Best Unusual Wine Lists in NYC

October 25, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Here are the top-rated NYC restaurants with unusual wine lists. 

Birds & Bubbles
Southern American · Lower East Side · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

The “name says it all” at this “hip” LES Southerner where “tender” fried chicken and other “elevated” comfort fare pairs with a “thoughtful” champagne list; an “adorable patio” gives the “small” , brick-walled quarters some breathing room when things feel “tight.”
Casa Mono
Spanish · Gramercy Park · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

You’ll “feel like you're in Spain” at this “tiny” Gramercy hang where “inventive” Spanish tapas are complemented by a “super-deep” wine list; “quickly escalating” tabs and “cheek-to-cheek” seating are easily “overwhelmed by the out-of-this world food.”
American · NoLita · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.1

You “can’t go wrong” at this NoLita “hot spot” from Ignacio Mattos, where the “beautifully executed” American menu includes “highly original” Med-influenced share plates; the “small” , “loud” space is “less than thrilling” and bills do “run up” , but scoring reservations is still a “challenge.”
The Four Horsemen
Wine Bar · Williamsburg · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

A “killer wine list” filled with “quirky” finds is the headliner at this Williamsburg nook from musician James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), but the seasonal American fare is “spot-on” too; “sleek” and “perfectly dimmed” with a front bar, it draws “hip, but mature” types who keep the mood “convivial.”
Momofuku Ko
American · East Village · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

A “phenomenal experience” for an “open-minded foodie” , David Chang’s East Village “event” provides a “fascinating tour” of Asian-inspired American cuisine via “extraordinary” tasting menus crafted at a sleekly “comfortable” chef’s counter; the “steep” price tag is considered “well worth” it, so reservations are still as “tough” as “getting past heaven’s gates.”
M. Wells Steakhouse
French · Long Island City · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

Located in an LIC “converted auto-body shop” , this Québécois-accented take on the classic steakhouse from Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis presents “terrific” chops from a “wood-burning grill” in the open kitchen (where there's also a live trout tank); a patio with its own bar and a pétanque court only adds to the “unique” – and “pricey” – experience; P.S. it’s only open Thursday–Saturday.
o ya
Japanese · Murray Hill · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.5

“Flavors like you’d never believe” are found in the “beautifully presented” omakase meals at this modern Japanese in Murray Hill’s Park South Hotel; the “highly original” fare is available à la carte too, but either way expect a “huge price tag.”
Racines NY
French · TriBeCa · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.1

Linked to a Parisian wine-bar outfit, this “fine and funky” TriBeCan offers a “limited” but “well-executed” lineup of French market fare accompanied by a “wine geek” –worthy vino list, featuring many “obscure” and biodynamic bottles; “down-to-earth” service and a “mellow” ambiance are other pluses.
French · NoLita · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

An “industry-leading” wine list is a big draw at this “cool” Bowery follow-up to Pearl & Ash, though its “inventive” and “refined” French cooking also makes it a “multiple-repeat candidate” ; the “sleek” space has an “unpretentious vibe” , though the tabs trend “expensive.”