138 W. 25th St., New York, NY, 10001
nr. Seventh Ave.
By jgrpdx on 12/19/2006
A blustery Monday night so why not drop by for a glass or two of wine and check it out, I thought. First impressions as I blew in from the street were that perhaps it was a little clinical and minimalist. After all, the last time I went to Australia I visited five wine regions, fourty-five wineries, tasted three hundred wines and believe me, none of the tasting rooms looked like this! That aside, I eased my way into one of the tall oh-so-seventies bar stools and settled expectantly at the bar. I perused the wines by the glass for some likely suspects and was pleasantly surprised to find a several selections that caught my attention. As I sat and absorbed the subtle ambiance, a dessert was delivered to the party next to me, along with a careful explanation that it was the perhaps safest selection. I dared to ask what the most dangerous might be and picked up a dessert menu. I was not disappointed. The desserts had a range of unexpected ingredients that begged to be tried. Needless to say, the desserts are out of this world and not for the faint of heart.
By PeteBlack on 2/19/2007
I heard of Varietal from two friends from DC that were visiting for the weekend. The sleek bar, great for people watching, has an extensive list of wines by the glass and a short tapas-like menu Â– DonÂ’t miss the Brandade Fries with black olives. We started dinner with a glass of Champagne (they have a dozen or so by the glass.) What a way to start a memorable meal! Our appetizers were delicious, with the venison and the baby octopus getting the most accolades. Entrees were even better: The tobacco-braised pork belly and loin was finger-liking-good and the grass-fed beef was succulent and done perfectly. Desserts were artful and delicious. Our favorites: wolfberry and chocolate gelee. Given the placeÂ’s name, I was expecting an expensive wine list and was pleasantly surprised by the many options at the lower end of the range. They do have plenty of bottles on the upper hundreds and even with four-digit price tags, if thatÂ’s your thing, but in our case, the sommelier suggestions were reasonably priced. Bottom line: Superb food, great wine selection and impressive service in a modern, elegant setting.
By dasklar on 2/20/2007
I had a very nice experience here & completely enjoyed the tasting menu. I suggest you let the wine be chosen by the staff. After all, the restaurant is named after a grape, right?... The staff was really on top of their game & very attentive. This is a good place to let your taste buds guess what's in each dish,... This is a very creative chef & presentation was perfect.
By katanko on 8/29/2007
I stumbled across the review while searching for information concerning licorice and would like to contact the Chef who developed this amazing dessert. My interest is in asking him for permission to observe his art form in the kitchen or to attend his seminars. It is my understanding there have been changes in management but I am certain the professionals at the restaurant would assist me as I hope to improve my culinary knowledge. The chef may respond to me at Katan-Ko@hotmail.com. I plan a honeymoon soon, my fiance has promised he will let me visit "kitichens of interest". I also wanted permission to reprint the licorice cake recipe. Truly, Kathryn