Monday, September 20, 2010

A red wine extravaganza at Jadis

Last Friday, AC was in town, so KS, AC and I gathered for a girls' chat-- much needed, as they're getting fewer and farther between these days. Anyway, we decided to try a new destination, so we convened at Jadis, a relatively recent wine-bar addition to the Lower East Side.

It's a pretty cookie-cutter wine bar-- step down a small flight of stairs into the dark space, and take in the wood, brick, somewhat uncomfortable seating, and low-key vibe. The bathrooms are quite nice, for what it's worth. There's a bar area with a small oven, which serves to heat the quiches and other small bites that perfume the area with an intoxicating smell of cheese and molten fat.

One of the main benefits of Jadis is that it has a very extensive selection of wines by the glass, and some of them are offbeat selections, perfect for my Wine Century Club quest. Because the weather has turned slightly cool, I went with a red: a Zweigelt from Austria. It was okay, a little spicy for my tastes, but it got the job done for only $8. KS got a glass of Malbec, and after sampling both a grenache and a Faugeres St. Antonin blend from Languedoc, AC went with the Grenache (we think? the server didn't seem to be all that knowledgeable about wines...).

A glass of one of the three reds

We also ordered some food, which in general was quite a good value. My selection, a manchego cheese for $7, came with three huge wedges of cheese (and a tiny fruit fly... oops?), along with a half-loaf's-worth of baguette rounds and an afterthought sploodge of overdressed mesclun salad. The cheese was quite good, and the bread was quite fresh and better than it had to be, actually. I was slightly disappointed that there were no accompaniments-- no fruits, no spreads, pretty much just cheese and bread. And, you know, that there was a fly on it.

Lots of diagonal angles here

AC chose the crab cakes, which were tiny and cute (and tiny) but only $6. She enjoyed them.

Crab cakes are smaller than they appear

KS went with the poireaux quiche, featuring leeks and gruyere cheese along with a heaping helping of the same limp mesclun salad that had made a guest appearance on my cheese plate. As she had predicted, sage and wise woman that KS is, this was a HUGE portion. It was basically an entire quiche, enough for two or three people, for only $10.

So much egg & cheese

Jadis definitely presents a good value, especially in the often-overpriced wine bar genre. However, I do have two gripes: 1) The glassware. C'mon, Jadis, if you call yourself a wine bar, get some better glassware than the $1 wine glasses you can get at Ikea. Something with a big bowl that will let the wine breathe... something delicate and fun. Please? 2) We got kicked out. Yes, we chose to pay our bill, and shortly afterward, the server came over and unceremoniously said, "I'm sorry, ladies, we have four people waiting for a table." Well okay then. On one level I understand-- we had paid, after all-- but on another level, it leaves a pretty darn bitter taste in your mouth to get asked to leave. It's too bad that that's the last memory we have of the place.

So mixed reviews overall: good value, interesting wines, relatively low-key place; but overall, nothing special, and certainly on the downscale side of most wine bars. If that's your cup of tea (glass of wine?), giddyup.

Jadis
42 Rivington between Eldridge and Forsyth
212-254-1675

1 comment:

melimango said...

I went to Jadis in April 2006 so it's not that new!

Next time you're in London go here for ice cream, it's amazing: http://www.gelupo.com/