Aria Wine Bar

I talked about Spanish tapas when I raved about Las Ramblas, but this time it’s Italian tapas I’m crazy for. Tucked away in NYC’s West Village, Aria Wine Bar is a brand new favorite of mine. The space is full of texture — wood beamed ceilings, rustic brick walls, and a double-sided bar done up in white subway tile — and at night it’s lit with candles and the whole place basically stinks of charm.

A nice alternative to the usual Italian sit-down, Aria serves up small plates of delicious food to share. Split a few with whoever you’re with, and I think you’ll walk away both full and happy. I went with the maccheroni al tartufo (mac and cheese with black truffles), the spicy artichokes, and they had a special the night I was there, buratta, which is something I like to describe as a cross between ricotta and mozzarella — it’s sweeter, yet rich and creamy, and goes perfectly over bruschetta.

While I thought the dishes were reasonably priced at around $10 apiece, I did think that drinks were a bit on the pricier side, although I must say, not only did they have a Pimms Cup, but they served it up deliciously. All in all, I didn’t leave unhappy in the slightest.

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Jeff Smith

Jeff started in photography and short format video, and he's been at the forefront of the web tv movement. He’s worked on haute couture shoots in Paris, shot street style in Milan, and is currently developing a steady roster of beauty, fashion, and digital clients in NYC.