At New York City's Pearl & Ash, wine director and managing partner Patrick Cappiello can often be seen whacking the tops off Champagne bottles with a saber. He also oversees a cellar full of extraordinary values. Here, he tells how anyone can find bargains on a wine list.
Q. Let me get this straight. You quit your job at an ultra-high-end, two-Michelin-star restaurant tohelp open a wine bar on the Bowery?
A. Pearl & Ash is the kind of place where I've always wanted to work. I'm a downtown guy; I have a lot of tattoos. Although I did start off as a middle-class kid from the suburbs, who grew up on a skateboard, went to college and majored in philosophy… but even back then, if I could have designed the perfect job scenario, Pearl & Ash would have been it.
Q. What inspired the wine list? It's both eclectic and very well priced.
A. If you go to Paris right now, the wine scene is very much focused on places like ours. Le Chateaubriand, Spring, Le Verre Volé: They're casual, they're mostly in the outer areas, your server will be wearing jeans. When I was in Paris two summers ago, I went to all these places, and it was incredibly inspiring.