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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


My Mom thought the bartender at Vanguard was joking when he said the ovens were shut off on Friday so we couldn't order any of the cooked items on the menu.  Except it wasn't a joke.  That's just what happened when NYC experienced a heat wave and the act of using an oven became too much to bear.  Thankfully, there were a couple uncooked appetizers on the menu for us to choose from so we were able to snack while we sipped our wine.

We ordered the olives because Albert is obsessed with olives.  Only two varieties on the plate but they were two goodies, made even better by the olive oil they had been soaking in, which was infused with rosemary and thyme.  We also ordered the pimento cheese because that one is my obsession.  I still think mine is better, but they did a great job on theirs and served it in a cute jar.  It was weird to have this Southern dish on a predominantly French menu, but I never complain when pimento cheese is on the menu.

With dark wooden benches and white marble table tops, the decor is rustic meets classy.  The lighting is kept low and served up by chandeliers and sconces, but it still feels casual.  For a wine bar, it's not a massive wine list.  You won't get a giant book of glasses to choose from, but the list has been cultivated so there is a good glass at around $10 to suit any taste.  It's not a place to get rowdy but is instead a calm way to begin the evening - exactly the kind of place Murray Hill needs.

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