Nothing beats the winter blues more than flavorful food, a comfy ambiance, good company and...wines from every region of Italy?? Yes. That's because I am talking about 'inoteca- the reputable LES wine bar with the most surprisingly daring menu. I recently spent an evening here chatting up with friends over a few bottles of vino. In the middle of a wound-up week, this was just the place to loosen up and savor down. Somehow rustic wood tables with a sleek bar in the same room work to create a neighborhood-y feel. I am thinking the enormous windows and the fact that 'inoteca is nestled on the corner of Rivington and Ludlow has something to do with it. Regardless, whether sophisticated or on the cheap- everyone feels at home. Think urban Tuscany.
They have a classic wine bar menu of small plates that includes insalate, panini, bruschette, affetati, and formaggi. Guided by our waitress, we ordered a little of this and a little of that to be shared. It was the perfect amount of food. She seemed a bit overwhelmed by the buzzing upstairs scene but was more than helpful and led us in the right direction with everything we ordered- especially insisting on their truffled egg toast (bread with egg yolks, fontina cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil!). One word. Amazing. The best order was their insalta d'anatra. Mouth-watering tender duck salad. OMG.
The generous pours of wine were flowing. Good conversation. Incredible food. My idea of a Wednesday night.
Go early. Beat the crowds.