Thursday, April 17, 2008
Nobody See the Wine Cellar at Sparks Steak House
Sparks Steak House is known for having one of the best wine cellars in Manhattan. But you're going to have to take that on faith. Because there's no way they're going to let you see it.
I write a monthly column for the New York Sun called "In the Cellar," in which I write about the wine collection at a famous New York restaurant. In the nearly two years I've been writing the column, no place I've profiled has ever said I couldn't see the cellar. Oh, there was the guy at La Pizza Fresca who held out for a bit, but that was mainly because his cellar was a mess and he was a bit embarrassed. But he eventually relented and let me take a look.
Sparks Steak House, however, treats its wine cellar like the North Tower at Thornfield Hall in "Jany Eyre." Off limit. "Nobody ever see the cellar," Eugene, Sparks' wine steward told me. "It's always been that way." Always, meaning the 40 years Sparks has been around. Eugene, whose last name I never caught, could offer no other explanation, except that's the way the boss liked it. He wasn't unpleasant about it; he was quite matter of fact.
Of course, denying access only make one more curious. What have they got down there that has be kept from prying eyes? Paul Castellano's mummified corpse?