To make un-fine wine, simply place grapes beneath a silk pillow, repeatedly mash your head against it, and then wring the pillowcase into a nearby mouth. Taste traditionally produced fine wines with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of wine and Italian tapas at Cellar 58 Wine Bar/Enoteca, located in the heart of the East Village near Second Avenue and Third Street.
Cellar 58 offers a meticulously hand-selected list of more than 120 international and local wines, as well as an extensive menu of Italian-inspired small plates. Steer starters such as fried calamari ($9), eggplants al funghetto with goat cheese ($10), and tuna carpaccio with spicy avocado ($13) past your tongue thruway, or savor beautifully presented cheese and cold-cut plates paired with balsamic jam and grapes ($23.90 for nine cheeses/meats). Entree-wise, Chilean sea bass swims happily alongside cherry tomatoes, capers, and mixed herbs ($19.90), while a glass of Valpolicella Classico DOC Viviani ($11) plays nicely with rich lasagna prepared with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil ($12.50).
Featuring heavy hitters from the world's major, minor, and up-and-coming vineyards and vintages, Cellar 58 includes under-the-radar regions often unseen on wine lists, including wines from South Africa, Bulgaria, and Austria. Sip a Delaille sauvignon blanc "unique" from France ($14 a glass) while basking in a cozy and inviting atmosphere. With low lighting, dark wood accents, and exposed brick, Cellar 58 offers a superb setting for first dates or low-key celebrations for tee-ball teams composed of only adults 21 and over. Call ahead to make a reservation.
- [B]esides the 120+ international wine selection, they're doing a pretty extensive small plates menu (flatbread pizzas, pastas, bruschetta, etc.) which doesn't set them apart from other wine bars…but we felt great amore for everything we tried. – John Del Signore, Gothamist
- Petite space good for date nights, thanks to candlelight, the elegance of marble. – Black Book
- I can not say enough about this place. To keep it short, it is the best place in NYC. The wine selection, food, music, staff and ambiance are all top notch at an affordable price. – L O., Yelp
Like any good basement, Cellar 58 is full of secrets. Hidden in the back of the East Village eatery is a wine-tasting room that shelters more than 150 different bottles, including some that hail from overlooked countries, such as Greece and Bulgaria. In addition, the wine bar's frequently changing selection features more than 30 wines by the glass.
From the Press
- "Wine enthusiasts eager to explore new territory should take a seat at one of the long marble tables at this mural-adorned East Village wine bar." — Time Out New York
- "It makes for the ideal venue for lingering over the international wine list comprising the world's major, minor and up-and-coming varietals, vineyards and vintages." — Gayot
- "The pours come from all corners of the world, and not just the currently budget-friendly Chile and New Zealand- Greece, Austria, and Bulgaria all make an appearance." — New York magazine
Beyond the Wine List
There is also a surprising treasure in the front dining room. The marble-topped tables play host to entrees and small plates prepared by chef Fabio Bano, who comes to Cellar 58 from the ultraprivate Soho House. Using cooking methods that he learned and perfected in Italy, Bano handcrafts pastas and inventive desserts, which, like top-secret memos, melt satisfyingly upon entering the mouth.