Oui, French wine bars have taken over New York City. And I couldn’t be happier. A cheese or charcuterie platter at any of my picks this week, are meals within themselves, and supremely fresh and satisfying. Expect to hear French being spoken by both the wait staff and patrons.
Le Pif (2 locations) Le Pif boasts forty interesting French wines by the glass from all over the country. On any given day you will find specials like “A Tour of Rhone” that includes six reds for $40. If you find a favorite, order it because they will swap wines out quite often. The Chelsea location is right down the stairs on West 23rd Street at the end of the Highline. A bite at Le Pif is an exciting way to start, end or take a wine break from your walk. Tasty French cheeses are three for $19, five for $31 and seven for $42. Sign up for Le Pif University wine tastings at the Chelsea location every Monday from 7-8:30 p.m. for $55 per person and $100 per couple. These tastings include eight wines and a charcuterie board. Try one of their French Flat Breads like the Bourguignonne with short ribs, caramelized onions and gruyère for $22. Save with $6 Canapes and $9 wines from 3-6 p.m., 7 p.m. at the bar.
Vin Sur Vingt (6 locations) Vin manages to be a perfect neighborhood wine bar with six locations throughout New York City. The owners focus is on simplicity, authenticity and value. The menu includes an extensive list that continuously rotates 250 wines by the bottle and 50 wines by the glass. The light French fare menu is inspired by the owners grandmother. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will guide you toward the wine selection that will best pair with your food choices. You must try the Cassolettes, unique appetizers served in mini mason jars. One is better than the next when sharing with wine. Three items are $22 and five choices are $32. Served with crunchy French bread, you can’t help but smile. Saddle up to the bar before 6 p.m. for $10 glass specials or visit after 10 p.m. for 25% off bottles.
Amélie (2 locations) If you like to live dangerously, visit Amélie where the wines offered can change daily. You never know what you might find! From 5-7 p.m. you can customize a three wine flight for $10 at the bar and tables. In addition to cheeses, the Tuna Tartare
with avocado, sesame chips and lemon vinaigrette ($18) pairs beautifully with a crisp Rousanne. Book in advance for dinner as it is a small space known for endlessly filling your corbeille à pain (bread basket.) Amélie is a nice pick for a date night or girl’s night out.