East Village Wine Bars
26 Astor Pl. 10009
Cross Streets: Lafayette and Bowery St.
Looking for this cozy winebar tucked into the curving glass Gwathmey Siegel apartment building?… Insider’s note: the entrance is on Cooper Square… just around the corner for Manhattan mainstay Butter.
The name, Bahr Ché, refers to the French term for an above ground wine cellar. And how it is. They offer a nicely curated international wine list – served in quarter and half carafe sizes, as well as bottles – curated by master sommelier Fred Dexheimer and prominently displayed in a dramatic steel, 1,500-bottle wine wall.
Wines are sold by the bottle or ”carafe”, actually quartinos. (Wine by the glass is not an option.) There are nine whites on the by the carafe list, including a Spanish Txakolina. And of the ten reds on this list is a very interesting Austrian Zweigelt. Once the rosés arrive, it will be a fun and varied list.
Bahr Che is suggested to be all about “wine, cheese and chocolate.” Former Wall Streeter Camille Glickman is behind this sleek café-bar. Light fare will be served throughout the day—Intelligentsia coffee and Bouchon Bakery pastries in the morning; changing over to organic and farmstead cheeses, charcuterie (like prosciutto & pecorino), small plates (such as goat cheese salad with a baked tomato that compliments the bitter greens and tangy goat cheese) – other savory purveyors are Murray’s Cheese and D’Artagnan; while Pastry Chef Jean-Francois Bonnet from Tumbador Chocolate does the dessert and chocolate menu (some are from Black Hound New York).
With soft mood lighting and warm wood paneling the interior is small, although it feels roomy; so if “intimate wine bar” is your thing, Bahr Che is a good bet. (Word is the flowing curtains dont do much to prevent that icy chill of air in the winter if sitting near the doorway.)
Early reports say food service is spotty… but that can be said for most newly opened establishments. However, go if you want to be served good wines, beer, cheese and charcuteire from around the world in an intimate setting.