Last Sunday, I met up with AS at Casellula for a drink, a bite, and a chat session. It was pouring sheets of humid, chilly rain, and Casellula was warm and dimly lit and inviting, so the scene was right.
As you may know, I'd been to Casellula before, so there weren't all that many surprises. But what did make an appearance were huge, bathtub-sized glasses of wine. Seriously-- props to Casellula for extremely generous pours; I'd estimate each glass of wine was really the size of two (or more) regular glasses. AS got the pinot noir, which she praised as interesting and a bit different from what she'd expected. I got a glass of the goldmuskateller, a wine I'd never had before. It turned out to be truly delicious-- ever so slightly sweet, alluringly fragrant, and all around addictive. If I ever see this intriguing variety on a restaurant wine list, I'd definitely order it again.
To go with our wine, we ordered a dish of olives. This was the standard tasty marinated mix with a good variety of the glossy, salty orbs. At one point I managed to spill about half the cup when attempting to spear an olive with my fork; fortunately, in my infinite talents, my spill turned out to be extremely artful. Behold, a food installation:
AS also indulged in a beet and brussels sprout salad. While the salad was tasty, particularly with the flavorful pecorino cheese, it took a few bites to realize that the bed of shredded lettuce was actually the sprouts. Given that brussels sprouts can be so delicious when caramelized and roasted, raw, shredded sprouts seem a bit of a waste, no?
We had quite a good time sitting at the bar and watching the cook assemble the appealing dishes, from cheesy panini sandwiches to huge slices of kumquatsicle cake (yes, really), in the tiny "kitchen" workspace. And we had quite a good time drinking our wine and eating our food. What's not to like?
401 W. 52nd Street at 9th Avenue