Sunday, June 28, 2009

Where everybody knows your name... sort of

Part of the joy of living in a particular NYC neighborhood for any length of time is finding your neighborhood places-- you know, the place where you go to get your groceries, the place where you go to grab a six-pack of beer, the place(s) where you go for take-out. And, of course, that most coveted of places: your neighborhood watering hole. I've been living in Hell's Kitchen for just about two years now, and I still haven't quite found my Cheers, where I've felt it was truly worth the investment to go often enough to establish a relationship with the place and the proprietors. Well, over the past few weeks I think I may have found that place. It's got it all-- good drinks (particularly good wine), good food, reasonable prices, an enjoyable atmosphere, little attitude, and close proximity to my apartment. I almost don't even want to tell you about it, because it's a tiny place and I don't want to give away a neighborhood secret... but on the other hand, it deserves recognition. And so here you have it: Riposo 46.

I've been meaning to go there ever since I've moved here. Their sandwich board of specials always has delicious-sounding salads, but the tiny size of the wine bar has always intimidated me (I really don't like waiting for a table). Finally, however, a couple weeks ago, AV and I stopped in for a casual glass of wine late on a Saturday evening. And then last week we came back for some wine... and cheese...and olives. And then last Friday I met my friend KS for a catch-up glass of wine, during which I dispatched the following cheese plate:

Manchego, in my tummy

It was large, and delicious, as is everything on offer on Riposo's cheese-heavy menu. They have phenomenal-looking flatbread pizzas, salads, charcuterie, and sandwiches. But the cheese plates are extravagant, and a single cheese with all the bread and fruit and nut accompaniments is only about $7 or $8, depending on your cheese selection. It's fantastic. And the well-edited wine list has a good selection of well-priced beers and wines by the glass, all of which are poured with a heavy hand into delightful glassware (and if you go during Happy Hour, between 4 and 6PM, you get $2 off any glass of wine or beer). The bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly without being overbearing, and like any good wine bar, they let you linger as long as you like. The vibe is classy but understated, perfect for any mood. I love it, and since Riposo 46 is nearly always full, I know I'm not alone.

Riposo 46
667 Ninth Avenue, betwen 46th and 47th Streets

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