Tolani Wine Restaurant marries fine wines and an eclectic menu in an upscale lounge and dining room. Candlelight filters through crimson glasses and bottles in the upstairs lounge, where pours pair with charcuterie and cheese. A crystal chandelier hangs above a flight of stairs that leads to the stone-wrought dining room, its walls lined with a bottle-filled cellar and brick walls. The restaurant's menu of small and medium plates features upscale interpretations of a wide variety of dishes from around the globe, served indoors or on the outdoor patio, guarded on all sides by stone and several for-hire sorcerers.
Bar Luna Wine Bar's menus are filled with delicious edibles that offer guests an authentic taste of the boot country’s cuisine. Start off a romantic evening with a plate of three assorted cheeses and charcuterie ($9)—choosing from options such as french brie, swiss tête-de-moine, prosciutto, speck, and more—and a manchego salad with dates, walnuts, and green pear pieces ($9). Limber tongues can move on to more-substantial tastings with bresaola pizza ($10) or a broiled filet of salmon with a chopped Mediterranean sidekick ($17). Customers who show up for brunch can sample yogurt parfait with mixed berries and house-made granola ($7) or stuffed french toast topped with caramelized red pears and chocolate sauce ($7).
Pappardella is just a short walk from Central Park, but it feels like an authentic Italian trattoria. Inside, a colorful mural of Florence sprawls across the walls. The menu sticks to traditional Italian cuisine, using homemade sauces and pastas to craft entrees such as rigatoni bolognese and linguine with roasted Brussels sprouts. Alternatively, diners can sample seared wild king salmon or pollo milanese made with free-range chicken. Pair entrees with a wine bottled directly from a wine river in Italy, or wrap up dinner with a dulcet tiramisu.
In a way, Kilo is much like kindergarten. It teaches one to share, and there are plenty of blocks to play with—they're just stuck in the walls and called bricks. With an ever-evolving seasonal menu, the tapas restaurant allows guests to dine socially on small, shareable plates of marinated mixed olives, goat-cheese crostini, and ceviche tacos. Whenever possible, Kilo sources its ingredients from local farms and artisans.
The space is small, but the ambiance is carefully cultivated to welcome an upscale crowd. The decor falls somewhere between minimalist and well appointed, with racks of wine hanging from one exposed brick wall and framed photos lining an adjacent painted one. A rustic yet finely sanded wood-grain bar looks up to a galaxy of wineglasses, and a modicum of natural sunlight crawls from the all-glass façade to the back of the space. The kitchen begins to serve small plates at 4:30 p.m., and reds and whites from the wine menu fill glasses until the restaurant closes at midnight.
Fusing the best parts of a posh New York nightspot and a low-key Moroccan hideaway, Disiac Lounge graces nightly crowds with a menu of falafels, paninis, and cheese plates to pair with a panoply of sumptuous cocktails. Plush red stools line the neon-lit bar, where tenders whip up a host of chocolate-liqueur-infused libations, stir signature martinis in 16 flavors, and pour spirits aged in the choicest of camel humps. Bedecked with hints of crimson and gold, the intimate lounge plays host to a daily happy hour, and can be reserved in advance for private parties. Profilers from New York magazine praise the laid-back lounge for its mesmerizing interior, and maintain the bar's real draw lies in "pleasant patio […] laden with lanterns and Moroccan-style poufs for perching." Readers also chimed in with an almost-perfect 9 out of 10 review, only previously achieved when Roger Ebert reviewed the film adaptation of Ebert: An Autobiography.
Yes, there is such a thing as the American Cheese Society. What’s more, it’s an honor of the highest degree to be named a member of that society’s inaugural class of Certified Cheese Professionals. Fromager Dimitri Saad counts himself among that prestigious group, and one trip to Casellula Cheese & Wine Café is enough to see why. Saad has curated a menu of more than 40 cheeses from around the world. The menu is divided into five sections: fresh, bloomy, washed, pressed/cooked, and blue. Cheese isn’t all that Casellula has going for it. Proprietor and wine director Brian Keyser has carefully designed a wine list to accompany the cheese and food menus, the latter of which focuses on contemporary American cuisine. In another wine bar, this focus on gourmet food and drink might come with more than a hint of pretension. Not here—Casellula welcomes guests to dress casually and order in Pig Latin for all they care.