Having a partner turns bouncing a ball into a tennis match, a monologue into a conversation, and a bear attack into a slightly longer bear attack. Experience the power of pairing with today’s Groupon: for $39, you get two entrees and a bottle of wine valued at $40 or less at michelin-recommended Vareli Restaurant on Broadway (up to a $100 value).
Recommended by the Michelin Guide for top-notch Mediterranean fare, Vareli Restaurant serves a tantalizing menu of fresh, local ingredients crafted by chef Amitzur Mor. Dive fork-first into a plate of pan-seared scallops, surrounded by a garland of pearl onions and preserved lemon barigoule (a $24 value). The roasted free-range chicken rests atop a cloud of creamy polenta and rapini (a $21 value), and a coriander pesto sauce drapes the 14-ounce dry-aged prime rib eye (a $27 value). Vareli's certified sommelier Richard Bill recruits 100 different wines from across the globe, picked for their balanced flavors and yacht-christening abilities. Enliven entrees with a bottle of Italian pinot grigio (a $35 value) or discern the fruity facets of a German gewurztraminer (a $34 value). Diners can perch at the 20-foot-long polished copper bar, or catapult themselves upstairs into an intimate, umber-hued dining room.
In 2011, the Michelin Guide recommended Vareli for its upscale and creative Mediterranean fare, crafted by chef and Gramercy Tavern veteran Amitzur Mor. Chef Mor uses sustainable and organic ingredients whenever possible to inform Vareli’s ever-shifting local menu, which has featured such rich meats as Hudson-Valley duck and Pennsylvania lamb. Resident sommelier Richard Bill draws from his experience at Beacon and Ouest to complement each succulent entree with a wine list of 20 wines by the glass and 100 wines by the bottle. From Thursday to Saturday, Vareli’s kitchens remain open until 2 a.m., so patrons can sip vino and draft beer or rouse sleepwalking roommates with wafts from cheese and charcuterie boards late into the night.
On the ground floor of Vareli, a polished copper bar runs for 20 feet below a rustic arched ceiling, as wide stools belly up to the bar and to barrel-shaped plates. In the upstairs dining room, wide windows look out on treetops and burnished walls support velvety banquettes and lantern sconces. During the summer, couples close in on an intimate outdoor patio for fresh air from nearby Central Park, while colder days invite diners to gather around a cracking fireplace that the New York Times lauds for creating a cozy atmosphere.