Been working my way through the UWS. Please fill in where I've missed, and expand on my comments.
Bin 71: Frenetic at night, good wine list, good food, the staff is informed and friendly. I like going in the afternoon (and they serve lunch, go figure) 'cause I can get a seat at the bar.
Barcibo Enoteca: it's across the street from my building, so access is good. All wines are Italian. I love the stemless glasses. They'll give you a sample of anything by the glass. Food: veal crostini, the mushroom risotto, the cheese platter ... all good. Very busy at night (forget about Fri/Sat nights) but a very good experience.
Riposo 72: SE corner of 72nd and Columbus. They have happy hour pricing, $2/glass or 20% per bottle before 6.30pm, and all day Mon/Tues (I think). The flatbreads are huge and delicious. It's in regular rotation for me.
Arte around the corner: walked past a million times, but haven't yet sampled the wares.
Wine and Roses: went one night, it was packed, standing room only. We got menus, but waited 15 minutes to order, no one ever came by, so we left. Since it was packed, imagine it's good, but can't comment.
Vai: my new favorite place. The wines are fantastic (the Tempranillo, the Malbec, the Negro something or other, it's got a big O on the bottle), and I haven't found any food that's mediocre. I've had the yellowtail sushimi, the sausage rigatoni, the grilled squid, the gulf shrimp, the cheese platter (you can't do better buying cheese at Zabar's ... huge portions of great cheese, unlimited bread). I've been several times, the staff recognized and remembered me, and the service was generous. I've brought different friends each time, and they've all been wow'd.
Pudding Stones West: very clean and modern bar. It seemed a tad antiseptic of an atmosphere for me (Thursday night, late, not crowded) but quite OK.
Buceo 95: Next on my list, but haven't been here.
What have I missed? (limited to the UWS -- 59th to 110th, CPW to the river) Include restaurants where I can sit at the bar, have a great glass of wine and order an appetizer.
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