I'd been to Ardesia once when it first opened, and my reactions were decidedly mixed. With Riposo 46 so nearby, I found it hard to justify returning, so I haven't been back since that one puzzling and amusing trip. Last weekend, however, for some reason it popped back into my mind, and JM and I headed the few streets north in the oppressive, ridiculous heat and humidity to take refuge in the steely, modern room.
This time it was much less crowded, and we easily scored a high table in the corner. Our waiter, whom we befriended over the course of the night, counseled JM on a by-the-glass red similar to a Barolo while offering me a taste on a new white I'd never had (for the Wine Century Club... more on that in a bit!). Both happy, we settled in with our wines, truly generous pours in nice glasses. For the record, mine was a Pedro Ximinez, and it was quite good, very citrusy and bright and refreshing on a hot day.
Oh, and we ordered a bite to nibble while we drank. As mentioned earlier, the food at Ardesia is still on the pricey side, so we ordered the cheapest thing on the menu: an assortment of olives for $3. This isn't an overwhelming portion, but for $3, it kept two people reasonably occupied for a while and is therefore by far and away the best deal on the menu.
So Ardesia is back in the saddle, it seems. I'd definitely go back; the room is really appealing, the location is perfect, the wines are unusual, and the staff is really attentive and friendly.
With all this talk of wine, you must be wondering how far along I am in my Wine Century Club quest! Good question. Surprisingly, I'm actually doing fairly well. As of the time of this post's writing, I am 13 wines in, and they're not all the usual suspects, either. Behold, my tasting list so far:
Not bad, eh? I'm always on the lookout for good wine bars with creative selections, so if you have any suggestions of places I should go to knock a few more off my list, leave me a comment or email me at email@example.com.
510 W. 52nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues