If it’s not clear from its name, MoonShine Modern Supper Club is an amalgamation of concepts. This is also demonstrated in its dark walls and bright paintings of pink birds and horses, and its menu that takes comfort-food classics and adds a spin of sophistication. Appetizers of truffle gnocchi with meatballs bathe in sherry-cream sauce, and the duck egg and hash is served with duck confit, peppers, and onions. Cooks put a twist on classic ravioli, filling it with sheep-milk ricotta and piling on hazelnuts, brown butter, and a pear puree, and they dress roasted atlantic salmon in cilantro-basil pesto and chorizo. A restaurant called MoonShine wouldn’t be complete without its share of housemade beverages, and double-certified sommelier and mixologist Joe San Philip delivers. His take on the manhattan combines white whiskey with Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, cherry bitters, and a cherry garnish. The Winter Moonshine Punch takes cranberry-infused Midnight Moonshine and adds cinnamon-infused rye whiskey, amaretto, pomegranate juice, and walnut bitters.
Spherical lights seem to drift in smooth bubbly spirals up toward the ceiling of Fl?te Bar & Lounge?s Gramercy location. Conversation bursts effervescently off walls and artwork in a palette of ros? pinks and prosecco tans. Myriad champagnes and sparkling wines, including Perrier-Jou?t gran brut and a range of cavas, form lacelike crowns of bubbles in an atmosphere that aims to blend the French art de vivre aesthetic with a dash of NYC nightclub. Patrons can select single flutes or bottles, or they can sample several flights that showcase different grapes, a single producer, or the patience of a waitress willing to help you pick out all the bubbles. Cocktails lean heavily on sparkling wines and include bellinis, a blend of prosecco and fruit puree, which pair nicely with small plates of cheese and fruit or foie gras terrine.
Fl?te now operates locations in Midtown, Gramercy, and Paris. In Midtown, visitors descend a short flight of stairs before sinking into intimate booths or plush benches. The original Midtown location celebrates its speakeasy roots with fiery jazz nights every Saturday, complete with performers and guests alike dressed in period apparel.
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.
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 fa?ade 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.
One might assume Kurt Gutenbrunner’s wine bar is trying to hide something from the West Village residents who walk past its narrow storefront everyday. After all, The Upholstery Store is not actually an upholstery store. It’s something far more interesting: a cozy wine bar outfitted with rustic furnishings, framed Clifford Ross photographs, and—no surprise here—sheets of upholstery fabric draped across walls of exposed brick.
An Austrian native, Gutenbrunner didn’t have to look far from home when developing his idiosyncratic wine bar. He enlisted the services of an Austrian architect to design the space, and he was rewarded with a minimalist décor that makes the most of the slender real estate. The wine list is also heavily Austrian—a breath of fresh air in a city with so many French and Italian options—as is the menu, which conveys a refined sensibility with its cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and doilies dipped in hot sauce.
Although the Atlantic Ocean separates L’Ybane’s Manhattan location from its station in Nice, France, little changes across that distance. Mediterranean influences are the constant, guiding both locales’ robust lists of Lebanese-style mezzes, or small tasting plates. At L’Ybane on Eighth Avenue, chefs add splashes of imported olive oil to dishes of marinated broad beans or cumin-spiced yogurt. In addition to lebanese sausages and grilled skewers of lamb, the menus feature vegetarian-friendly options, including meatless moussaka and cabbage leaves stuffed with basmati rice. Befitting its Old-World inspiration, L’Ybane’s decor combines rustic and stately elements amid soft candlelight. Round bistro-style tables tuck up to a wall of high-backed booth seating, although the restaurant also features more distinctive dining arrangements, such as a table with a Victorian armchair. In the evenings, L’Ybane transforms into a spirited environment as DJs and live bands perform for the nighttime crowds.