A couple weeks ago, I met up with CS at the Vintner Wine Market on 9th Avenue for some wine and cheese. I'd passed by this place countless times on the way to Riposo 46 and hadn't even really noticed that there was a cafe section in the back. Atmosphere-wise, it's pretty darn spartan, except for the vases with "flowers" made of rolled-up paper napkins on each table (???), but if you come for the cheese, you won't be disappointed.
Wine-wise, it was a bit hit or miss. They have a small blackboard of wine options, and they were sold out of the wine I wanted. I ended up with a glass of some pretty average red; CS got a glass of gruner veltliner, which was cold and refreshing.
The cheese plate, however, was truly noteworthy. First off, it was preceded by the cutest set of cutlery I've encountered in a while. Fun fact: It's awkward trying to eat with a two-tined fork.
We chose three Spanish selections: Manchego, drunken goat, and garrotxa. The cheeses came with two substantial wedges of each cheese, probably about 6-8 ounces in total, along with a handful of almonds, an assembly line of dried apricots, and a heaping helping of membrillo, the traditional accompaniment to manchego. The whole setup was drizzled with rivers of honey, and it came with a little bowl stuffed with baguette slices. This whole shebang, with every ingredient delicious and of the highest quality, was only $14. Steal!
So, would I come back? For the cheese plate, yes. For the atmosphere or wine, no. But still, it's an interesting neighborhood stop to add to my list of local cheese plate purveyors. And we all know that that's a win.
Vintner Wine Market
671 Ninth Avenue, between 46th and 47th Streets