The Hot List

NYC Restaurants With Wines as Incredible as the Food

Leave it to the pros to pair.

16 min read
11/29/2022
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New York City isn’t just a paradise for foodies; wine lovers geek out at the impressive selections showcased on lists at the city’s innumerable restaurants. Name the grape, name the region: Chances are you’ll find it in New York. And not only on menus in restaurants, but also on Caviar’s delivery menus. Here are the NYC restaurants with terrific wines, not to mention food. Not sure how best to pair them up? We’re here to help.

Bar Crudo

This popular Brooklyn seafood spot has come a long way from its pop-up days. Since 2019, Bar Crudo has been a full-service restaurant that serves fresh oysters, ceviche, and raw bar specialties year-round. Let the restaurant do the shucking, and pair a few Beau Soleil oysters from Atlantic waters with a crisp glass of txakolina, a white wine from the Basque region of Spain. A coastal area, the Basque is known for exceptional seafood. Fresh and light-bodied, with bright acidity, txakolina has a hint of the sea that makes it a great match for the briny character of the fresh oysters. Other unoaked wines like sauvignon blanc and chardonnay also pair beautifully with fresh oysters because they don’t overwhelm the delicate flavors.

Bar Crudo

*Photo courtesy of Bar Crudo

Bricolage

A banh mi grows in Brooklyn! At lunchtime, Bricolage offers several versions of this traditional Vietnamese sandwich. The banh mi is no mere sandwich, though; it’s a bite of history, showcasing the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine when Vietnam fell under French colonial rule in the mid-19th century. Bricolage’s grilled pork banh mi contains layers of char siu (barbecued pork), pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber, mint, cilantro, jalapeño, and mayo. This complex flavor profile calls for a wine that can hold its own without dominating your palate. Go for a grüner veltliner. This zippy dry white wine from Austria has crisp flavors of green apple and lemon and a pop of white pepper. It will keep your taste buds refreshed between bites, enhance the herbal and vegetal components of the banh mi, and provide a bright contrast to the richness of the pork.

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Fausto

Fausto is pretty much guaranteed to offer spot-on wine-and-food pairings: The Brooklyn restaurant’s co-owner is award-winning sommelier Joe Campanale, author of “Vino: The Essential Guide to Real Italian Wine.” Campanale also has a line of Italian wines, Annona, made from organically harvested grapes. Featuring the homemade pastas of co-owner and chef Erin Shambura, Fausto is an ode to the rich traditions of Italian cooking. When you want a simple pasta dish done right, Fausto’s gemelli in tomato sauce with blistered basil and Parmesan cheese will satisfy. For a classic red wine/red sauce combo, pair it with a glass of the slightly spicy, not-too-heavy, fruit-forward Annona montepulciano d’Abruzzo. 

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Glasserie

Does your delivery have bragging rights? It does when you order a meal from the Michelin Bib Gourmand–recognized restaurant Glasserie. The Mediterranean menu is made up primarily of vegetarian small plates. Go ahead and make it a feast with the meze offering. This savory combination includes smoked eggplant, hummus, labneh, falafel, beets, lentils, and pita. And don’t worry about overindulging; Glasserie has several low-alcohol wines to choose from, including a sparkling dry rosé from Summerlong made with syrah grapes and spring water. Syrah is a bold grape, so this rosé has a slightly more pronounced red-fruit flavor than those made from more delicate grape varieties, and that structure is a must for such a selection of creamy, smoky, and savory foods. The slight fizz will keep your palate energized.

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JoJo

Culinary-superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten operates 60 restaurants around the globe, including several in New York. We’re too polite to ask which restaurant is his favorite, but we suspect that JoJo, which opened in Manhattan in 1991, holds a special place in his heart. His first restaurant in the Big Apple, it’s named after the childhood nickname his mother gave him. Bring some familial joy to your table with JoJo’s chicken family dinner. This meal for two contains roast organic chicken, broccoli-and-kale salad, lemon-braised potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and carrot cake. Keep the wine choice classic with an easygoing but elegant pinot noir or chardonnay.

Marta

Sometimes a corner slice won't suffice. Step up your pizza game with a wood-fired pie from Marta in Manhattan. Part of the acclaimed Union Square Hospitality Group, Marta is an homage to rustic Roman cooking, particularly thin-crust pizza. The earthy and rich Funghi pie is draped in wood-roasted mushrooms, fontina, mozzarella, red onion, and thyme. Make it a real pizza party by popping a can of lambrusco, a fizzy Italian red wine best served chilled. Its peppy bubbles cut through the fat of the cheese and oil, so your palate won't get weighed down.

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Yefsi Estiatorio

At Yefsi, in Manhattan, chef Christos Christou combines the flavors of his childhood in Cyprus with skills honed at the French Culinary Institute and in NYC’s finest Greek restaurants. Taste the combination of tradition and technique with an order of octopodi, a dish of grilled baby octopus with capers, red peppers, and onions in a red wine vinaigrette. Add a glass of the Greek white wine assyrtiko to this meal for a complete dining experience. The assyrtiko grape is native to Santorini, and its vibrant acidity and hint of salinity make it a winning match with seafood. 

Ainslie

Snobbery is not encouraged — except when it comes to pizza. Even the super-picky Michelin Guide can’t resist the pies coming out of Ainslie’s wood-burning oven; they’ve declared that this Williamsburg spot makes some of the best pizza in Brooklyn. Will you agree with the pros? For pizza purists, the classic margherita is often the best way to judge quality. Ainslie’s take is simply topped with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. The soft tannins and bright acidity of a chilled dry, fruity lambrusco won’t upstage the pizza. Not in the mood for a chilled wine? A bottle of luscious barbera d’Asti is another excellent red option.

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Fushimi

Isn’t it time to break up with shady supermarket sushi? A signature roll from Brooklyn’s Fushimi, a Michelin Guide and Zagat darling, is a wiser choice. Your taste buds will never look back after being wooed away by the Out of Control Roll. It’s filled with yellowtail, tuna, salmon, and asparagus and topped with seared slivers of the three fishes plus miso, eel sauce, and crispy rice pearls. Citrusy, herbaceous sauvignon blanc is a classic match with asparagus, and the wine’s fresh and zesty acidity won't get shy around the roll’s bold textures and flavors.

Pasta Louise

Impress without stress when you order one of Pasta Louise’s clever pasta kits; everything you need comes ready to heat and eat from this Brooklyn spot. Your guests will never know that you didn’t spend all day making fresh pasta by hand, simmering sauce on the stove, and baking fresh focaccia. The Green Kit With Wine includes one pound of fresh fettuccine, a container of fresh basil pesto, two pieces of homemade focaccia, breadcrumbs, and your choice of two half-bottles of wine: rosé, sauvignon blanc, or a super Tuscan red blend. All three are up to the task of enhancing the flavors of your “home-cooked” meal.

Wei Williamsburg

Fact: Dumplings are proof of the adage that good things come in small packages. These compact pockets of dough stuffed with savory fillings are presented in all their glory on Wei’s Shanghainese menu. Pork soup dumplings, vegetable dumplings, pork-and-chive dumplings, chicken dumplings, crystal shrimp dumplings … so many dumplings, so little time. Order a few different styles to make dinner a dumpling extravaganza. Pop the cork on a bottle of prosecco for this feast; the fizzy bubbles and light fruit flavors will refresh your palate, preparing it for the next dumpling. 

Fette Sau

If you’ve never wept from the deliciousness of barbecue, perhaps you haven’t had real barbecue. That’s where Brooklyn’s Fette Sau, with its unconventional style of firing and smoking meats, comes in. Instead of adhering to the established styles of one region, Joe Carroll describes his ’cue as “one part Central Texas and one part New York deli.” Feeling especially carnivorous? Try the Berkshire pulled pork; it’s coated with Fette Sau’s dry rub blend and smoked in-house. Feel free to share the half-sour pickles and Cora’s Broccoli Salad with any vegetarians hanging around. A can of pinot noir keeps the down-home vibe going. One of the lighter-bodied reds, pinot noir's red-fruit flavors and soft tannins harmonize with the smoky sweetness of the pork. 

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LaLou

Award-winning sommelier, author, and restaurateur Joe Campanale has a track record of creating restaurants with intriguing food and wine lists. If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path wines, look to the list of small-production, natural, and biodynamic wines. A glass of orange wine paired with LaLou’s head-on East Coast prawns is a dynamic match. The prawns are marinated and roasted with paprika and herbs and served with saffron aioli. Orange wines are made from white wine grapes; the orange hue is from the extended time the juice spends macerating on the skins. These wines have hints of savoriness, freshness, and grip, making them an ideal match for seafood.

Taiki

When paralyzed with sushi indecision, opt for omakase — especially from Taiki in Brooklyn. Head sushi chef Taiki Minamitani assembles a selection of 10 pieces of sushi or sashimi from fresh fish that is mainly imported from Japan. Since the food will be a surprise, the wine must be versatile. Pét-nat (pétillant naturel) refers to a style of naturally sparkling wine. It can be made using various grapes, and the fresh fizziness complements fresh seafood well.

Golda

Who decided that the deliciousness of an egg sandwich should be confined to daylight hours? Golda, in Brooklyn, is a dream come true if you’re a breakfast-all-day person. And these are no run-of-the-mill eats — Golda’s style is California meets the Middle East. The Signature Egg Sandwich combines muhammara, a smoky roasted eggplant dip; kashkaval cheese; and sumac-spiced onion on onion–poppy seed challah. With so many rich flavors, this bold sandwich demands a wine that won’t try to steal its thunder. Bubbly prosecco keeps the mouth refreshed. 

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Kulushkat

Shut up and eat! No, we’re not being rude; that’s the translation of “kulushkat,”the name of this celebrated Brooklyn spot. The menu’s Mediterranean flavors are inspired by recipes passed down through generations of Moroccan women. The falafel plate includes Israeli salad, red cabbage salad, rice, hummus, tahini, and pita. A light-bodied chardonnay from Mâcon-Villages has acidity and a bit of grip, a must with fried foods like falafel. 

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Dellarocco’s of Brooklyn

At Dellarocco’s, pizza may reign supreme, but the calzone is hardly an afterthought. The Calzone Classico is filled with ricotta, mozzarella, and prosciutto cotto, and topped with tomato. A juicy red wine with soft tannins, like a montepulciano d’Abruzzo or a barbera d’Alba, pairs well with gooey, cheesy, tomato-based foods like the mighty, underrated calzone. 

Monarch

It’s hard to pinpoint when Brussels sprouts became so cool, but let’s all be grateful that overboiled, mushy sprouts are in the past where they belong. We’re living in the age of peak sprouts, and Brooklyn’s Monarch combines crispy Brussels with fresh peas, avocado, honey-lime dressing, and fresh dill for a sweet-savory side bursting with green. Carmenère is a red wine with subtle earthy, smoky, vegetal undertones, making it a good match for this veggie dish. Prefer white wine? A dry riesling will refresh your palate and enhance those big flavors.

Café Zona Sur

Café Zona Sur’s menu was inspired by the owners’ stints working in restaurants across the U.S., so you’ll find a lot of regional twists on classic dishes. The steak frites pairs a hanger cut with herbed fries and chimichurri sauce. A bold malbec or cabernet sauvignon will get a good grip on that juicy steak.

Sotto Voce

Sometimes a dainty bowl of pasta won’t cut it, and you must dig into a hearty plate of fettuccine Bolognese, penne alla vodka, or spaghetti and meatballs. It’s called comfort food for a reason, and Sotto Voce specializes in it. The spaghetti con polpettine (meatballs) with basil and fresh tomato sauce is fantastic, especially when paired with a crisp Italian red like chianti.

Santo Brúklin

Do you dream of hopping on a flight to Brazil? Until that day comes, trust the team at Santo Brúklin to bring you vibrant Brazilian fare. Their version of Brazil’s classic seafood stew, moqueca, includes coconut milk, salmon, shrimp, and mussels. Rich and creamy, this complex dish needs a lighter-bodied wine, like prosecco or an unoaked chardonnay, that won’t mask its essence.

Hole in the Wall Cafe and Bar

Don’t let the name fool you: Hole In the Wall elevates the concept of café dining. There’s much more to the menu than a great cup of coffee; the food draws inspiration from Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. The Arctic char served with spicy brown butter corn and an herb salad makes a lovely, light meal; an elegant and light-bodied chenin blanc is a seamless match.

Rustik Tavern

Rustik Tavern’s menu is inspired by “mama’s home cooking.” If only our moms were this talented! When you can’t make it to their Bedford-Stuyvesant patio, order in the Sanford Salmon, blackened and served with sautéed kale. And who says you can’t have red wine with fish? Salmon and pinot noir is a tried-and-true pairing. Salmon is a meaty fish, so a medium-bodied red like pinot noir, with great acidity and soft red-fruit flavors, is just right.

Caffe Buon Gusto

Are you that person who looks at a menu and wishes you could swap things around to create your perfect dish? Manhattan’s Caffe Buon Gusto encourages such behavior. Go ahead, play with the menu and make the pasta of your dreams by selecting a shape and your preferred sauce. In the mood for gnocchi? Go for it. Now choose from various sauces, including Alfredo, pomodoro, primavera, and more, then add veggies and proteins. For the wine, the options are also endless. With a lighter white sauce, try pinot grigio or chardonnay. Select chianti or montepulciano with a red sauce.

Zutto Japanese American Pub

Step away from the bodega instant noodles and get the real deal from Zutto, in Manhattan. The menu has a bevy of slurp-worthy combinations that are an ode to the beauty of a bowl of noodles and broth. The wonton chicken ramen features thin noodles in chicken broth topped with chicken wontons, spinach, scallion, bean sprouts, and scallion oil. A chilled and refreshing bottle of pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc completes the feast; both wines are light-bodied, with a bright acidity that will lift the ramen’s flavors. 

Balade

We may never know if the chicken came before the egg, but you can ponder this and other life riddles while noshing on a delectable Lebanese chicken dish from Manhattan’s Balade. The restaurant’s name means “fresh,” and the menu features Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialties that all live up to that promise. Why eat a bland, no-frills chicken breast when you can order shish tawook? This dish of marinated cubed chicken breast is served with rice, grilled vegetables, and toum (Lebanese garlic aioli). Lebanon is one of the world’s oldest wine regions, so this is the perfect occasion to try a Lebanese rosé. Pinot grigio is also a tasty match. 

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Don Giovanni

Let’s be honest — this town runs on pizza. Don Giovanni will deliver the goodies from their coal-fired brick oven to you. They have a mighty selection of pizzas, including classics like pepperoni, but why not try something a little out of the ordinary? The thin-crust Caprina pizza is layered with goat cheese, fig, pear, arugula, and truffle oil. Pair this pie with light-bodied and zippy vermentino.

Cotenna

Venice’s many charms include restaurants serving cicchetti, small plates of food, generally enjoyed with a glass of wine. Alas, a view of gondoliers rowing down the Grand Canal isn’t included with your order from Cotenna in Manhattan, but their food can fuel your imagination nonetheless. Their impressive selection of cicchetti includes sautéed mussels cooked in garlic and white wine. A glass of gavi, a light-bodied, crisp white wine from the north of Italy, pairs beautifully with seafood.

Miznon

Bring us your tired, your hungry, your celebrity chefs! Chef Eyal Shani appeared on six seasons of the Israeli iteration of “Master Chef.” He opened the first Miznon in Tel Aviv and now has outposts worldwide, including in Manhattan. Miznon’s menu is inspired by Mediterranean street food and features an array of pitas stuffed with seasonal and local ingredients. The wild mushroom pita contains “a whole forest of mushrooms burned on hot steel” with scallions, sour cream, and a spicy sauce. Go ahead and pair a pita with a chic bottle of burgundy (pinot noir). This medium-bodied red’s earthy notes are harmonious with mushrooms.

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Tandoor Oven

Forget tea and scones; chicken tikka masala is considered the United Kingdom’s true national dish by many. It may have to beat out a few other foods to achieve such lofty status in the United States, but there’s no denying the popularity of this spicy, creamy chicken dish in NYC. Tandoor Oven has been cooking up stellar chicken tikka masala for more than 30 years, and they’ve mastered the preparation of this creamy chicken. Riesling all day with this dish! A dry riesling has an almost magical ability to pair with spicy and creamy foods.

Tortazo

Is there anything chef Rick Bayless can’t do? A champion of and authority on Mexican cuisine, Bayless has won several James Beard Awards and reigned victorious on a season of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” His acclaimed restaurants in Chicago have been at the top of their game for decades, and the Big Apple can taste the Bayless “sabor” at his fast-casual restaurant Tortazo. Mexico City–style tortas (sandwiches) are the house specialty. The Crispy Chicken Milanesa is composed of a grilled telera roll brushed with black beans and stuffed with napa cabbage, pickled jalapeños, cotija cheese, avocado-tomatillo salsa, and cilantro crema. Pop a can of pinot noir to play up the earthiness of the beans or a sauvignon blanc to accentuate the vegetal cilantro and avocado.

The Mansion Restaurant

Fans of the streaming series “Only Murders in the Building” may know The Mansion as the setting of some key scenes with stars Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Martin Short. But perhaps the longevity of this family-owned restaurant is the real star; The Mansion, located near Gracie Mansion, the NYC mayor’s official residence, has been in business since 1945. Along with burgers, omelets, and salads, the expansive menu features comfort food of bygone eras, like meatloaf. Pairing that meatloaf with a bottle of classic bordeaux elevates this simple meal.

Biricchino

Maybe you can’t join actor Stanley Tucci on his gastronomic tour through Italy’s 20 regions, but many of these delicacies can be found in NYC. Biricchino opened in Manhattan in 1987 and is owned by a family from Piedmont, in northern Italy. In addition to many familiar kinds of pasta, the menu also includes one of Piedmont’s signature dishes, agnolotti. It’s ravioli stuffed with veal and mushrooms, served in a rosemary butter sauce. For a complete immersion into the flavors of Piedmont, choose a bottle of the juicy, food-friendly red wine barbera.

Café Kitsuné

A beret is not included with Café Kitsuné’s Parisien Sandwich, but it does contain French ham, Gruyère cheese, Dijon mustard, and dill pickle, all served on a warm baguette. The fashion brand Maison Kitsuné founded Café Kitsuné, and the menu mirrors their minimalist aesthetic. The wine choices are equally streamlined but chic and include miranius, an unfiltered organic white wine from Catalonia, in the north of Spain. Made from the Xarel-lo grape, its bright and refreshing flavors of apple, citrus, and a hint of the sea make it quaffable and food-friendly. 


Wanda Mann is an NYC-based wine writer who will travel any distance for a great glass of wine. Her articles have been published in Food & Wine, Decanter, The SOMM Journal, NAPA Magazine, and other media outlets. 

PHOTO CREDITS:

Feature photo: Marta by Peter Garritano

Miznon by Noah Fecks


Author

Wanda Mann

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