True to its name, Just Grapes Lounge focuses on wines, with more than 30 vintages poured by the glass and 18 more varieties sequestered on a reserve bottle list. Microbrews, champagnes, and ports round out the lounge's full bar, complementing a Mediterranean-tinged tapas menu. Small plates, ranging from hummus and crostini to stuffed baked clams, are ideal for smothering appetites or boosting a tiny table's self-esteem. Three styles of rustic pizza artfully pair tomatoes with cheese, whereas molten fondue, served in a bread bowl, comes in varieties including gorgonzola and double-cream brie.
Unlike its eclectic selection of seasonal dishes, Lura Restaurant features a design theme hinged on two simple materials: wood and rock. Walls lined with exposed stone and brick surround stained-wood tables, thick timber columns, and a wooden mantle above a fireplace. Patrons gather in the rustic setting to share Mediterranean-style tapas, which may include sun-dried-tomato hummus, tahini artichoke hearts, and Italian-style fettuccini with fennel sausage or to devour individual dishes, such as grilled tiger shrimp and steak frites. As its cocktail-embedded logo suggests, Lura Restaurant also offers a number of mixed drinks, wine, and beer that pair perfectly with the seasonally changing menu and your frenemy’s face.
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).
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.
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.