Mon-Thu, 5pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-3am; Sun, 5pm-midnight
5pm-7pm; $4 Stella and select wines, $5 Procescco
F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.; J, M, Z at Bowery
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
That this seductive wine bar’s smoking patio abuts a housing project speaks of change in the nightlife netherworld between the Lower East Side and SoHo. The owners—former downtown wine shop/restaurant day-jobbers— aim to stand out among their ubiquitous Italian counterparts by offering reasonably priced, mostly French varieties from small, up-and-coming vintners based in unsung regions such as Languedoc-Roussillon: The Clot del Pila is a full, fruity red; the Vouvray Sec "Alexandre Monmousseau" is a medium-bodied white that’s hard to come by. A few New Zealand, Spanish, and Chilean wines are thrown in for good measure. In the back lounge, which can be reserved for large parties, couches of Italian leather are surrounded by Jules Verne-type bronze lamps and brick walls housing cabinets of wine. Quiches, a plate of French cheeses, and a charcuterie spread can also be relished at the front bar (surrounded by dark-wood communal tables) as recorded jazz is piped in overhead.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.