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Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

Pleasant evening in Soho-ish

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Restaurants & Bars 1

Pleasant evening in Soho-ish

LisaM | Aug 29, 2003 10:59 PM

So, I headed downtown this evening, in the hopes of trying Chibi's Sake Bar on Mott Street, but was chagrined to discover that Chibi's owner (and, I presume, Chibi the dog too) are on holiday until 4 Sept. Undeterred (and hungry and thirsty), I continued south, and a bit to the east, and found Xicala Wine Bar & Tapas, on Elizabeth, just south of Kenmare. It was empty around 6pm, so I easily grabbed a bar stool at the tiny bar. Had a Riesling 2001; vintner unknown (I know, unforgivable), but it was good, and 8 bucks a glass. From the menu of tapas, I chose the cheese board for $14, which included Manchego, Morbier, Podda Classico and Brie. This was a nice combo of sharp aged cheeses (Manchego and Podda), creamy (Brie) and a decent raw milk selection (Morbier), served w/baguette, sliced apple, and - owing to the generosity of the barman, Jorge - a few olives thrown in gratis. Oh yeah, and some guava paste too. My second glass of wine was a 2001 Etim from Spain, which was 15%Cabernet and 85% Granache, a lovely counterpoint to all the sweet, salty, creamy, tangy goings-on.

I followed this all up with a dish of rice pudding from Rice to Riches, on Spring between Mulberry and Mott. It was pricey - $5 for a dish with 2 flavors. I chose the cinnamon-vanilla and a banana-coconut combo. I found that the former flavor highlighted the milk and rice flavor that I prefer in a rice pudding. I took my dish and sat in the park across the street, soaking up the sights and sound of a late summer's eve in Manhattan...

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