Shake off that Hangover (or 4 days in New York)
Well, I’m not proud to admit this, but it’s taken almost a week to recover from the hangover 4 days in NYC gave to me. I don’t regret a single ounce of anything that touched my lips in that city.
Metropolitan New York isn’t a wine producing region, but I’d argue it’s the best city for wine in the United States, if not the world. It’s only here that you can go from a Campania-focused lunch, to a fancy Champagne bar, and to a pizza place with an extensive wine list and Chateau d’Yquem via Coravin.
With that, I give you the NYC round-up, Uncorked style.
Day 1: You’re here, it’s time to drink.
Corkbuzz Wine Studio, where I’ve spent many a night and fallen in love is still a buzzing spot even on Tuesdays. Champagne Campaign–the late night deal offering 50% off bottles of bubbly, is still the way to go.
Mother’s Ruin, a tiny cocktail-centric scene was new to me, but after 4 hours it isn’t anymore. Classic, delicious cocktails–but don’t try to hang out after 4am…Sh*t gets real.
Day 2: Get Up. Wine lunches start early.
Il Gattopardo, a chic Upper East Side haunt hosted a Wines of Campania seminar and lunch, exploring the wines of central Italy alongside classic Neapolitan fare. The best part was fresh pasta with pork shoulder alongside a well-aged Taurasi, and I can’t wait to go back.
If you need to escape a hot midtown afernoon and want to feel special, Aldo Sohm Wine Bar is the place. Nestled below the famed Le Bernardin on 51st street, this cool, dimly lit wine bar can reenergize you almost as much as a power nap. Plush, pillow-covered couches and a bottle of Pierre Peters Blanc de Blanc Champagne is guaranteed to get you through.
Marta is topping charts with its combination of well-priced Italian wines and wood-fired pizzas in Grammercy. Luckily, one of my favorites is a sommelier there, so she guided us through gems like the Zucchini Blossom Pizza, arancini, and Funghi Pizza, all paired with 2004 Bollinger. The real treat? 1996 Chateau d’Yquem poured via Coravin. It was everything you’d expect (read: honey, pears, apricots, flowers, granite minerality, savory meets fruity meets heavenly) from the undisputed God of Sauternes.
After such a classic, it was naturally time to rebel at Rebelle. Tons of funky white bottles on the list at this new wine bar, and a dim, dark atmosphere that makes you feel like a bad kid for ordering another bottle…until it arrives promptly and is so damn good.
50 Paces, the bar formerly known as Terroir E.Vil, hasn’t changed much–it’s still a tiny, ten seat enclave that’s quiet and filled with favorite bottles, like Donkey and Goat bla bla.
After all that wine, it was time for more pizza. This time courtesy of Artichoke Pizza, a classic late-night spot with gigantic $5 slices that some say will prevent a hangover. This hypothesis has no factual basis, nor was it accurate in my case.
Day 3: Keep going, there’s a party tonight.
Located in the heart of Grand Central, Fonda del Sol dishes up Spanish cuisine with American touches like grilled swordfish with beet puree, a shockingly good pairing with Spanish wines like those I tried from Gil Family Estates. Their Kentia Albariño was an especially good match. I rarely dine in Grand Central or its surrounding area, but Fonda is worth wading through some businessmen.
DBGB–Daniel Boulud’s casual gastro-pub, is great for more than its house-made sausages. We celebrated a birthday here with one of the city’s best seafood platters, alongside a big bottle of Crémant d’Alsace–a rich, creamy sparkler that contrasted beautifully with briny oysters and rich crab.
Extra Fancy is a quaint, New England style seafood spot in Williamsburg, that’s just fancy enough. It was also the location of the super surprise birthday party that followed DBGB, and the Rieslings and bubbly on their list didn’t disappoint. Plus, they’ve got a fantastic back yard, and just enough lighting to make things feel cozy.
Day 4: When will this headache stop?/I LOVE NEW YORK
Champion Coffee, one of my favorite Brooklyn caffeine haunts is now open in the Meatpacking, and let’s be real–coffee needed to happen. After that surprise party and all those wine lunches. Not only is their dark roast excellent, but they even dish up coconut water cold brew, so you can get caffeine and electrolytes all at once. (As my friend pointed out, Sephora is just a block away, hangover faces can be fixed for free..)
All fairly raised, all the time is the motto at Bare Burger, a fantastic Chelsea burger spot where Bison and Elk can come on your sprouted grain or brioche bun. Plus, they serve inexpensive, strawberry-fruited rosé by the pitcher–what’s not to love? (After one coffee, it’s always back to wine)
Calling Roof hot spot is an understatement. We could barely squeeze through the door of this nondescript office building before we rode to the top, where freestanding fireplaces and chic park avenue types clustered with cocktails. These drinks aren’t cheap, but the cocktails (like one I had) are 99% booze and still taste downright amazing. Watch out, they might make you extra sentimental about smelly summers in NYC.
Sushi Dojo in the East Village is THE place to go if you’re ready to drop some cash for an amazing and totally unique sushi experience. Chef Dave will keep the sake coming as the Omakase (15 course bite tasting menu) shows up plate by plate. Remember, sake is way stronger than wine.
Day 4.5: Time to Budget.
Ok, so I was in New York for just over 4 days, at which point the bargains of BYOB were starting to become desirable. Insert Peking Duck House, AKA the best meal $31 buys in the city. Nestled off Mott street, Peking Duck is a bit touristy, but there’s nothing like duck tacos with scallions and hoisin sauce. Plus, its great for groups, and BYOB means drinking Vouvray, Champagne, and seven other bottles of wine alongside duck, then traditional Chinese, and finger foods of all sorts won’t run up your tab.
Pouring Ribbons is another East Village hole in the wall where cocktails are the name of the game. On Mondays, you order anything that’s not a Tiki drink, and though Ketel One was calling my name, the Kava Cup (which came full of flowers) did the job much, much, much better. Plus, free rum tasting. DUH.
There’s never a reason to go straight home at 2am. Regardless of your neighborhood, there’s sure to be an Anonymous Deli happy to serve up breakfast sandwiches at 3am. It’s the only way to end a night…or 5.