'inoteca on 3rd Avenue. Source: 'inoteca website

This wine bar on 3rd avenue in Manhattan is known for their extensive wine list and Italian menu. My friend and I went on a Friday night, with a reservation, but had to wait for 45 minutes to get a table. Irritating, but the bar was open for seating while we waited. The bar is quite small, but the staff was super friendly, and we were able to enjoy some Italian wines while waiting. The waiter, when asked about the wine, quoted the region of the country it was from, which is always a good sign. The staff seemed very educated about wines/cheeses. Another wine bar, which will remain nameless, had the staff quoting the same lines regarding wines. I thought it was natural until I heard the woman say the same exact words, with the same exact intonation to the guy sitting next to me. Clearly they were reciting pre-written descriptions instead of providing their own thoughts and opinions. Tricky….A lot of bartenders in New York are actors on the side….One of the key things I find when going to wine bars is that if the staff is super educated, I’m going to go there again. As I’m a squeamish red wine drinker, the bartender’s recommendation was spot on. Anyway, by the time we were seated, we were starving, and immediately ordered a cheese plate. We tasted three cheeses (Robiola Tre Latte, Taleggio and a Pecorino), cut in ample slices, along with spiced almonds, soaked and dried apricots, and honey. Delicious.  They also serve a full dinner, which is great. My spaghetti pomodoro was amazing. Tons of garlic and fresh basil. Yum!

The only annoying thing is that the entire menu is in Italian, so a glossary is provided. You spend half your order time cross-referencing the menu to order. But all in all a good night.

Check it out at:

‘inoteca, liquori
323 3rd Avenue
at 24th Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 683-3035