Wednesday, January 2, 2008

You Can't Go Home Again

Some friends and I dropped by Home, the Greenwich Village restaurant, the other night for a casual dinner. I've always had a soft spot for the cozy Cornelia Street place, not just because of the comfort foot and snug atmosphere, but because of the eatery's special connection to the wine world. It was founded in 1993 by David Page and Barbara Shinn, the people who own the fantastic Shinn Estate Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island. Because of that, they've always carried a nice array of New York State wines, taking the localism trend in restaurants to its natural end.

So I was surprised when, asking for the wine list, we were handed a dinky thing with about 10 bottles on it, none of them by Shinn. I had been looking forward to a nice Shinn Merlot. "Where's the Shinn?" I asked the waitress. She said they were out. Out? How is that possible? She then elaborated. The Shinn family was getting out of the restaurant business. The commute had become to much and they sold out to their longtime partners. Today, in fact, was to be their last day.

The waitress said they'd still carry Shinn wines in the future. Still, the news saddened me. Home just didn't seem so special anymore. That said, my pork chop and quince-apple pie were yummy.

As for the wine, we opted for a Raphael "La Fontana," which was described as a Bordeaux blend. It was good, dry and medium-bodies, but the back label said it was made of 85% Merlet, with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Call me a fanatic, but in my book there's some Cab Sauv in a Bordeaux blend. That is, unless you think a drink without gin can be called a Martini.


Ironfrank said...

My last brunch (about three months ago) at Home was one of the most frustrating and disappointing meals I've ever had. It took half an hour just to receive a menu. It got off to a dubious start when the waiter announced before we could even order a drink, that they only had one biscuit left so if we wanted one we had to order it right now. Then he proceeded to tell me they were out of almost everything I asked for...bloody mary? "nope we're out of bloody mary mix" how about your signature cocktail "nope we're out of vodka, and lemonade..." I settled on an ice water and one of the most depressing "house roasted" turkey sandwiches I'd ever eaten, even Boar's Head would have been an improvement. In short, I won't miss this place one bit, I suspect it's owners have been giving it the forgotten stepchild treatment for awhile and with so many other brunch options in the West Village, who needs it?

Robert Simonson said...

Never tried brunch there. I avoid brunch in general. It's always a disappointing meal. The restaurants are crowded and noisy and the food commonplace.