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 150 international and local wines, as well as an extensive menu of Italian-inspired small plates. Steer starters such as fried calamari ($8.50), baby beets with goat cheese ($9), and tuna carpaccio with lemon oil and sesame ($13) past your tongue thruway, or savor beautifully presented cheese and cold-cut plates ($28.00 for nine cheeses/meats). Entree-wise, little neck clams swim happily alongside linguine, fresh chili, and lemon zest ($13), while a glass of Valpolicella Classico DOC Viviani ($11) plays nicely with rich gnocchi prepared with Romana pumpkin and brown butter-sage sauce ($13).
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 Portugal. Sip a Sancerre sauvignon blanc from France ($15) 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 adults 21 and over. Call ahead to make a reservation.
- Cellar 58…has a lot going for it. One, it's run by real Italians who run around talking at each other in their glorious native tongue. Two, there's a really cute back room, seen here, that fills with diffused, late afternoon light and feels sort of other-worldly. Three, during the opening party last night, we heard the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Radiohead, and not a single Andrea Bocelli torch song. Fourth, besides 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 (like the one right across the street) but we felt great amore for everything we tried. – John Del Signore, Gothamist
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.