Wednesday, April 25, 2012

City Winery: A Review

Wow, I've just realized that I haven't done a review in a long time.  In fact, I haven't done one since last summer!  This isn't to say that I haven't been gallivanting around town and checking out new spots.  I just haven't been focusing on it like I should have been.  I'm about to fix that.  I have a few reviews coming your way.  I'm on a travel stint which will last approximately two weeks, so my home-cooked meals shall be non-existent for a hot minute.

Instead, I will tell you allll about this cool venue in New York City called City Winery.  In case you haven't put "two" and "two" together yet, this is a winery which happens to be located in NYC.  Can you really get much better than that?  I'm pretty sure it would be difficult to top this.  But they try.  Because City Winery is also a popular music venue. There's a musician or a band playing on the built-in stage just about everyday.  What don't you love about that?

During the week, the Barrel Room at City Winery is open for lunch.  The Barrel Room happens to be an attached 30-seat cafe/tasting room with 11 wines on tap.  Did you just hear what I said?  11 wines on tap.  Sweet be-jeebus.

My mom was in town to attend my dance show last weekend, so we decided to try out the cafe.  I've been in the Barrel Room before, but it was at night.  However, you can really appreciate it's beauty during the daytime hours.  This narrow space has an entire wall of windows looking out over Varick St in Soho.  We were seated right next to the window, which gave my mom an excellent view of the sidewalk so she could people-watch, which happens to be one of her favorite hobbies.

bottle lamps. what?

I've had pleasant experiences with the City Winery Cabernet Sauvignon ("NY Cab") in the past, so I ordered a carafe to split with my mom.  Our server told us a carafe holds ~3 glasses of wine, but I'm pretty sure it was closer to 4.  Oh well, you shouldn't let good wine go to waste!

The new Spring menu options were numerous, so I perused the items for a while before deciding upon a simple, fresh spinach salad. This spinach salad came with apples, pecans, and blue cheese.  (Yes, the cheese in the picture below looks like cheddar cheese, but it's not! It's blue cheese!)  I swapped out the original buttermilk dressing in favor of a red wine vinaigrette.  This combination was fantastic.  The dressing was tangy and paired well with the sweet apples and the creamy cheese.  The spinach and the pecans gave a nice crunch with each bite.
blingin' and perusin'

Of course I couldn't be too healthy, so I decided to order a side of herbed fries.  Let me tell you that City Winery's herbed fries have changed my life.  I will never completely give up starches as long as they keep making these.  These fries were actually the inspiration for my Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.  Think of thick wedges of fries (sometimes they're thin wedges of fries) coated in salt and a fresh rosemary and herb mix.  I want some just thinking about this.  I need to move on...

My mom decided to go with the Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella Flatbread or pizza.  My mom only likes thin, crispy gourmet pizzas and this one was a winner.  It comes with melted mozz spread over a thin, crunchy crust.  Fragrant, freshly torn basil is sprinkled on top.  This pie was just excellent.  There's nothing else to say.

Even if you just decide to have an after-work drink in the Soho area, I recommend stopping on over to City Winery.  In addition to great food, drink, and service, a lot of thought went into the decor.  This place seems to incorporate wine bottles pretty much everywhere you look.  My favorites happen to be the bottle lamps and the spiral staircase lined with a wall of bottles.  I need these to somehow appear in my apartment.  This staircase may be a little more difficult to manage, but where there's a will, there's a way!

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