Magazine article The New Yorker

Gottino and Wilfie & Nell

Magazine article The New Yorker

Gottino and Wilfie & Nell

Article excerpt

The other evening at Gottino, Jody Williams's West Village enoteca, as patrons stacked up in the cramped space between the barstools and the wall, the manager got to work: "We'll have seating in the garden in about an hour," he explained. "There's a table inside about to open up, or seats at the bar could open anytime. Can I get you a glass of wine?" The waiters moved briskly behind the marble-topped bar, neatly attired in white shirts, aprons, and plaid bow ties. At one end of the room, the charcuterie mistress tended her meat slicer; at the other, a stuffed boar's head grinned from the wall. Gottino makes the most of its narrow space; the high pressed-tin ceiling gives the place an airiness, while the yellow tiles and pale wood behind the bar give it a lightness. You get the feeling that the patrons really care about wine, so it was hard not to feel a bit silly ordering the prosecco with strawberries and basil, which, though fresh and filled with delightfully chunky bits of berry, was undeniably pink. And it certainly wasn't meant to go with the food, which is anything but a lark. Wild-boar pt, for instance, was textured and complex, both spicy and sweet; crostini with "pearls of prosciutto," Parmesan, and a grape mosto had a smoky elegance. Even vegetables took a twist: beets, bathed in crme frache, arrived in the crisp parchment packet in which they were roasted, along with hazelnuts. Downstairs, on the way to the rest room, a pantry is set as a cornucopia: a platter piled high with artichokes, overflowing baskets of walnuts, metal buckets of onions and potatoes, and a basin of corks, topped by a watermelon. …

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