Upper West Side Wine Bars
410 Amsterdam Ave. 10024
Cross Streets: 79th & 80th St.
Hours: Lunch: Mon-Fri 11 am-5pm, Daily: Downstairs/ Garden 4:30pm-11:30pm, Upstairs/ Lounge 5pm-2am, Brunch: Sat-Sun 10am-5pm
In South African slang, “Tolani,” simply means “too good.” In fact, this new ‘wine restaurant’ is striving to to marry “authenticity with ingenuity” with a global touch. They’ll serve dishes representing regions all over the world and varietals to match. Such as serving up Italian with a Tuscany carbonara along with a Barbara from Piedmont or a bright NZ Sauvignon Blanc with mussels.
Tolani offers an extensive, varietal based wine list, with most bottles priced from $30-$80. Twenty wines will be offered by the glass, priced from $9-$18, as well. A wine tap system will be in place, adding to the full wine experience of current trends.
The menu – filled with small to medium sized plates and meant to be shared by a table - sets out to provide “an adventure around the world”… boasting of dishes that are likely made in every home around the world, down to a particular region. Want Greek? they got it. Want West Indies? They’ll serve you a regional delicacy. Want South American… Asian… American… even Maghreb? It’s a one-stop dining exploration for worldly foodies. A lot to conquer for them and you. There should be comfort in knowing that the owners reflect this vision from their own lives… all hailing from various cultures around the world (South Africa, Mexico, Australia, Long Island and Turkey)… each drawing from dishes they grew up with, dishes they’ve encountered in their travels and dishes they’ve only dreamed of encountering first-hand.
This “global comfort food” spot is divided into two levels – an upstairs, semi-casual bar area and a downstairs, more fine dining experience and an outdoor garden. (I hear there’s a basement “secret garden”….. must seek out.)