As we continue our exploration of Manhattan’s Financial District, our new home neighborhood, we cannot avoid the hub of drinking and eating that is Stone Street. A historical district, it is now a draw for tourists during the day and financial industry workers during happy hour. We have already eaten (and drunk) a couple of times at the Dubliner, a nice traditional New York Irish bar in the district.
On one of our recent stops in the area to bring some boxes to our new apartment, we found ourselves in need of some sustenance, and started walking down Stone Street, sizing up the street and looking to pick out somewhere to eat. When we saw Vintry Wine Bar, we remembered that our realty agent Julien, whose office is not far away on Wall Street, had told us that Vintry is his favorite place to eat on Stone Street. So with that endorsement in mind, we decided to give it a try.
Like all the establishments on that street, Vintry has some tables outside, but we decided to sit inside. The interior is dedicated in a very hip style, with backless bar stools even at the tables, which are also bar stool height. Not my favorite setup, but I thought, ok, I’ll give it a try.
The menu is mostly drinks – wine, whiskey and then on the last page, beer. There is a single sheet of paper that you might miss if you weren’t looking for it that lists food choices – small plates, charcuterie, cheeses, and desserts. For our first time, we ordered a plate of Spanish Serrano ham, some tuna tartare and lobster dumblings. As usual, I asked and the waitress checked and confirmed that these choices all were dairy free.
For my drink, I ordered a bottle of Corsendonck brown ale. At 750 mls or about 24 ounces, that would seem to be a lot of beer, but really it is about equivalent to 2 regular bottles of American beer. I love Corsendonck, so I knew I would have no trouble finishing it.
The food we chose was great. The one thing that didn’t seem to go too well with my beer was the lobster slider, but I still ate a couple of them. And I must say, those three selections were plenty of food. We might have been able to squeeze in a fourth – and there are many other delicious-sounding choices that appear like they would also be completely dairy-free – but we were happy to walk away after our three.
The one thing we couldn’t figure out about this bar (other than the bar stool height tables, I guess) was the high ratio of staff to customers. Many bars with waiter service – take the aforementioned Dubliners, for example – might have one bartender and one or at most two waiters for a huge room or series of rooms as well as an outdoor terrace. Vintry is a small room with a fairly small bar and just a couple of tables outside, and they have about 6 people working there, four of whom are dedicated to the bar area. I don’t get it, but if all 6 people can make a living off of the fairly small size of the clientele, then good for them.