Last month we mentioned that Paris Commune was adding a downstairs wine bar- this month Rouge Wine Bar is open. We visited on a recent weeknight and, after drinking at the bar with the very lovely Gladys [a hen, also:wooden] we learned quite a bit.
-Like ordering fish, going out looking for a new, spectacular wine might not be the thing you want to do at a new bar right after the weekend. New bars are still gaging how much wine, and of what caliber, they will go through on a given week and Rouge ran out of several interesting choices over the weekend.
-The service was excellent, better than we'd had at Paris Commune, and not just because the there were only a handful of people in the bar (and none of them Conde Nast editors) but because our bartender was genuinely enthusiatic about the wine and presentation. He will probably tell you how happy he is that they'll offer a tasting class soon, too, if there is ever a pause in conversation.
- The menu is nearly as enthusiastic, describing the myriad of choices well. The menu is three pages long but as much fun as it is to read, you probably don't want to read past the first one; as it's arranged by price. We couldn't afford anything on the second page but our first page choice was lovely.
- Food will be served soon-within the week, we were told- and this is something to remember. It is not memorable because we've changed and now want to get some of our caloric intake from solids, no, not at all, it is memorable because the check system is set up to reflect tax on every item. So your $9 glass of wine is much closer to $10, before tip, fyi. While we don't find it offensive per se, it could definitely be jarring.
It's pretty and pretty romantic, though, especially with the low light hitting the chandelier of mismatched single crystals above the bar. Try the prosecco and pretend you are on the other side of the Atlantic.
Rouge Wine Bar at Paris Commune
99 Bank at Greenwich Street