The highly anticipated Vinateria was well worth the wait. We enjoyed dinner there on a very crowded Saturday night a week ago. We sat at the bar for a quick 15 minutes and visited with Antoinette (the lovely bartender mentioned in our previous post) until our table was ready. A lot of familiar faces in Harlem were there curious to check out Vinateria’s first Saturday night. We did not notice many people eating dinner at first, only having drinks. But we arrived around 9:30 pm and our delightful server Ashley explained more people were having dinner earlier and that we arrived more towards the second shift. After we sat down a large table of 10 sat next to us who all ordered dinner as well as many others. I definitely recommend that you try their food along with their wine selection. I wasn’t disappointed at all. Actually I was thrilled! As we wrote about Vinateria back in December the owner (Yvette) teamed up with Gabriela and Gustavo Lopez who have worked at many downtown hotspots (see our previous post) in the past. Gustavo developed the menu and Gabriela developed their wine and beverage program.
The menu (above) is a great compilment to the wine and beverages. We enjoyed the simplicity of it though it was a little limited with dinner options. That being said, what we had we loved. They have divided the menu up by small, medium and large along with a cheese & charcuterie section and desserts. It is very resonably priced. Espeically the Large section entrees which are not huge portions but priced accordingly. A perfectly cooked NY strip steak (below) at $20 that my friends enjoyed.
I was very pleased with their sauteed striped bass at $18 (above) with sides of mustard greens and mashed potatoes. The bass was beautifully cooked with a nice crisp skin. Very flavorful and well executed. The hand-cut beef tartare (below) with cornichon, capers and fried quail egg… wow! I was fighting my friends off with my fork, unsuccessfully. It was perfect. I highly recommend it. They have a homemade spaghetti with fava beans in a tomato sauce that looked very good and a nice vegetarian option. We also started with a selection of various cheeses which set the dinner off to nice start especially with the wines recomended by Gabriela. We tried the Ostatu (a rose) and the Lurra and a Carmenere. Wine lovers and connoisseurs will be happy here. You are in good hands. Whether you choose to sit in the wine bar area of Vinateria or the restaurant side, after being there twice I can say both sections are comfortable and enjoyable. Please see part one of our review Harlem Welcomes Vinateria On Their Opening Night from last week with more wine recommendations and additional information. I think for the wine, food, atmosphere, customer service, location and how well run this place is by the owner (Yvette), along with the unbeatable team of Gabriella and Gustavo that Vinateria will leave customers wanting to come back for more. A very welcome addition to Harlem.
(above) Freshly grown Herbs in a window planter at Vinateria to help Gustavo flavor the food prepared in the kitchen.
2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (corner of 119th St)
New York, NY 10026
They will have a website and twitter account soon but you can follow them now on Facebook.