June 26th, 2013
byLois Anzelowitz Levine
Having made plans to get together with an old friend who lives on East 17th Street, I was scratching my head trying to find some unique spot to meet at in his neighborhood. I knew I wanted some good wine, and I am an impossibly picky wine drinker. All my close friends by now know the mantra: the wine has to be a full-bodied, oaky, buttery white, a touch fruity without being sweet, just something that really wakes up my palate. And so, through a Google search on New York City wine bars, I came across Pierre Loti, and what a find that was. This cozy wine bar on Irving Place can only be described as French bistro sexy, dim lighting, red velvet sofas, snug wood tables, and an intimate bar with a chalkboard revealing the special wines of the day. It’s the kind of place I adore, as the menu is dominated by small plates with a Middle-Eastern slant, such as a rich Turkish yogurt mixed with shredded beets and garlic; sun dried apricots; hummus and olive samplers. I put myself in the hands of the knowing bartender, explaining my preference in whites, and he charmed me with a Henri de Villamont chardonnay from Burgundy, rich, honeyed, and yes buttery, just what the lady likes. My friend equally enjoyed his Australian Shiraz, and even though I am not a fan of reds, I took the obligatory sip and, just as the menu promised, it gave way to the seductive flavors of nutmeg, mocha and dark chocolate. Pierre Loti feels like a luscious hideaway, where you really can pretend you are on some cobblestoned side street in Paris, and just happily drink away the night. (P.S. There is also a Pierre Loti on West 15th and one on East 52nd Street as well).
» Pierre Loti, 53 Irving Place, 212.777.5684