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The Early Word at Ardesia

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Krieger, 10/13/09

Hell's Kitchen: Just over two weeks ago, Eric Ripert's right hand woman Mandy Oser branched out on her own to open Ardesia, an 80 seat wine bar with a full snack menu in a relatively uncharted area of Hell's Kitchen. While most agree that it's a welcome addition to a strip of real estate that's relatively quiet restaurant wise, there's some concern about value. Regardless, the decor, friendly staff and impressive by the glass wine list all get early word shout outs. If they manage to find a pricing sweet spot with their customer base and become a hit, Ardesia could have some company west of 9th Avenue:

The Good News: This Eater commenter likes the food and wines by the glass, and thinks the joint is a great, if pricey addition to the neighborhood: "I went there last night. It's pleasant, very chill and comfortable inside. It'll be a nice respite from the winter winds off the Hudson. The duck banh mi was great, the chicken liver mousse was tasty (and generously portioned), and the wine list was very respectable -- I found a delicious, briny muscadet by the glass. A little pricey for so far west, but I'm happy to have it in the neighborhood, especially as a companion to La Bergamote across the street. Good coffee and good wine west of 10th Ave is a nice change of pace." [Eater]

The Pretty Great News: This Yelper likes the menu and overall vibe of the place: "We only went into Ardesia to check it out and give it a neighborly inspection. To our surprise, they have Smores and Ice Cream Sandwiches (different flavors available) on the menu, and both were delicious! I will certainly be back to enjoy their wide selection of wines, cheeses, and meats! We were too full to drink... i mean we barely finished dessert, but the wine list is quite fabulous and the glasses start at only $7. Ardesia is also very beautiful inside.. the combination of chalkboard wall, wooden stools and tables, dim lighting.. it all adds to a very chill and relaxing atmosphere. It's a great place to come on a date, or catch up with a friend. I absolutely love it!" [Yelp]

The Bad News: Life With Food and Drink writes that they want to like the place because of it's location, look and good service, but have a tough time finding the value: "The bar itself is really pretty...but it was loud and crowded. Much more bar-bar than wine-bar-- i.e., if you're looking for a dark, sexy, and romantic nook, Ardesia is not your place. Our incredibly friendly but aw-shucks awkward waiter finally brought us menus. I wasn't drinking, but there did seem to be a number of nice-looking wines by the glass. Was the food decent? Sure. Was it a total rip-off? Absolutely. But I feel bad writing off Ardesia entirely; inexplicably, I actually really wanted to like the place. But if Ardesia is going to survive, it has to either knock down its prices significantly or increase the value (i.e., food, beer) it provides for the money." [LWFD]

The Twitter Roundup: @katekrader can't decide what to order: "At ardesia deciding btw cocktail sausages and homemade pretzels with cheese fondue. Ok both." @betherica: "Duck bahn mi (sp?) at Ardesia and Terlano Lagrein, yummy!!" @handy_man: "opening night at ardesia. loves it. thanks for coming to my hood." @nybarfly: "PDT plans fell through. Tried Ardesia- it gets a big 'meh.'" [Twitter]


510 W. 52nd St., New York, NY