CLOS Wine Bar owner and certified sommelier Mine Ayberk personally chooses every option on the bar's wine list, focusing especially on Old World, single-vineyard wines. As it turns out, Ms. Ayberk's selection has more wines than her bar has seats. With enough space for just under 20 guests, CLOS carries an intimate aura, surrounding visitors with warm tones, handcrafted finishings, and works from local artists. Clambering across the hardwood floors, the CLOS staff doles out specially prepared gourmet plates designed to enhance the wine-drinking experience. But much like its owner, the bar's staff members aren't just shadows in the background: each is a certified sommelier, and each speaks multiple languages. This means guests can enjoy some European pizzazz without having to join a pen-pal program for adults.
With more than 10,000 brands of champagne in the world, how do you choose which ones to try? You could close your eyes and throw a dart at the shelf in a wine store?or, you could have a champagne expert narrow down the selection to a couple hundred kinds, and taste them at a lavish party.
The Night of Champagne is such a party, curated by the Champagne Sommelier and set inside Ambassador Wine and Spirits. On both floors of the store, guests snack on hors d'oeuvres and sample myriad champagnes, comparing vintages, non-vintages, and ros?s. Those with VIP tickets, meanwhile, participate in a speed tasting of high-end brands, including Dom Perignon, Krug, and Cristal.
For the uninitiated, caviar and the culture that surrounds it may seem shrouded in mystery. Not so at Olma Caviar Boutique & Bar, where the caviar options are laid out in front of you behind a panel of curved glass. Here, dozens of red and black caviar varieties tempt palates: the current selection includes sturgeon-sourced Russian Osetra Karat caviar and red salmon caviar, whose bright red orbs burst with sweetness. Guests can take their roe on blinis, open-face sandwiches, or paired with other gourmet eats such as smoked lox and foie gras. To add even more elegance, Olma also offers espresso bar drinks as well as wine, champagne, and cocktails.
Mozzarella-drenched steak heroes, crab cakes with housemade tartar sauce and corn relish, a full bar of domestic and imported brews, plus cocktails. There are plenty of palate-pleasing reasons that Brooklyn Colony endures in neighborhood hearts, and its atmosphere??flanked by brick and red walls??only charms further. But for many, Brooklyn Colony's biggest draw is its calendar. Chock-full of entertainment and interactive events, the restaurant's agenda book is as stuffed as its mushroom- and cheese-laden portobello burger, and as creative as its treble clef chowder. Blues bands, Beatles brunches, karaoke, and jam sessions are among the establishment's friendship-fomenting activities.
Dolly Parton, Celia Cruz, and Liza Minnelli make larger-than-life appearances at Divine NYC, a cabaret-style restaurant where performers conjure these divas through female impersonation. The show schedule changes, but whoever appears on stage keeps things interesting with song- and comedy-routines sprinkles through brunch and dinner. As the performers sing, dance, and banter, diners select dishes from the eclectic menu, which features American, Caribbean, Italian, and Tex-Mex specialties.
At Levity Live Comedy Club, renowned comedians such as Kevin Nealon and Susie Essman have graced the same stage as up-and-coming comics including Elliot Chang and Sam Morril. In addition to its live shows and a variety of pub grub and drinks, the club also offers classes through Manhattan Comedy School. Eight-week sessions help fledgling comedians with everything from developing a persona to lightening up a goldfish?s funeral.