Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Terroir NYC : East Village, Wine Bar

I just recently moved to the fun, yet filthy East Village from the crime-free, yet ho-hum neighborhood of Gramercy. So, as of late,  I've been acquainting myself with all the various watering holes and cafes in the vicinity.  Last night, I had plans to meet my friend, Amy, who I met at the tasting room at  The Vines of Mendoza in Argentina while giddily swilling luscious flights of Malbec and Torrontes.  Apropos of our original introduction, she suggested meeting at a wine bar somewhere in the hood. I've strolled by the wine bar, Terroir, a number of times, but never tried the place, because it looked so formal from the outside looking in, but decided to give it a go and was surprised at how laid back and enjoyable my experience was there.  

Befitting the low-key nature of Terroir, the tables are communal and the space is cozy. The waitstaff is friendly, approachable and knowledgeable. The actual menu consists of a hefty, three-ring binder of information that includes jokey descriptions of drinks and comedic digressions in between the very serious and comprehensive wine list.  After a long week of binge drinking, I didn't think my body could take the migraine-inducing tannins, so I decided not have wine--horror of horrors--instead,  I had their specialty drink called the Abbey Flip, made of pomegranate molasses, coriander, nutmeg, egg yolks and Ommegang Abbey Ale. The concoction was rich, sweet and very satisfying. The egg apparently mellows out the beer a bit. A perfect drink for a winter/autumn day.  

The Abbey Flip

The food was not bad, we ordered the following: 
Dumpling and Escarole Soup: Despite the limp escarole, but the broth was flavorful and the dumplings were yummy.
Bacalao Bruschetta:  Rich, a bit too heavy for me.  
Arugula Salad: So fresh, slightly sweet and dressed perfectly.
Creamed Rapini with breadcrumbs:  Loved it. 
Olive Oil Cake with Roasted Apples: A bit too dry and the apples were cold.

I didn't order them, but the fried sage leaves and lamb sausages are supposed to be great.

For the ambience and wine list alone, I would absolutely hit this place again.  Bar Jamon in Gramercy was my go-to wine bar,  but now that I've moved, Terroir is definitely in the running as its replacement. 

Another reason to go is the weeknight "Happy Hour" between 5-6 PM, when glasses are only $6!!!  Un bon marché!


413 E 12th St
New York, NY 10009
(646) 602-1300

Photo via: Grapes and Grains

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