Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cana: A wine bar in an Escher painting

Cana Wine Bar recently opened in the Limelight Marketplace, everyone's favorite church-turned-nightclub-turned-upscale-trinket-marketplace. I've written about the bizarro world inside the Limelight before, but what better way to enhance the experience of being inside an Escher painting than to drink some wine? No better way, that's what. (Huh?) Anyway, after work last week, I suggested my old friend AS and I meet up at the newly-debuted Cana for a tipple and a nibble. And so we did.

Cana is situated on one of the Limelight's many landings, and rather than having its own enclosed space, it's kind of just out there on the platform. There are tables lined up against the internal railings overlooking the marketplace's ground floor, and there's a small bar tucked under the overhang of the next floor above us.

The menu is both pretty substantial and relatively reasonably priced (N.B.: Don't go by what's up on the website; the actual menu, particularly the wines by the glass, differs considerably). AS chose a glass of Pinot Noir; I went with a glass of Montepulciano, which was rich and ruby-toned and delicious. And for all those counting, I am now up to EIGHTY-ONE varietals on my Wine Century Club quest! Nineteen wines to go...


And pinot

I also ordered a dish of their cocktail olives, which goes for a very reasonable $5. A large plate of chile-spiked olives is surprisingly accompanied by a plate of "crostini," thick slices of warm white toast with shards of parmesan bruleed on top sporting humorously long skewers, for some reason. (Do people often have trouble picking up pieces of toast with their hands?) The olives were salty and succulent, and the toast was a nice extra gesture-- and warm and tasty, to boot.

Olives! And toast!

Our overall experience with Cana was quite positive. It's not exactly your cozy, intimate, candlelit neighborhood wine bar, but it's actually a really nice place to grab a drink, albeit in a frenetic, blindingly white, and techno-pumping atmosphere. If you happen to find yourself in the somewhat in-between neighborhood of 6th Avenue and the low 20s, stop on in and have a drink. At the very least, it'll give you some liquid courage to tackle the rest of the marketplace.

Cana Wine Bar
Inside the Limelight Marketplace
656 Avenue of the Americas, between 20th and 21st Street

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