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New York

COAST & VALLEY

New York

COAST & VALLEY

BEST NEW BISTRO

COAST & VALLEY

SHORTLISTED BY BISTRONAUT #2

WHO
Stephanie Watanabe and Eric Hsu, a couple who met in San Francisco while working in tech and marketing, fell in love while learning about wine. They quickly converted to hospitality, respectively learning the trade at a high-end caterer company and co-founding an online wine platform.
With their first wine bar, they are on a mission to reintroduce the wines of California to the public. These are often assumed to be all buttery, tannic and heavy, but Stephanie and Eric want to change that conception and introduce New Yorkers to the Golden State’s incredible new wave of wine makers.

FOOD
A seasonal selection of small plates inspired by California’s market-driven cooking and multicultural pantry. The kitchen is currently led by Eric! “All dishes are carefully paired to enhance the wines, not overpower them,” according to the website.
For the mise en bouche – less memorable than the rest –, share small bowls of ricotta topped with roasted grapes, toasted seeds, balsamic and tarragon ($12), and of chicken liver mousse, green pepper mostarda and microgreens ($12).
Continue with bright, bountiful salads: a Spring Radish version ($12) and a perfect summery Cara Cara with oranges, walnut and mint watercress that day ($12).
The mains are all creative and delicious, with unexpected but unfussy combinations. Highlights included the Crispy Jasmine Rice ($16) topped with a mountain of fresh spring onion and pea purée, maitake mushroom, snap peas and pea shoots. Along with the already Insta-famous Poached Chicken ($18), floating in an addictive sauce of ginger and buttermilk and surrounded with extremely visual slices of avocado and charred cucumber.
The dessert menu was limited to an olive oil cake when we came (they have since added a “Chocolate Crémeux” for $8) – nothing to complain about! The dough was a little bit dry but accompanied by the right balance of sweetness (strawberry pomegranate sauce) and sourness (vanilla bean crème fraiche).

DRINKS
This is the main focus here. The selection is really great, a myriad of independent wine makers, producing mostly natural wines, a very different take than the usual California list of pricey and old-school wines. They opened with 50 references and aim to carry up to 150 in the near future.
The measurement system encourages you to try different things too, with 2 different sizes of pours in addition to the bottle price for all the wines.

DECOR
Pretty minimal, meant to provide a “gateway to experiencing that laid-back, easy breezy California lifestyle”: white walls, light plywood banquettes and tables, white stone and tiles… A place that you would assume sells granola and grain bowls at first sight. But the central bar makes the space feel grounded and homey, and the fact that the entire façade can be opened makes for a really nice feel on summer nights.

NOISE
Quiet. Though we were there early and the room was half empty.

SEATING
All wood banquettes and chairs. Not too uncomfortable. Try to sit by the window if you are a group of four, or at the bar where the chefs cook if you’re a smaller party.

VIBE
It was calm when we came in, but the vibe was lovely. The host is very sweet, it’s nice to see the food being made behind the bar, and again, the open façade gives it an almost Parisian terrace feel. The clientele is a mix of local Greenpointers in their thirties and winophiles.

SERVICE
The host and co-founder is warm and knowledgeable, truly passionate about this project and excited to get to know her patrons. The staff is helpful without being intrusive. Zero snobbism about wine, which is super refreshing.

WOULD RECOMMEND
To any wine nerds looking to expand their knowledge about the California region, to anyone mildly interested in wine and tired of the snobbism one often gets at NY’s natural wine spots, to any Brooklyners looking for a grown-up, quiet, yet casual gem…
Also, I’ll want to come back for the soon-to-launch event program (winemaker dinners, tastings, etc.).

WHO
Stephanie Watanabe and Eric Hsu, a couple who met in San Francisco while working in tech and marketing, fell in love while learning about wine. They quickly converted to hospitality, respectively learning the trade at a high-end caterer company and co-founding an online wine platform.
With their first wine bar, they are on a mission to reintroduce the wines of California to the public. These are often assumed to be all buttery, tannic and heavy, but Stephanie and Eric want to change that conception and introduce New Yorkers to the Golden State’s incredible new wave of wine makers.

FOOD
A seasonal selection of small plates inspired by California’s market-driven cooking and multicultural pantry. The kitchen is currently led by Eric! “All dishes are carefully paired to enhance the wines, not overpower them,” according to the website.
For the mise en bouche – less memorable than the rest –, share small bowls of ricotta topped with roasted grapes, toasted seeds, balsamic and tarragon ($12), and of chicken liver mousse, green pepper mostarda and microgreens ($12).
Continue with bright, bountiful salads: a Spring Radish version ($12) and a perfect summery Cara Cara with oranges, walnut and mint watercress that day ($12).
The mains are all creative and delicious, with unexpected but unfussy combinations. Highlights included the Crispy Jasmine Rice ($16) topped with a mountain of fresh spring onion and pea purée, maitake mushroom, snap peas and pea shoots. Along with the already Insta-famous Poached Chicken ($18), floating in an addictive sauce of ginger and buttermilk and surrounded with extremely visual slices of avocado and charred cucumber.
The dessert menu was limited to an olive oil cake when we came (they have since added a “Chocolate Crémeux” for $8) – nothing to complain about! The dough was a little bit dry but accompanied by the right balance of sweetness (strawberry pomegranate sauce) and sourness (vanilla bean crème fraiche).

DRINKS
This is the main focus here. The selection is really great, a myriad of independent wine makers, producing mostly natural wines, a very different take than the usual California list of pricey and old-school wines. They opened with 50 references and aim to carry up to 150 in the near future.
The measurement system encourages you to try different things too, with 2 different sizes of pours in addition to the bottle price for all the wines.

DECOR
Pretty minimal, meant to provide a “gateway to experiencing that laid-back, easy breezy California lifestyle”: white walls, light plywood banquettes and tables, white stone and tiles… A place that you would assume sells granola and grain bowls at first sight. But the central bar makes the space feel grounded and homey, and the fact that the entire façade can be opened makes for a really nice feel on summer nights.

NOISE
Quiet. Though we were there early and the room was half empty.

SEATING
All wood banquettes and chairs. Not too uncomfortable. Try to sit by the window if you are a group of four, or at the bar where the chefs cook if you’re a smaller party.

VIBE
It was calm when we came in, but the vibe was lovely. The host is very sweet, it’s nice to see the food being made behind the bar, and again, the open façade gives it an almost Parisian terrace feel. The clientele is a mix of local Greenpointers in their thirties and winophiles.

SERVICE
The host and co-founder is warm and knowledgeable, truly passionate about this project and excited to get to know her patrons. The staff is helpful without being intrusive. Zero snobbism about wine, which is super refreshing.

WOULD RECOMMEND
To any wine nerds looking to expand their knowledge about the California region, to anyone mildly interested in wine and tired of the snobbism one often gets at NY’s natural wine spots, to any Brooklyners looking for a grown-up, quiet, yet casual gem…
Also, I’ll want to come back for the soon-to-launch event program (winemaker dinners, tastings, etc.).

CHEF

Stephanie Watanabe and Eric Hsu

OPENING HOURS

Closed Monday

RESERVATIONS

The restaurant only takes bookings over the phone((917) 838-7559) for parties of 6 or more. Plan on coming in a bit early as a result.

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