Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Zagat: Aldo Sohm Wine Bar Aims to Be Fun and Dynamic

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The team behind Le Bernardin has ventured into wine country, opening a new wine bar in Midtown. Zagat editor Molly Moker filed the following report for NY1.

Although located just around the corner from Le Bernardin in Midtown, Aldo Sohm Wine Bar feels a world away.

"Here, we are a true wine bar," says Aldo Sohm, wine director at the Aldo Sohm Wine Bar. "It's supposed to be a very fun, very dynamic place. We don't aim here for four stars. This is a place where we can basically fantasize and let ourselves a little bit go."

Don't let the more laid-back vibe fool you. Plenty of details set this wine bar apart, from the hand-blown Zalto glassware to the specially designed, one-of-a-kind lazy Susan towers that showcase the bar’s epic charcuterie. And of course, the wine list is no slouch.

“We have top products, very good executed but really simple in presentation," Sohm says. "That, actually, is the strength, I think, of the current list. You can always go to a top producer and start with his entry level of wine. If you go to France, there's Cote-Rotie, and right now, Jamet is all over the top. But he makes this very interesting, simply syrah, which costs very little money."

The list features something for everyone, including value-conscious entry-level wines from well-known producers to under-appreciated wines from Austria and rare aged Californians. A menu of small plates completes the understated experience.

"Since we have no seafood, even though Eric [Ripert] is so known for his seafood, we create also a good amount of vegetables. That makes us different to most wine bars because we really focus on that," Sohm says. "A mushroom is a very interesting component, especially with wine, because you have these little earthy flavors. So you still have all the natural juices from the mushroom itself, and it works fantastic with wine."

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar is a great post-work or pre-theater stop where you can experience incredible wine and food without having to put on a suit or shell out for a tasting menu.

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