In my attempts to not gain weight, perhaps more importantly in my general disappointment with NYC restaurants (excluding Blue Hill), and finally in my desire to learn more about wine (esp. non-French wine), I have started visiting wine bars more.
Last night, I visited Bar Veloce for the first time. An all-Italian (or largely so?) by-the-glass selection. The bar team member suggested unusual glass of Vareij hilberg 01 (piemonte) ($9) with my choice of Speck, grappa-cured apples, tallegio panino ($8). The wine was a bit aggressive and Welches-like on the nose, but appropriately acidic in the mouth. That's because there was a lot of acidity in the panino contents as well, presumably from the alcohol that cured the apples and that permeated the molten tallegio. Better than I had expected, although I don't have meaningful experience with panini (or with anything else in Italian cuisine). The smokiness of the Speck went nicely against this acidity of the grappa-laced tallegio. While strong, both flavors were nicely balanced. Not bad for a wine bar. Downside was that panino was not pressed so that its sides curled inward slightly like I like -- this version was more like a toasted sandwich. Less pressed than I would have subjectively preferred.
I, of course, could not resist and ordered another panino -- Proscuitto Cotto with radiccio, onions and gorgonzola ($8). Slightly starker, because of the saltiness of the gorgonzola. I liked this panino less than the first, but it was still appropriate I guess. Had a glass of Montelpuciano flora 00 (toscano) ($9)
This venue is open until 3 am. Decor is nice. Bar team members were informed and professional, and appeared interested in the food being served.