January 16, 2015
Ok, by now you all know I quit my “No Dairy for a Month” Challenge. Go ahead. Be upset. Be disappointed. I completely understand. It’s just that…cheese is a huge part of my life. And it’s my shtick. I can’t have a food blog, rate my meals with CHEEZITS and not eat any dairy. It’s just not right. That being said, I have had some amazing meals the past week. My favorite, though, was at this little wine bar on the Upper East Side, cleverly titled, “Il Vino.”
When you first walk in, you see two small tables, a hightop that seats 6 and a bar that seats 4. I walked up to the bartender and asked where the dining room is. He shrugged and said, “Uh, this is it.” Embarrassed, I let out a long exhale and said, “It’s cozy.”
We took a seat at the hightop that we shared with four other people. What? I like eating with strangers…
The bartender/waiter/host/ came by and dropped off the menus. I opened the wine list first, because duh, and was just amazed at the selection. Reds, whites, rose, Prosecco, from Italy and France and Spain. I was certainly overwhelmed, so when he came back to take my order, I just said, “Whatever’s cheapest.”
Now that the wine was ordered – and delivered – it was time to pick out something to eat. Il Vino speciailizes in pizza, so I knew we had to try (at least) one, but I wanted to get a little something for the table. Upon scanning the appetizers, I saw the words “Goat Cheese” and that was that. It was a Crostini topped with fresh goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and black olives. So good!
After the crostinis were finished and we were on our second glass of wine, we put in an order for a Margherita Pizza, a classic.
After the bartender took our order, he headed back behind the bar and started stretching and kneading the dough. This guy was also the chef! I couldn’t believe that! In just 15 minutes, our pizza was sitting in front of us and it looked incredible. The sauce and cheese tasted so fresh and the crust was cooked perfectly. It wasn’t too crispy or doughy.
Since the first pizza was so good, and I’m a glutton, we ordered one more, this time a Spinach and Ricotta pie, and it was even better than the first.
I highly recommend stopping by this hidden and quaint spot on the UES. It’s the perfect place for a date, to catch up with old friends, and to enjoy a delicious glass of wine.