When I was recently in New York, and ready to make dinner plans with my girlfriends I wanted to just get a good glass of wine, mussels, and gnocchi. Umami expressions were all that came up when I stumbled upon Estela, located at 47 East Houston Street in Soho, New York. Estela is a beverage-driven restaurant from former Blue Hill at Stone Barns beverage director Thomas Carter and James Beard Award-nominated chef Ignacio Mattos. Designed as an approachable, easy and fun place to go, Estela serves shareable plates of American food with European influences, features a wine list of over 200 mostly European selections from France (Rhône, Burgundy), Germany and Italy, and offers classically-inspired cocktails.
Like every other restaurant in New York, Estela is small and overcrowded. The standard brick exposed walls, bar/ counter reserved for only walk ins, nicely dim atmosphere was something I had already seen many times. However- when next in New York I will return to Estela or recommend friends to dine there simply because of one thing- their wine list. Every glass of red I had was excellent. Expensive but excellent! I ate the Mussels escabeche on toast, Ricotta dumplings with mushrooms and pecorino sardo, and Swordfish with szechuan, butter beans, and greens. Every bite was better than the next. I was bummed that the portions were so small. Nevertheless- Estela in New York, a must try among the many eateries on every god given corner. Dine and you will remember why most say “New York has the best food”- the culinary talent here is rare.
5 red’s I recommend while at Estela–
Loire- Domaine du Mortier ‘Dionysos,’ Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil
Loire- Marie et Vincent Tricot ‘Le Petit Rouge de la Côte Ouest,’ Auvergne
Tuscany-Casina di Cornia Chianti Classico
Piedmont- Erbaluna Langhe Nebbiolo
Jura- Les Dolomies ‘La Cabane’ Pinot Noir