It’s February, and love is in the air! Well, self-love is a form of love! This is precisely why I decided to go on a solo date to the City Winery, New York. Here’s my honest review of how it went.
A one of a kind functioning winery, right in the middle of our beloved NYC! Do you think I am lying? Nope!
It is true.
Who could have thought we would see winemaking in the heart of NYC. The City Winery New York is a flagship wine-and-dine bar with sensational performances all through the week by incredible music artists, jazz musicians, and even comedians.
The conceptualization of this wine/dine restaurant cum bar is genius. The best part is that they genuinely serve exceptional wine. Their grapes are imported from different renowned regions across the United States. They are crushed and aged onsite. You can really see what’s happening behind those huge glass doors that separate you from the main event and dining area and the BTS!
Another great thing about City Winery New York City? They have multiple taps installed, and your server will pour out a glass of wine for you directly from them.
I wish there were a tap like that dispensing moolah somewhere!
Alright, back to the review!
City Winery is definitely not for the young. It is catered towards a more mature audience and people with an inner grandma like me. The owner and co-founder modeled the entire theme this way. So, millennials will have a safer place where Gen-Zs cannot judge us.
Thank the Lord!
The concept allows you to see all the performances on the main stage, seated, while service providers will offer you good food and good wine right at your table. You do not have to get up. You will have the experience of being pampered for those two hours.
Isn’t this what self-love is all about?
You will get a stress-free, judgment-free environment, where you can truly appreciate art with good table service and proper cutlery, and fine glassware. This is well-thought-of because wine really deserves a particular soft spot in our hearts.
Respecting and drinking wine correctly is probably the only solution for our concerns regarding World Peace!
Apart from all these elevated experiences, a particular aesthetic is attached to this wine bar. As soon as you enter the room, a sense of comfort starts to settle in your heart. You are suddenly well taken care of, free, relaxed, and totally flexible. It’s as if those Zoom calls you to have to attend later do not exist. It’s as if those deadlines you’ve been working towards do not exist. It’s truly a safe haven for all of us, grief-stricken by our responsibilities now and then!
The audio-visual quality is terrific, or In Chandler Bing’s words, “Could it be any better?”
No, seriously. I have been in these settings multiple times in the past. No other restaurant and bar have nailed it quite like City Winery New York. I genuinely hate it when I pay so much for the concert and all the experience, but I cannot really enjoy it because the musician only has a small amplifier around their feet. They are barely audible with all the ambient noise and crowds.
The same space even holds concerts and weddings. I met a couple on their brunch date who were celebrating their first anniversary, sipping on some wine and watching “The Beatles” perform (I will come to that later!).
They told me they got married at City Winery. It was the perfect venue for them. The staff helped them entirely with the wedding preparations so that they could breathe a sigh of relief every now and then.
Katie and her husband grew up just outside Manhattan and wanted a venue that was a true reflection of the urban jungle they belong to, but nothing OTT. City Winery New York paid heed to their request and transformed the entire area into this rustic, elegant-looking, perfectly urban wedding venue.
Wine, food, and music are their forte, so it truly reflected in Katie’s wedding. In fact, the food served according to Adam (Katie’s beau) was fantastic and delectable. They got multiple choices for the cocktail hour as well as the entrees. The cake was a part of the overall amount they paid for the venue. Apparently, it is still a hit among their family and friends because of the texture of their mousse and the pinch of Sea Salt City Winery sprinkled!
Katie and Adam had the entire venue to access so that the guests could salvage every inch of the area. The best part, like true New Yorkers, Katie and Adam were allowed by City Winery to order pizza towards the end of their reception party for all their guests.
Who wouldn’t want a wedding like that?
For those of you concerned about how their wedding pictures turned out to be?
Well, better than I could imagine. They got some fantastic shots near the barrels where wine is stored. The backdrop of the winery served was genuinely charming and industrial at the same time. In fact, the area was so incredible they decided to host their cocktail hour right in the middle of the winemaking areas, with huge barrels serving as a great prop.
So, all in all, the wedding is another strong suit of City Winery. They put together a fabulous event that was so beautiful that Katie and Adam decided to relive by having brunch here on their anniversary.
Coming back to The Beatles! I saw The Beatles perform while having my Sunday brunch there. Well, okay, I’ll be honest. But Strawberry Fields is really the closest thing you could ever witness to seeing The Beatles.
I really closed my eyes in the middle of their performance and relived my childhood when my mother would listen to “A day in the life” while she cooked for us.
Strawberry Field is a small band I saw perform there. The band consists of four highly talented musicians who managed to put together a theatrical performance, at least for me. It was indeed out of the ordinary since I did not expect some new-age bands or musicians to come this close to pure legends.
They took the entire crowd on a journey through the timeless music collection of The Beatles. They are so passionate and dedicated about their performance that they even invest a lot of time, money, and effort into using similar-looking instruments, costumes, the vintage amplification. Through this and their art, they managed to deliver a unique audio-visual experience that I have not seen anywhere in NYC.
I went back home and googled these incredible musicians, and it turns out that they even performed at the Yankee Stadium in the past. They are indeed a delight, and their Instagram truly represents that.
I am now coming to my favorite part - food, wine, and everything nice!
The menu embodies Mediterranean culture, and there is an extensive wine list that compliments these flavors.
I had two (maybe three or four) glasses of the New York City Cab. This Cabernet Sauvignon was full-bodied and aged well. The structure of the flavors was smooth on your tongue, but the smoothness of this wine was what made it complex at the same time. It felt a little tight because of its density and lip-smacking tannins. The flavors were smoky, tobacco-based, with good hints of ripe plum.
If you are not interested in drinking wine from glasses and are curious to take them home, you do get an option to taste and buy. Most of their wines will retail for $18-$28 for a 750 ml bottle.
I saw most people grab their house-made Spring St. Pinot Noir bottle for $25. It was selling like hotcakes.
Fine wine is incomplete without good food! Their menu is designed with just this motto in mind. The servers will help you pick out the best wines for the dishes you order, which is always an excellent idea for people new to this game. We don’t know what food pairing goes well with which wine. We need help, and we are not ashamed!
And, it’s always good to have people serving you with the proper knowledge. They know what they are doing, and they will not let you make a bad judgment with food and wine as long as you are under their roof.
The pairings they told me with my New York City Cab were indulgent, like they were involved in a dance routine of some sort!
The menu was not too elaborate. They only served simple food, but the flavors were wholesome. They truly touched my soul that day. Even if I don’t go back for The Beatles, I will go back just for that one perfect glass of wine with my choice of food.
People seemed to be digging into a Margherita Flatbread, which was topped with seasoned tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese, with torn basil all across. It costs just $16 and will be one of the best pizzas you could taste in New York.
City Winery New York serves a Klezmer Brunch every Sunday, which I happened to attend. There was, of course, live music by Strawberry Fields and good wine. But the brunch was the showstopper. It was befitting to the overall vibe and their kitchen staff’s abilities. The owner Mr. Dorf has strong ties with the Jewish Community, and personally, I have never tasted such great authentic Jewish cuisines. The entire ensemble took the crowd on a crazy spree. There was Shakshuka, eggs poached, with tomato sauce and sausages on the side, along with chilies just for $14. I gorged on and on!
City Winery also hosts multiple wine dinners, which I have to attend in the future! I am pretty sure that these events will be as impressive as the brunch I had. These dinners are in partnership with other wineries, vineyards, and winemakers.
More wine y’all!
The experience counts a lot. City Winery New York will give you the knowledge you deserve. Just think about it - good musicians and comedians performing live in front of you as you gorge on some scrumptious delicacies and sip some of the best wines in the United States. There is absolutely nothing that can beat this experience.
The wine bar can serve as an excellent location for your first date, a semi-formal business/client meeting, a fantastic wedding venue, and even just a pampering session for one.
The urban environment City Winery serves and genuinely displays New York at its core.