In a New York State of Mind

Both in the big city and out in the country, the wine scene in New York can’t help but put one in… to borrow a phrase from Billy Joel… a New York state of mind.

In the Big Apple, there’s a new Italian restaurant in the Greenwich Village neighborhood that has critics both delighted and somewhat perplexed.

It’s called Carbone, and according to its website, “The restaurant pays homage to the essence of the great Italian-American restaurants of mid-20th century in New York, where delicious, exceptionally well-prepared food was served in settings that were simultaneously elegant, comfortable and unpretentious. The food nods to that same history, but takes its culinary cues from the great talents and techniques of the present and of the future.”

The critics are delighted because the kitchen at Carbone turns out perhaps the best veal chop in the city, not to mention outstanding scampi. And the Caesar salad is, in a word, flawless.

But they’re perplexed because, if there is a weak spot at Carbone, it’s the pasta.

If that is the case, however, the nice wine-by-the-glass list makes up for it… even if the prices are a bit steep. Then again, this IS New York City, where a mediocre hot dog at Yankee Stadium will set you back $8.

Exit the city limits, and things get much more reasonable — particularly in the Finger Lakes region, which is home to one of the Empire State’s most vibrant wine regions—a place where Riesling reigns supreme.

There’s also a vibrant culinary scene, which has been captured in a new book by Karl Zinsmeister and his children, Kate Harvey and Noah Zinsmeister—“Finger Lakes Feast: 110 Delicious Recipes From New York’s Hotspot for Wholesome Local Foods.”

It’s available for $22.95 from McBooks Press.

Take it away, Mr. Joel…

Some folks like to get away
Take a holiday from the neighborhood
Hop a flight to Miami Beach
Or to Hollywood
But I’m taking a Greyhound
On the Hudson River Line
I’m in a New York state of mind

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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