At this popular Midtown wine bar, proprietor Mike Sammons’s personal wine list revels in obscure varietals, small producers and unfashionable appellations like France’s Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec to go with bar snacks like charcuterie and cheeses. The lovely old building, formerly home to a 1920s dry cleaner, is a rarity in a town known for its tear-downs.
Despite the restaurant’s name, chef Chris Shepherd’s small plates menu is very much rooted in the Gulf Coast and is influenced as much by Asia as Spain. Shepherd serves dishes like cockles cooked in a broth flavored with sambal (a spicy Southeast Asian condiment made with chiles) and Tabasco-cured salmon. The offbeat wine list by sommelier and partner Antonio Gianola includes grower Champagnes (small-production Champagnes made by grape growers), little-known names from Hungary and Italy’s Friuli—all at low markups.
We loved: Calamari crisped in rice flour with a Vietnamese-style lime-and-black-pepper dipping sauce.
The ice cream flavors at Gilbert Johnson’s sweets shop near the Museum District include the intense Orange Sunrise, a mix of dark and milk chocolates and real Valencia oranges.
We loved: White chocolate–root beer ice cream.