City Winery – Where Food and Music Lovers Unite!

City Winery isn’t somewhere I thought would have great food. I thought that I would go see a great concert, eat some serviceable treats, and have a swell time with friends.

The concert was meh, the food was awesome, and…well…it was a swell time with friends.

Did you hear what I said? The food was actually awesome.

City Winery is a beautiful indoor concert space that happens to be a winery as well. The seating is a little tight but it fits well in a cabaret style atmosphere. The music can be loud and your neck might cramp if you have to look behind yourself to see the musician, but that’s all my complaining for the night.

Because the food was great!

IMG_20131203_192227_010 Mushroom and goat cheese flatbread

Wow – this pizza is surprisingly tasty! It doesn’t have any real char and the crust is a little fluffy, but the flavor is delightful. The mushrooms are tender and meaty – they really replace the craving for pepperoni or meat on a pizza. The goat cheese is light and creamy, tangy next to those meaty shrooms. It’s not too heavy or greasy but it’s still creamy and fulfilling.
IMG_20131203_192411_473 Beets whipped with feta and tahini

So fresh and well rounded that it would be at home in any Mediterranean restaurant in the city. The beets are very light and not too earthy, or as some might say “dirty” tasting. Not me, I havent’ ever tasted a beet I haven’t loved. Anyway, it is really aggressively seasoned. Nutty tahini, salty, creamy feta mousse, and more than a hint of garlic make for a fresh take on beets and cheese. It’s a really punchy, flavorful dish that is far more savory and robust than I normally picture a beet dish. The warm pita alongside didn’t hurt either.
IMG_20131203_192903_520 Squash arancini with tallegio fonduta

Oh yes! My major bone to pick with arancini  is that it is too heavy or greasy. Usually this is due to meaty, pork or geef based fillings. By filling these compact balls with squash, it manages to be crispy and creamy but not overly heavy. It’s sweet and savory , with the ideal sprinkling of cheese to keep it nicely salty. It can even take a dunk in the winner of the night, a fragrant, creamy, lightly aromatic tallegio fondue. Think cheddar meets brie. Yeah. It’s that good.
IMG_20131203_192932_680 It’s also soft and not too dense. These little bites were my number one winner of the night.  IMG_20131203_193200_518 Crispy tofu hot pot with butternut squash, mushrooms, bok choy, and sweet chili sauce

Another tasty dish! Nothing super memorable, but the tofu is tender and the thin crust is light and crunchy. The chili sauce is sticky sweet, but he squash soup has a really spicy kick! It’s loaded with ginger and coriander, and enough chiles to make me sit up and take notice. This isn’t the most intricately flavored dish on the menu, but it is satisfying and recommended even for meat eaters like me.

City Winery’s food actually outshone the concert – I am totally surprised! The service was efficient and competent, the prices were fair, and even the wine on tap was excellent (an unoaked chardonnay…buttery, no sign of smoke or oakiness…totally drinkable!).

The food was also great. If you go with great company and don’t mind the slightly cramped seating, it’s a wonderful way to spend a night!

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