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Edi & the Wolf


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#1 Wilfrid

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:03 PM

What was to be Essbar did finally open about a week ago. I liked the idea of a downscale Austrian wine-bar for the neighborhood, but E&W starts out as something a bit less well-defined. Perhaps a work in progress, but the menu is currently very short, the overall price point surprisingly high. Eat a full meal here, share a decent forty buck bottle of wine, and after tax and tip you could touch three figures.

I know - that's New York. But I am not sure the regular Avenue C traffic will find enough crowd-pleasing stuff on the menu to make them choose this over the nearby alternatives. See, it's a bit "refined" too.

More at the Pin Pig.

#2 Sneakeater

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:37 PM

So the good news from my visit last night is that Edi & the Wolf was crowded. With what appeared to be a predominantly local crowd.

The place is undeniably attractive. Even the streetfront is extremely inviting. The famous rope-over-the-bar is a nice touch, in situ, as well. Although I don't usually note this (maybe I'm entering my Frank Bruni phase), the bathrooms are particularly nice and commodious.

I wish the menu were different. I have no complaints whatsoever about the quality of the food: what I ate was all very good. (To my suprise, Chef Eduard Frauneder -- the "Edi" of the title and one of the two co-chefs at parent restaurant Seasonal -- was at the stove.) But I had thought the menu would be more rustic -- and I would have liked it to be more extensive.

I started with the pork belly, because I liked the way Wilfrid made it sound. And I liked the way Chef Edi made it taste. It's cut into strips and served cold, with horseradish sauce on top. It's delicate -- again, delicacy is NOT what I hoped for from this place -- and beautifully done. Indeed, this kind of understated excellence is what characterizes Seasonal (and, along with its location, is what I'm convinced has kept it from getting the notice it deserves).

The main dish list is desultory (although, based on how good the steak is uptown, I'm looking forward to giving the downtown iteration a try). I went for the veal schnitzel (on the same reasoning as Wilfrid) and loved it, such as it was. One note about the cucumber salad: my aunt, a second-generation Austrian-American, had a very high opinion of her rendition of this item, so growing up I ate it very frequently. Wilfrid may have thought there was too much of it on the plate -- but I was transfixed at how much better theirs was than my aunt's.

Great fun mid-priced Austrian wine list. I think it has some of the same stuff as uptown, but cheaper. The by-the-glass list is fine.

So not what I wanted, and one hopes the menu will expand -- but, expectations aside, objectively very good. I'm glad the neighborhood seems to be taking to it.
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#3 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:40 PM

we went before xmas, and I would agree with everything you said. Just wish it were on Hudson not ave C (and I think they'll regret not being on Hudson eventually)

BTW to Wilf point price point is too high for the nabe, but actually compared to what I would consider its real comp group pretty reasonable. Would like to see more depth on the wine list, but I always sort of suspect german and austrian wine require a VERY proactive wine sales approach.

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#4 Sneakeater

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:48 PM

You should have seen what was happening at the bar last night. Most people had no idea what the fuck any of the wine was. And the bartender (who appeared to be Austrian) didn't either (he couldn't tell someone, for example, what the name of the grape was in a Blaufrankisch). People really needed guidance -- and weren't getting it.
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#5 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:50 PM

You should have seen what was happening at the bar last night. Most people had no idea what the fuck any of the wine was. And the bartender (who appeared to be Austrian) didn't either (he couldn't tell someone, for example, what the name of the grape was in a Blaufrankisch). People really needed guidance -- and weren't getting it.

duh - lemberger of course

the gemischter satz thing was a disaster. I asked what the different characteristics were and the manager had to be called over to walk me through the choices.

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#6 Orik

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:51 PM

Speaking of German (yeah, yeah, Austrian, I know, sure) food in the neighborhood, this odd looking place just opened on 2nd & 2nd:

http://heartbreakres...Dinner_menu.pdf

Their signage makes Pulino's seem shy and understated.
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#7 Sneakeater

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:55 PM

gemischter satz


I know every maker's is different. But I've got to say, I bought a large bunch from Crush last year -- I can't remember who the maker is (some long Germanic name) -- and (a) I loved it, (b) everyone I've given it to has loved it, © I brought some to a dinner party and people were virtually cheering it, (d) it's extremely versatile with food, and (e) it's even great without food.
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#8 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:58 PM

gemischter satz


I know every maker's is different. But I've got to say, I bought a large bunch from Crush last year -- I can't remember who the maker is (some long Germanic name) -- and (a) I loved it, (b) everyone I've given it to has loved it, © I brought some to a dinner party and people were virtually cheering it, (d) it's extremely versatile with food, and (e) it's even great without food.

I believe that, but its a field blend meant to be drunk young. Pick two of them, one bone dry, one with a little rs and limit the menu to just that. don't give me six choices that you can't differentiate in a sentence or two. Then put some more good GV and Riesling on the list maybe with some age.

The other problem they have wrt to wine, and through no fault of their own - NYers still consider reds "more sophisticated, and better with food" and frankly as good as they can be Austrian and German reds are horrible qpr.

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#9 Sneakeater

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:01 PM

Whether or not the reds are horrible QPR, the fact is that the steak is the only item on the entire menu that would be better with a red than a (German/Austrian style) white.

The real problem, as you note, is that New Yorkers don't yet understand that style of wine.
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#10 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:04 PM

Whether or not the reds are horrible QPR, the fact is that the steak is the only item on the entire menu that would be better with a red than a (German/Austrian style) white.

The real problem is that New Yorkers don't yet understand that style of wine.

I agree, but the unwashed masses aren't having a discussion about Gemischter satz and they want red wine.

(What do you mean by not understand? just buy it and drink it?)

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#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:16 PM

Rieslings (and the similar GVs) don't really function like most white wines. They're heavier than most -- but far more food-friendly than a heavily oaked Chardonnay -- and also have that unique "oiliness". They go with meat in a way no other whites do.

And then there's the off-dry issue. In reality, most people LOVE off-dry wines. But give them a clue there's any residual sugar, they assume it's unsophisticated and run away from it.
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#12 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:19 PM

Rieslings (and the similar GVs) don't really function like most white wines. They're heavier than most -- but far more food-friendly than a heavily oaked Chardonnay -- and also have that unique "oiliness". They go with meat in a way no other whites do.

And then there's the off-dry issue. In reality, most people LOVE off-dry wines. But give them a clue there's any residual sugar, they assume it's unsophisticated and run away from it.

I just thought you were referring to the field blends.

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#13 Lippy

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:54 PM

In reality, most people LOVE off-dry wines. But give them a clue there's any residual sugar, they assume it's unsophisticated and run away from it.

It's often said that Americans like dry on the label and sweet in the bottle.

#14 nuxvomica

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:12 PM

Speaking of German (yeah, yeah, Austrian, I know, sure) food in the neighborhood, this odd looking place just opened on 2nd & 2nd:

http://heartbreakres...Dinner_menu.pdf

Their signage makes Pulino's seem shy and understated.

can't wait to see that and will be in the area tonight :lol:

took a peak at their wine list, somewhat strange approach to wine descriptions - some more useful than others, some focusing on aspects i wouldn't particularly care for in exploring wine choices:

FIRST WINERY BUILT OVERLOOKING THE PACIFIC – LONG LINGERING FAVORS

ULTRA DECADENT DRY ROSE FROM CABERNET IN BEAUTIFUL AMPHORA BOTTLE

extensive beer selection
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#15 Lex

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:45 PM

Speaking of German (yeah, yeah, Austrian, I know, sure) food in the neighborhood, this odd looking place just opened on 2nd & 2nd:

http://heartbreakres...Dinner_menu.pdf

Their signage makes Pulino's seem shy and understated.

This place got mentioned on CH last week. (No details, just the fact that it opened.) The chef used to run Roettele AG.
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