7 Spring Street between Elizabeth and Bowery
about $120 for two, with wine pairings, with tip
The $15,000 Enomatic Enoline 8 machine was in place behind the bar when I visited with a friend, but it wasn’t functioning. Tonight’s not the night if you were in the mood for a $90 glass of wine, our friendly bartender told us. The expensive toy is an argon gas preservation system which keeps wine fresh after it’s uncorked for up to two months–I’ve only used it to decide which bottles to buy from Union Square Wines.
Noble Food and Wine has been quiet even though it opened in mid-September. It first made news with the machine and it made a buzz again when chef Daniel Dorado, previously of Marema, reportedly walked out several weeks later. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the space looked like it was waiting for a party that refused to start. Maybe because it was six days before Christmas, but we felt a little weird for being the only two people there for dinner time.
We sat and drank at the bar instead of the lower-level dining room with Philippe Starck furnitures–our bartender seemed like he needed some company. He was attentive without being too obtrusive. To make up for the Eno, he generously let us share our wine pairings. We started with a half dozen oysters with sparkling wine. The busboy wasn’t exactly sure which were the Kumamotos from the Blue Points, but our bartender came back to the rescue and clarified. The perfectly-cooked serving of seared scallops came with a nice glass of white from Oregon and the Berkshire pork chops with honey-glazed apples and sautÃ©ed spinach were served with a full-body red. We weren’t sure what wines we were drinking anymore, but we both thought that it was just a sign that we were actually having an okay time.
When it was time for dessert, we also split the goat cheesecake. Our bartender proved that he was really paying attention to his only two customers of the night because he served it with a lit candle after he overheard that my birthday was coming up. Thankfully, two more couples walked in before we paid our bill. We didn’t feel as bad when we left to join the revelry outside.
We appreciated our bartender, but I’m afraid Eater.com’s Deathwatch is looming over Noble Food and Wine.
Tequila and Mexican at Cafe El Portal just around the corner