4pm-7pm; $5 sangria
6 at 77th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
The Upper East Side owes an emphatic grazie to Vero Panini & Wine Bar. They opened their svelte space in 2001 amidst the myriad sports bars and Irish pubs, offering an alternative to what (barely) passed for nightlife. At last a civilized boite to have a cocktail—and no baseball caps in sight! Instead expect to find an after-work crowd of twenty- and thirty- something’s filling the narrow, candlelit space and taking advantage of Vero’s cocktails, martinis, and wines by the glass (of which there are 35 varieties). A seat at one of the back tables is the prime spot to sample the selection of bruschetta, which is delicious. The sliver of a kitchen turns out panini, pastas and salads too. Aside from the ill-advised addition of a TV behind the bar, Vero accomplishes a modern, downtown feel with its terra cotta-colored walls, black slate bar, and low, sexy lighting. A glance through the front window reveals what reigned before Vero arrived—Brother Jimmy’s BBQ next door with its neon signs and plastic cups of Bud. And it makes that glass of white taste all the better.Note
On Mondays, one free panini per person with drink purchase.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.