Oh la Lelabar
I think I’m in love…with Lelabar. New York is peppered with wine bars hoping to be noticed. Most are pretty average, whether in atmosphere or selection. However, Lelabar, a seductive room on Hudson in the West Village, stands out from the crowd.
The space itself is the perfect backdrop to a pleasant night of wining and dining. Just one room with an over-sized ovular bar, Lelabar encourages interaction not only with those around you but with the extremely knowledgeable sommeliers. Bar stools line the bar. A large chalkboard outlines daily wine and food specials as well upcoming events (they host wine tastings on Sunday nights) and news bites. Dim lighting flickers through wine glasses and gives a sexy glow to everyone. Simple, spare, clean, Lelabar wastes no expense on overwrought details.
The real reason to come here though is magnificent and rotating selection of wine and the meticulously prepared food. To start with the simpler (and shorter) food menu, Lelabar offers snacks, including oysters, a beautiful selection of primarily French cheeses, lamb sausages, goose liver pate, an assortment of salumi, pressed sandwiches, fresh salads (think Watermelon Salad in the summer…), and chocolates. The selection of food items complements wonderfully the wine, offering palate cleansers and partners.
The wine menu is unique. As long as you order 2 glasses, you can get any wine on the menu by the glass. They offer wines from all over the world: Italy, Spain, France, USA, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and South Africa, to name a few. Use a few descriptor words, and the sommelier will produce the perfect glass. On a dark and rainy night, I wanted a deep smoky red and he produced the most wondrous glass of red wine, paired with a soft and mild set of cheeses. I was in heaven. Lelabar also offers a limited selection of bottled beers, for those who need a break from the wining.
At Lelabar, even if you know nothing about wine, you can rest assured that you’ll end up with the perfect glass to fit your mood, and a small snack to accompany it. It’s the type of place where once you snag a place at the bar, you can lounge there all night, indulging in wine, cheese, and good conversation.