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Gotta Gotta Go Back to Gottino

I’ll admit it – I have a fetish for cozy wine bars, especially those dangerously within walking distance of my West Village apartment. I thought I had checked out all the neighborhood haunts (read: Cafe Condesa, The Upholstery Store) as well as the offerings in Soho, Tribeca, and Chelsea. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had missed one of the better wine rooms in the area: Gottino.

Italian-focused and owned by the executive chef at nearby Morandi, Jody Williams, Gottino is what she terms a ‘gastroteca.’

A small sliver of a space with a long marble bar and a cluster of rickety wooden farmhouse tables in the back, Gottino packs an haute cuisine punch in a warm albeit cramped space.

The look is rustic, the food is gastrorustic, and the wine is Italian. Every piece of decor, every menu item, each wine, and each server all work together to embody Jody Williams’ vision of her Italian gastropub, her not-just-a-wine-bar wine bar. The seamless blend of gourmet cuisine, creative wine selection, and charming knowledge service pushes Gottino above its cookie-cutter competitors throughout Manhattan. Every detail is on-point from the candy apple red meat slicer, flickering tealight candles, mismatched chairs, and quirky farmhouse prints on the walls. The exposed brick is sure to woo every wine-loving female in Manhattan. All in all, the look and the vibe are charmingly cohesive.

I’m not a sommelier, so I won’t pretend to know what I’m talking about when it comes to wine. However, I do know what I like and what I don’t like. The Valpolicella I had came in an appropriately sized quartino (2-3 glasses) and was spicy, full-bodied and thrilling; it was by no means a run-of-the-mill Italian red table wine. While I paid dearly for it, it was worth every penny.

Don’t let the term gastropub mislead you. There is no pub fare here. In fact, there is very little substantive food. I would classify the offerings as small bites and tapas. The small crostinis, meats, and cheeses that are served reflect Jody’s attention to detail: they are innovative, bold-flavored, and pair well with wines. If you ask the server, he can bring out dishes that work well with your vino! Part of me wishes that Gottino would offer full-fledged dinner, mostly because I could spend hours there, savoring wines into the night. This girl need sustenance!

Perfect for a nightcap, a romantic date, a wine-fueled after-work gathering, Gottino evokes comfort and warmth; it seduces you with intriguing bottles of wine and small bites of savory food. Gottino joins the ranks of Terroir as Jody Williams brings the concept of ‘the wine bar’ to new gastronomic heights.

Gottino Enoteca E Salumeria on Urbanspoon

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