Visiting a cozy wine bar is one of my favorite activities. My perfect ending to a long day is often a goblet of red and an amazing nibble. In order to set up a superb evening, great food must accompany each glass. My picks this week combine delightful wines and food to match.
Guyer’s (286 Columbus Avenue) The candlelit brick lined bar at Guyer’s is both relaxing and sexy. Couples and small groups will enjoy the chill vibe and tasty snacks. The small wine list starts at $12 and includes a finely curated list of both old world and new world wines. Enjoy half off select wine daily from 4-7 p.m. for a real treat. Do not leave without ordering a Flatbread Pizza. They are off-the-charts crispy and full of fresh toppings like truffles, filet mignon and proscuitto ($23). If you’re drinking cabernet, order the Angus Beef Sliders for a party in your mouth. The wine list includes Europe, New Zealand, California and Oregon selections. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and will help you find the perfect grape.
Bin 71 (237 Columbus) I am a sucker for homemade pasta. In addition to a delightful wine list, Bin 71 offers a supremely fresh pasta menu item every day. My favorite is the Gnocchi with Veal Bolognese ($19). I find most portions are large enough to share so plan on ordering several appetizers. Try the Meatballs with White Wine, Bay Leaves and Lemon Broth ($16) served with crispy toasted bread for dipping. A glass of unoaked chardonnay is the perfect pairing. They offer 30+ wines by the glass in addition to a modest but nicely curated bottle list. Most offerings are European with a small boutique selection from California. Glasses start at $9 and craft beers are $8. The entire restaurant, without outdoor seating, seats about twenty five people so it is best for small groups of four or date nights. The charcuterie and cheese plates shouldn’t be overlooked and are generous in size to go along with your vino.
Tessa (349 Amsterdam Avenue) Unlike my other picks, Tessa offers a large sprawling bar, an ample dining room and family style communal tables for groups of any size. Tessa boasts a extensive menu including both small plates and full dinners. Select the Grilled Branzino with broccoli rabe, fingerling potato and fennel puree ($32) for an elegant dish bursting with fresh ingredients. The fragrant house-made Fries with Rosemary Salt ($9) go with absolutely any varietal. For a special occasion, their upscale menu delivers something for everyone. Visit daily from 4-6 p.m. for half off specialty cocktails, all beers and select wines.