Wine Wednesdays – Racine’s Wine Bar

I recently visited Racine’s Wine Bar for dinner and drinks.  I had been wanting to check out Racine’s since it opened last spring.  With two locations in Paris, this is the first Racine’s in the US, located in Tribeca here in NYC.

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Unfortunately I have mixed feelings on my overall experience.  First up, the atmosphere.  We walked in around 7:15 and we’re told there were no tables until 8:15, despite several open tables around us and availability showing on Open Table for 7:30.  We obliged and took two seats at the bar.  I’m a huge fan of bar seating, but the intimate experience I crave, where one can chat freely with the bartender, was lacking here.  The bar was almost too big, and impersonal to facilitate such an experience.  After about an hour and a first drink, they were able to seat us at a table.  We got a high top towards the front of the restaurant, and once again, the quaint, Parisian atmosphere I was expecting was lacking.

We moved on to another round of wine and dinner.  The wines were great, although on the pricier side, with the opening price-point by the glass at $13.  I started with a white from the Languedoc, Clos Marie Cuvée Manon.  My request of the bartender was medium bodied, fruit forward and she hit it spot on.  With dinner I moved on to a Côtes du Rhône by Domain Charvin.  Again I asked for the recommendation of the server, requesting a fuller bodied red but not overly heavy or tannic.  This was again spot on; fruit forward and juicy, but with bright acid and medium finish.

Now on to the food.  We started with the veal tartar (we came to find out this is the one dish that has remained consistent on the menu since they opened).  I had the poached salmon with roasted root vegetables and a beurre blanc as my main.  The veal tartar was interesting, but was so covered in mayo it was hard to taste the veal.  My salmon was delicious, but the portion was so small, it was a bit overpriced in my book.
All in all, I’d recommend Racine’s for a glass of wine if you’re in the neighborhood, but I wouldn’t make it a destination. 
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