Tag Archives: Wine Bar

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

What used to be a little wine bar called Terroir has transformed into a temple for oysters, oysters, and more oysters. The bivalves are available in all forms – I really loved the baked oysters with seaweed butter, prosciutto pieces, and shaved eggs. Take that Oysters Rockefeller! But if raw, fried, or pickled is your thing, those are available here and all with fresh curated varieties. Oh and there’s still plenty of wine. Price: $9.75
ZADIE’S OYSTER ROOM
413 East 12th Street (between First Avenue and Avenue A),
East Village
(646) 602-1300
zadiesoysterroom.com

My search for the best beer in New York continues….

I don’t like to do what everybody else does. So when I go to a wine bar, I turn my nose up at all those Cabs and Syrahs and instead I ask, “What’s on tap?”

That can now be a loaded question since many bars and restaurants are actually putting wine on tap. And I would think most people who order from the tap at the downtown location of Terroir are indeed drinking their popular Gotham Project Riesling. But Teroir Tribeca also has five impressive craft beers for people like me who want to cause trouble.

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Category: Beer

Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

Pretzels are definitely one of the iconic foods of New York. Right up there with pizza, pastrami, and bagels. So I suppose one day I probably should do an official search for the best on the blog. Except there aren’t as many options as you’d think. Most people think NY pretzels and they think street vendors. And they’d be right. Most of the pretzels sold in the city are from carts and unfortunately, they’re not very good. They’re usually stale and almost burnt with either too much salt or not enough.

Besides the street vendors and German restaurants, there are a handful of pretzel sellers throughout the city, most notably at Greenmarkets or Street Fairs. And it wouldn’t surprise me if we soon see a wave of gourmet pretzel shops open in hip neighborhoods of downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn – like Sigmund Pretzel Shop in the Lower East Side.

Time Out included an entry on their list that might be the last place you’d think to look for a NY-style pretzel. But there it is on the menu of a romantic cozy little wine bar in the far reaches of Hell’s Kitchen on 52nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenue. An area I assure you most tourists would never look.

As soon as we walked into Ardesia, I could tell how much I would like this place. There was no level of pretension like at most wine bars in the city. Just a laid-back atmosphere with good service, a nice wine selection, and an interesting menu of small plates.

Besides the pretzels, we ordered a beet and goat cheese salad, the caramelized brussels sprouts, and a Weisswurst that gives nearby Hallo Berlin a run for its money. All were tasty with attention to quality and flavor.

The order came with two decent-sized pretzels and I could feel the heat rising and smell that they were freshly baked. It was a little too easy to tear into the soft, buttery dough. And each yeasty bite easily melted in my mouth. These were really fantastic pretzels. They were sprinkled with just the right amount of salt and were served with two great dipping sauces.

The spicy Dijon mustard was actually spicy (with a tiny hint of sweetness) and cleared my sinuses right up (I didn’t even know they were clogged). It fell somewhere between wasabi and the killer mustard at McSorley’s. And the cheese sauce was surprisingly smooth and fresh. I suppose it’s a play on Cheez Whiz, but it’s light and clearly made from the real stuff.

I don’t want to call this the best pretzel in New York. I’ll save those comments for a later more in-depth food adventure. But the ones at Ardesia are pretty good and make me think there’s a whole world of undiscovered pretzels in the city. I guess you just have to know where to look.

Would Ardesia’s Homemade NY-Style Pretzels make my Top 100 of the year? They’re helped out by tangy and savory sauces, but they’d still get an 8 out of 10 because on their own, they’re soft, warm, salty, and delicious. All the things you’d hope for in a New York pretzel.

ARDESIA
510 West 52nd Street (between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue)
Hell’s Kitchen
(212) 247-9191
ardesia-ny.com

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