I bet you didn’t know that they make wine right here in Manhattan at City Winery? This Tribeca spot is known for its live music, cultural events, wine parties, but most importantly they are harvesting their own bottles of wine right here in this pavement made city with grapes from over 16 vineyards in California, Oregon, Finerlakes. Founder Michael Dorf started City Winery in 2008 where it now operates in Chicago, Napa and most recently Nashville as well. It is the perfect music venue, winery, restaurant and private event space and the only one that I think actually exists with all of these remarkable offerings in the city (rehearsal dinner and big birthday years look no further). Another thing to perk your ears up is that you, too, can create your own barrels of wine each fall here. It’s strictly hands-on and you choose your own grapes, work with the team to crush, age, blend and even choose your own bottling and labeling. Depending on the package you desire, you can make anywhere from 3 cases of wine to a full barrel which is 252 bottles. Talk about being set for life.
City Winery’s music line up consistently changes and you’ll find yourself with endless options of musicians to pick and see. While most of the spontaneous live music I see comes from the Lower East Side, the westside of SoHo is a great neighborhood to try out and the venue is immaculate. It’s basically dinner and a show as you have a large menu to choose from with constant attendance and service and not to mention the wine on tap. Go for this option just because you can. 60% of the wine produced here filtrates through an on-tap system. Don’t believe it? Ask for a little tour downstairs before you sit down for dinner or a show. It’s amazing how big their space is to treat these delicious products. Their team is incredibly knowledgeable and happy to answer all kinds of questions. We saw Peter Wolf perform one Friday night around 8 – 10 p.m. Boy was he quite the entertainer with a crazy gold jacket and love for the crowd. On this night the crowd seemed on the older end of the spectrum around 50 + but this is perfect for a millennial date night. It gets quite loud so make sure it’s not your first date. You also get to sit right next to your companion if there is just two of you so it leaves room for some extra coziness. The tables are very close so you end up speaking with all of your companions and singing along to the tunes making it a fantastic and lively experience.
For dinner, we started with the Tuna Carpaccio. We enjoyed this as well as the buttery Herb Roasted Cauliflower with almonds and raisins that we chowed down on in just seconds. Now, the Lobster Spaghetti was another story. Interesting order for a live show at a wine spot, but you know what? They put more lobster in this pasta than most well known Italian restaurants around here and for that I applaud. You can taste that the spaghetti is not handmade, but who cares? This dish is one not to miss. Sadly, they were out of the short rib, so we went with the second best choice – the burger. Standard sandwich and cooked medium rare just the way we asked. Now the fries- oh the fries! These medium cut potatoes are salty and the best way to end the show and wash down with your last glass of vino.
The kitchen could really slow down a bit. They brought all of our dishes right on top of each other so we barely had a chance to enjoy our appetizers without feeling like we had to toss them to make room for our entrees. That being said, I do understand they are probably rushing as the kitchen most likely closes when the performance is done. I would have loved to enjoy a little bit of time between each course to enjoy my wine and the music as well.
Overall, City Winery is another amazing offering that New York City has to offer its locals and tourists. Make sure you visit the space for a wine class, musical show when you want to spice things up in your entertainment regime, date night, parents visit and of course, even to make your own wine. This place is truly a place to add to your bucket list.