Magazine article The New Yorker

STONEHOME WINE BAR; Tables for Two

Magazine article The New Yorker

STONEHOME WINE BAR; Tables for Two

Article excerpt

The ever-popular wine bar poses something of a categorical conundrum. Many wine bars relegate their foodstuffs to the side--a composed cheese plate here, slender panini there--and seem to be little more than pretentious watering holes. The best, though, like Stonehome Wine Bar, give the culinary as much attention as the oenological. Situated on the garden level of a brownstone in Fort Greene, with stone mosaics, a curving cherrywood bar, and faux-suede seats, it's tucked away but clearly sought out. On a recent Thursday evening at nearly eleven o'clock, there was a full house of drinkers and diners alike--many, it seemed, had wandered by after the Sufjan Stevens performance at BAM and were relieved to find a place for dinner at that hour.

Bill Stenehjem and Rose Hermann, a couple and longtime residents of the neighborhood, opened Stonehome in 2003, and in 2006 they brought in John Gibson, formerly of Veritas and Lucy's of Long Island, as chef. Gibson is certainly unafraid to offer hearty fare with flavors that challenge--and amplify--those of the wine. A fennel salad, delicately doused with orange vinaigrette, featured tangy pickled beets; pork meatballs, bobbing in a bowl of smoked-pork broth and cannellini beans, were rosy in the middle, with just enough Taleggio cheese oozing out. …

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