City Winery is much nicer than I expected. Created by Michael Dorf, who also founded the Knitting Factory, it has three dining options. There’s the Barrel Room and a private dining area both of which require reservations. Or you can buy a ticket and eat and drink in the concert dining area. According to their website they offer eleven wines on tap that are made on the premises as well as an additional 400 wine selections from around the world. They are a winery, sell their wines and give classes where you can make a few cases of bottled wine with a custom label or even create your own private barrel. There are tours offered daily between 2p-5p.
We went Saturday night to see Mike Doughty’s Question Jar Show. His opening act was Mal Blum, who seemed to have a lot of friends in the audience. She didn’t quite demonstrate guitar virtuosity but she did write some interesting songs and she certainly had fun performing. Mike Doughty was another story. Maybe he just was having an “off” night. He seemed angry and acted as if he was doing us a favor by performing. At one point he stopped and yelled at a group in the audience because they were talking. I thought he took himself too seriously.
The tables in the concert dining area are very close together and you could end up sitting with strangers. It’s not a big deal. The servers were attentive but not annoying. I can’t speak about the food because we ate elsewhere however the wine was excellent. There is beer, a full bar and plenty of wines from which to choose.
City Winery is a fun venue for seeing a show. Check the schedule on their website (every Sunday there is a Klezmer brunch.) Next time we will eat there. I definitely recommend checking it out. Whether it’s dinner in the Barrel Room, taking a tour of the winery, drinking wine, listening to music or learning about making wine, City Winery offers something for everyone.
155 Varick Street, NYC