Until recently, if you wanted a “quality wine list” you had to get a table at one of the top restaurants in New York. You know, the ones like Per Se and Le Bernardin- the extremely nice, quite upscale, fine dining establishments. These were the institutions with the best sommeliers that were taking trips to Europe to scout out the best bottles, and while they were fabulous, they were also very expensive, and this meant only the wealthy got to experience the wines.
These days, with the millennial population being a key consumer of wines, our fair city has seen an uprising in smaller wine bars and restaurants that feature new and interesting bottles that won’t break the bank, particularly because their main audience is a much younger generation that can’t afford the $300 bottle at the drop of a hat.
Below is a list of five places in Manhattan and Brooklyn that have fantastic wine lists that are priced fairly but also have wonderful food.
Chef Gabriel is among one of the top chefs in New York with his Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Europe and now here in NYC with his flagship namesake. The prices of the bottles may seem high but in comparison with the quality of food, as well as the individuality of the wine, the glasses are affordable for their degree of excellence.
If you’re looking for something fantastic and glamorous for a night out, you’re going to the 21 Club. It’s not a mild experience, to say the least, but the reason it’s on here is because the wine list is so extensive that there are bottles and glasses at every price point, and they’re all top-notch wines. If you’re not feeling the four-course dinner, you can enjoy some tasty little bites in their bar room while reading the novel that is their wine list.
Daniel Boulud is one of the kings of New York fine dining and similarly to Gabriel Kreuther, the prices on his wine list are right on par with the level of quality in his food. It’s definitely not a cheap night but you’re getting the best of the best from the dinner menu as well as the wine list. You get the wonderful experience of being taken care of by a high-class sommelier without drowning in the price of your vino.
Although the word “bar” is in the name, this is also a full-blown restaurant. They have a fabulous Italian menu with all of the delicious treats you could think of, plus a wine list that is a normal bar price. The caveat here is that many of their wines are only available by the bottle but that’s partially because the wines they offer aren’t that common, as they are D.O.C (hence the name) and have come straight from Italy.
Another wine bar that offers a beautiful list from around the world that will tickle your taste buds without draining your wallet. The culinary menu isn’t as extensive as the others but if you’re looking for wine, this is a great place to go. You can get everything by the glass and the charcuterie is a perfect snack.
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