Wednesday, June 22, 2011

East Village Highlights: Tinto Fino, Sakaya & Pomme Frites

On my recent trip to New York City, I visited a number of new places, but I still cannot forget some of my favorites either. Four years ago, I first visited Tinto Fino, an all Spanish wine store in the East Village. Since that time, they now carry more wines, including even more diversity.  If you love Spanish wine, or just want to experience more Spanish wines, then this store will thrill you.  You will find old standbys from Rioja and Priorat, as well as lesser known areas such as the Canary Islands and Cigales.

The wines are shelves by region with mirrored maps and signs above the shelves to indicate the region. Both long walls have shelves with plenty of different wines.

You'll find a large selection of sherries, including some aged ones (VOS and VORS).

Their website has a listing of much of what is available at the store, and they also have four Wine Clubs, including a Sherry club. I picked up a couple bottles while I was there, including a Txacoli Rosado and an older Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia. I could easily though have picked up a mixed case. I can't recommend this wine shop enough, just such a cool and interesting niche shop. Viva Spanish wine!

No trip to the East Village can be complete without a stop at Sakaya, the all sake store. When I need to restock my cellar with sake, this is one of my main go-to choices. You'll find an excellent selection and the owners, Rick and Hiroko, are very knowledgeable and can answer your sake questions. They are always getting in new sakes, and host plenty of free sake tastings. Search my blog and you will find a couple prior reviews I have done of Sakaya. It gets my highest recommendation.

A true hidden gem is Pommes Frites, a narrow hole-in-the-wall which makes superb Belgian frites, with a plethora of various dipping sauces. These frites are just so good that it is hard not to stop here when visiting the East Village. Even after my superb duck lunch at Ssäm Bar, I forced myself to stop here to have at least a few frites.

The East Village is an international mecca, with lots of intriguing restaurants and shops, and you can easily spend an entire day exploring the neighborhood.

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