There's no more enjoyable way to get intimate with a foreign country than by drinking its wine, but at this point you've gotten so close to Italy and France, you're practically on the same menstrual cycle. Helping you branch out, Cellar 58.
A low-lit, narrow-but-comfortable space endowed with marble-topped tasting tables, murals of half-naked, apparently post-coital drunks, and a temp controlled glass-walled vault for daddy's grape juice, C58's from a veteran wine importer/former Le Streghe owner on a mission to expose patrons to wines from unexpected places, and her actor partner, who's latest B-flick was promoted as "the movie that men do not want their wives and girlfriends to see" (luckily, due to extreme B-ness, she hasn't). While the suds selection's limited (Stella & Bass on tap, Peroni, Heineken, etc, in bottles) and the booze selection...doesn't exist, the 120+ bottle vino list makes up for it: some from under-appreciated sources (Greece, Portugal), others from completely random ones, like Ecuador, Uruguay, Bulgaria, and Hungary (try the '56 varietal for the dry, tank-tread finish). Because eating keeps you drinking, C58's also breaking out pan-Italian small plates (bruschetta, tuna and olive crostini, etc) plus larger plates (prosciutto and mozarella torta al testo, lasagna with porcini and black truffle...) that are "not small but not quite entree size", an indeterminate designation that'll leave you absolutely certain you need more food.
Soon, C58'll begin sidewalk service, and then start slowly upping their bottle count to 150, with more surprising nations represented -- by the time you sample all of them, you'll likely be post-menopausal.
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