA on elizabeth too. ya just gotta!

                                    1. re: jsgjewels

                                      I went to check out Xai Xai the other night, and while it definitely has a pleasant ambience, an interesting wine list and some nice small plates, it suffers from a near-fatal flaw: scented candles. And not just a few of them. They're all over the place, and on every table (we blew ours out). As soon as you walk in the door you're overwhelmed by an odiferous wall of Glade vanilla candle stench. Needless to say, it's distracting (at best) from the wine and food. It's a shame really, because the place has a lot of potential. It's a pretty easy thing to remedy, so hopefully they'll switch over to unscented candles before they stink away all the customers.

                                      1. re: eboges

                                        That does sound like a bad move, but I was there last night and there were no scented candles in sight, so the coast is clear!

                              2. re: vegansusan

                                Though i haven't been in quite some time, I used to really enjoy going to Il Posto Accanto.

                              3. Le Bateau Ivre in midtown is lovely...

                                1. Just tried Wined Up above Punch on 20th and B'way. We LOVED it. So adorable, great vibe, great wine selections and perfect app's. website: http://www.punchrestaurant.com/. Have fun and enjoy!

                                  Wined Up
                                  913 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: gramercyfoodie

                                    Have you been to Punch? How is the food?

                                    1. re: bobjunior

                                      Has anyone tried Aroma Kitchen & Wine Bar? If so, how was it? Thanks.

                                      1. re: jackieparis

                                        I was going to suggest Aroma as well - I don't think I would say it's my favorite (inoteca is one of my faves for sure), but I do really enjoy it every time I go. It is small, but i know there's a downstairs i have never been to, and that they are expanding that. It can be romantic & candlelit, & is usually on the quieter side when I go, but it's also good to sit at the bar with friends and be able to talk and enjoy.

                                        I have found the bartenders & staff have always been incredibly friendly & helpful w/recomendations, etc. when I've been. I've liked many of the small plates I've tried. I'd say a great way to try the place is their "happy hour" time/ Aperitivo special that includes a flight of 3 wines & as much food as you want from the 5-8 antipasti dishes they put out. That's how I first experienced it and really liked it. It's usually pretty simple- a salad, bruchetta, some meats & cheeses, etc. but a great deal and good time! And then if you like that, you can stay and order more...Inevitably my friends and I end up having a a bottle or few every time we do that ;-)

                                        Wine Bar on around 2nd ave (& 2nd I think) is definitely dark & candlelit...Always seems to be a datey atmosphere in there.

                                    2. Casselula without a doubt! Trust me, tried em all. Bin 71 runner up.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: winepunkguy

                                        try wine and roses on columbus near W75. it's larger then bin 71. i think there's another wine bar on broadway near W68 (east side of broadway). i believe a new wine bar is scheduled to open on w72 street just off of columbus, near scott j. salon. they've been working on the place for more than 6 months but the windows are still covered with brown paper. can anyone confirm that this will be a wine bar? i'd like to hear any additional details about this place. thanks. this website may help: http://www.drvino.com/nycwinebars.php. wine and roses is listed here as having 25 seats with a wine selection of 100 bottles.

                                      2. Grape & Grain or In Vino for me, both in the East Village... Small, intimate, awesome.

                                        Jason - http://www.thursdayclubnyc.com

                                        5 Replies
                                          1. re: bosox

                                            Went to Vero Wine and Pannini Bar on the UES Friday night. I would not recommend it. The food was ok but way way overpriced. It also seemed more like a club scene than a relaxing wine bar in there. We will not be going back.

                                            1. re: jackieparis

                                              Try Casellula! It's not huge or clubby at all. But it can get pretty bustling at times.

                                              I've attached a few pics from our visit on Halloween. Pardon my poor photography ;)

                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  MMRuth, I would've answered sooner, but I didn't see... It's on 52nd near 9th ave. It's a good idea to make reservations if you go -- very crowded.

                                          2. Has anyone tried Cavatappo on 2nd Ave. at 90th St? I walk by it all the time and it looks good, but I have not had a chance to try it out.


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Eddie H.

                                              I've been there. It's very small and the food is very simple...meats and cheeses mostly. I think they use a toaster oven for a few of their plates (which isn't a knock, necessarily...it serves it's purpose...but just an indication of the tiny-ness of the place.) I think it's worth a visit.

                                            2. Another vote for Il Posto Accanto, the place is still going strong, and if you like Italian wine then this is the spot! Excellent meat and cheese plates as well

                                              1. what about Peasant Wine Bar on Elizabeth. it's downstairs from the more expensive but delicious street-level restaurant. has a cozy candle-lit atmosphere. but can get a bit crowded later on in the evening. or the recently opened Bacaro on Division street (it's also by the peasant people). they have a great downstairs which will be opened in two weeks.

                                                1. In Nolita on Elizabeth,Peasant's cellar wine bar and the just opened Bacaro on the LES near Division Street at the end of Orchard St. are excellent. Both have great food as well. I just was at Bacaro Sat. night. We had an excellent bottle of Valpolicella and amazing food. We shared the frito misto, lasagna and lamb shank on polenta. We sat upstairs, and waited a bit, but it was well worth it. They're opening the down stairs rooms in a week or so after their run through up stairs. The prices are comparably very reasonable.

                                                  1. I haven't been since summer, but Ostia on 7th Ave. in the Village was good last I went. They have a nice selection of wines (we got one of the least expensive bottles and it wasn't bad ... maybe an 88 or 89 by Wine Spectator standards). Tables are tight, but especially in the evening when the lights are dim, it's a romantic place. The wine / tapas place across the street on 7th is pricier, but also pretty decent. It's called Tasca or Tosca. I've heard complaints about this place, but mostly because it's overpriced, I think.

                                                    La Lanterna on the corner of Macdougal and W. 3rd has a legitimate selection of wines. The listings are extensive and a number are actually pretty good. They also have slightly more obscure options, like grappa, which I enjoy, but apparently no one else does (except for maybe old Italian men). Desserts are wonderful, and simpler plates are adequate. Don't go for anything very elaborate and you should be fine.

                                                    The Modern Bar Room, as much as it is sometimes abused on this board, is still good for wines by the glass, even if you disagree about the (un)reasonableness of the pricing for small plates.

                                                    I am going to make an effort to try casalula this week and will report back if I do. I'd love to hear your suggestions, too!

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: cimui

                                                      I want to take my fiance to a romantic wine bar on saturday. I was thinking The Monday Room, any other uber romantic places? pref on east side.

                                                      1. re: cimui

                                                        rilly short blurb on caselulla: good to very good wine, good food, nice space -- but WAY TOO CROWDED!!! it's too tight on space and well lit to be truly romantic in my book.

                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                          The OP didn't say anything about it having to be romantic!

                                                          Did you try the cheeses?

                                                          1. re: CornflakeGirl

                                                            Ah, I thought they did in a later post, no?

                                                            I didn't try the cheeses. That means I'll have to go back and do that. Darn!

                                                      2. Wine Bar on 2nd Ave between 3rd and 4th or Peasant on Elizabeth Street

                                                        1. I have to second anyone who said 8th Street Winecellar - I am surprised I haven't seen more written about it here! I was there this past weekend, split a bottle of New Zealand Savignon Blanc and had a glass of Prosecco. Also had some great apps - figs and bacon are dressed in marzipan (mmmm soooo delicous) tuna sliders, and mini pigs in a blanket. It was fairly crowded (saturday night), but we were seated at the bar and had a lovely experience. I would definitely recommend this place, but it may be more relaxing on a weeknight when it is less crowded.

                                                          1. My boyfriend and I really like Bourgeois Pig in the East Village - a french fondue place that refers to themselves as 'the dive bar of wine bars' very casual and romantic, tiny with tufted armchairs and setees with amazing and inexpensive fondue and half price bottles of wine for happy hour. Also good for appetizers and dessert.


                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: LenNJ

                                                              Oooh, you're right. I just went for the first time two weekends ago. That is one quality wine bar! They have really nice wine-based cocktails, as well.

                                                              I haven't tried anything but the fondue. What other dishes are worth trying on the menu?

                                                              1. re: cimui

                                                                Honestly, we love the gruyere fondue so much, we haven’t tried anything else except for the dark chocolate and cayenne dessert fondue which is also great but we did ogle the cheese board served at the table next to us (the ten cheeses plus many extras) and it looked like enough to feed a small family - will try that one next time along with the brie in filo, have made something similar at home and I have no doubt that will be good!

                                                                1. re: LenNJ

                                                                  This place sounds great, but does the smell of all the fondue interfere with tasting the wine? I find that a simmering, wafting pot of melted gruyere can get obtrusive even at high-ceiling airy spots like Artisanal.

                                                                  1. re: snaporaz

                                                                    The place does 'stink like cheese' - some nights are worse than others depending on what's being ordered - the place is really small so it lingers and you smell it even if you don't order fondue. BUT - this place is not really a wine tasting kind of place, it's down and dirty eat drink and be merry - probably best for people how don't take their wine too seriously - just love to drink it. BTW, when I say small, I mean the kitchen is about 2 feet squared and the cook and manager need to move out of the way so you can squeeze into the bathroom – but the place is very cozy and intimate and the lively french music and slightly burlesque décor make it fun.

                                                              2. re: LenNJ

                                                                Update - we were dying for some fondue and went back this past weekend, but will not be going back again. They moved to a new location across the street, upped the prices, shrunk the portions and de-flavorized the gruyere recipe. Oh well...

                                                                1. re: LenNJ

                                                                  Based on the reviews on this site, my husband and I tried to meet here last week. But when I arrived the owner blocked the door and wouldn't let me inside until he finished a cell phone call, then screamed "You're a b-tch!" when I told him we were leaving because he had been rude. With so many great NY wine bars, why go to one owned by someone who acts like a thuggish bouncer and verbally abuses women? I prefer places that treat customers like human beings.

                                                                2. try Alta, i think its on 10th st and 6th ave. Not really a wine bar but they have really delicious tapas and i think the wine was good too! I also went to a place right across from lincoln center last week that was really good but i have no idea what it was called!

                                                                  1. I haven't been in a while, but I really like Vino Vino in Tribeca (West Bway and Franklin). It's well designed, mellow, and has never been crowded or loud, even on weekends, which is really important to me. It's not cheap, but it has a good wine list with many boutique producers, and is connected to their wine store, which has a great selection IMO. The small plates are quite small and limited (a cheese plate, a cured meats plate, and a couple other small things). Definitely up there with my favorite NYC wine bars for ambience and by the glass options.

                                                                    1. One more thought... Perbacco East 4th @ Ave B. It's a Genovese style italian place, not technically a wine bar, but they have a great selection of unusual wines that are lovingly selected, and there's always someone there to help you select well and give you some tastes. Their menu is extensive, and there are lots of small tasty bites. Try the stuffed olives... batter fried green olives stuffed with ground beef and served in a brown paper cone... yum!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Candida

                                                                        Agreed...I love Perbacco. The sommelier is wonderful and always makes the perfect food & wine match.

                                                                      2. Don't forget about Ara in the Meatpacking District! It's on 9th Ave between 14th Street and Little West 12th--next door to the old neighborhood staple, the Hog Pit, and across the street from the Gansevoort Hotel. With a wonderful selection of wines and signature cocktails, knowledgable (and nice) staff, a bar full of regulars happy to strike up conversation with anyone seated to their left or right, Ara is a great place to go for a quiet drink. Relatively untouched by the insanity that has gripped the Meatpacking District since the tranny hookers got relegated to 10th Avenue and beyond, Ara also has a chill lounge in the back.

                                                                        1. A new favorite of mine is Pierre Loti on Irving Place (across the street from Casa Mono). They have a huge wine list from all over the world, in additional to around 30 wines by the glass. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Food wise, they have a rather large selection of cheeses and some delicious Mediterranean appetizers - the hummus is a must! I have become somewhat of a regular and don't imagine I will tire of it anytime soon. Check out their website for their wine menu:


                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jennie07

                                                                            I second Pierre Loti. Great ambiance. Nice selection of wines and tasty Turkish apps.

                                                                          2. I have to meet 5-6 friends from college somewhere in Midtown. I do have some favorites but they are too tiny. Are there wine bars that can comfortably sit 6-8 people?

                                                                            1. My Vote is Grape & Grain on 6th st. between Ave B & C in the East Village - good stuff!

                                                                              my foodie blog: http://www.thursdayclubnyc.com

                                                                              1. This is a great old thread. Does anyone have any recent thoughts on the best places for wine, small plates, mood and non-ridiculous prices? Thanks!

                                                                                LL - Toronto foodie

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: LemonLauren

                                                                                  In Vino in the East Village is great - very charming, specializes in Italian wines and they have great food. http://www.invino-ny.com

                                                                                  1. re: klb3129

                                                                                    I love In Vino. We meet stop there frequently.

                                                                                    1. re: klb3129

                                                                                      Any dishes you particularly like there?

                                                                                  2. Hi, just wanted to revive this old thread and see what the current favorites are when it comes to wine bars. I haven't been to a lot but out of the ones that I've been to, I liked Terroir a lot. Any other places that are a must? Thanks!

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: indiefoodie

                                                                                      Besides Terroir, I really like City Winery and Vin Sur Vingt.

                                                                                      1. re: indiefoodie

                                                                                        Huge fan of terrior here! Also enjoy:
                                                                                        bar jamon (but early-ish on a week night since its tiny),

                                                                                        pierre lotti,
                                                                                        riposo 46,
                                                                                        bin 71,
                                                                                        enoteca i triulli,
                                                                                        bar veloce,
                                                                                        xai xai,
                                                                                        wine 30....

                                                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                          I don't think you've noticed but you always seem to write it Terrior (vs TERROIR),

                                                                                          1. re: thegforceny

                                                                                            Auugh...you are SO right...! I disabled the spell check on my iphone....and probably shouldn't have!!

                                                                                        2. re: indiefoodie

                                                                                          I really love Barcibo Enoteca on Brdwy near W69th. The wine list is decent, they make great cocktails, we love the small plates and the atmosphere is really cozy. I really love everything about this place. Service is also great (very professional yet friendly) and I don't really find it to be too unbearably noisy even on weekends. Try the ricotta with thyme and honey as well as the sweet sausages w broccoli rabe and gigante beans. http://barciboenoteca.com/content/wel...