The latest addition to the Eli Zabar empire, a wine bar next door to his fancy grocery shop Eli's Essentials, opened last Monday. The shop, which offers Upper East Side residents upscale take away during the day, transforms into a wine bar at night. The aesthetic at this new after hours spot runs towards casual —a bright space free of table cloths – but it's outfitted with classic touches like a cast iron zinc bar brought in from France and a reclaimed wrought iron spiral staircase.
The list matches the unadorned vibe, especially when compared to the massive list at Zabar's new restaurant, Eli's Table (both chosen by wine director Randall Restiano), but the selections are well made. The food menu, courtesy of Wallflower vet Michael Gutowski and John Carr leans towards wine-friendly small plates—cheese, oysters, and plenty of toasts.