Oenophilia (eh-no-fill-ee-uh), derived from the Greek language, is the love (philia) of wine (oinos). Ipso facto, an oenophile is a lover of wine. It stands to reason that wine lovers are often foodies too, for what is wine if not paired with its culinary counterparts, from the quintessential savory wine and cheese to the chocolate confection accompaniment?
And what better way to enjoy these two passions then to be hugged by their sights and aromas merged into one grand dining experience, the crème de la crème of private meals, designed for a sit down with old friends, an intimate party or sometimes, just like that – -Enter the growing trend of wine cellar dining; the perfect union between wine and food; comfort and hospitality.
In this mode of dining, there’s something for every gourmand, whether you’re looking for a casual gathering, a fancy feast from an A-list chef or just the opportunity to dine in one of the city’s most acclaimed cellars. The ambiance with wall-to-wall wine racks flowing from floor to ceiling creates an atmosphere designed to wake the senses and evoking the sensation of being whisked away to Europe sans the travel. Enter Aretsky’s Patroon
Opened in 1996 by iconic restaurateur Ken Aretsky, this dining spot offers some of the city’s finest American food, thanks to Executive Chef Bill Peet who serves a satisfying menu of classic cuisine, some of his signatures being Warmed Duck Salad” with watercress, frisée and poached egg in honey-whole grain mustard vinaigrette or their unrivaled “28-Day Dry Aged Sirloin” served with Béarnaise or Bordelaise sauce.
All considered, the piece de resistance can be found beyond the food.
Take the secret elevator downstairs to their wine cellar. The dark wood interior and dim lighting add to the cellar’s comfortable ambiance and retro appeal, much like an old fashioned speakeasy. Here the dining table seats up to 12 and is surrounded by a wine collection that spans the globe, such as their 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape, Chateau du Beaucastel or a 2007 Pinot Noir, Beaux Frères’, Oregon’s Willamette Valley. All of their private dinner menus include a Chef’s selection of hors d’oeuvres and a sommelier that is available to make recommendations and wine pairings for each course.
After your dining tryst, make sure to tour all of the fabulous nooks and crannies of this restaurant. Check out the displays throughout of first-rate photography collections showcasing works by Hiro, Saul Leiter and Matthew Pillsbury to name a few. Ride the elevator up to the 2nd floor and take in The Humidor Room, featuring walls lined with Spanish cedar and mirrors, the Airplane Room, named for walls decorated with aviation-themed photos, The Sporting Room, home to vintage photos of sporting events including Babe Ruth’s Last Appearance in a Yankee Uniform at Yankee Stadium and The Match Room, featuring an entrance lined by vintage cigar boxes. The main dining room is wonderful too or the outdoor rooftop bar, where you can sip mixology delights and count the twinkling stars in the sky till the wee hours.
160 E 46th Street
New York, NY 10017