Just memorize and act natural
If you're already dropping coin on a nice meal and bottle of wine tomorrow night, you might as well get your money's worth by looking awesome doing it. To that end, we asked CityZen sommelier and wine ninja Andy Myers to help you choose what and how to order at 10 big-time Valentine's restaurants. Find yours below, memorize, and enjoy.
Restaurant Eve Sommelier to ask for: Leonard or Craig Say: "So many Spanish wines, it's almost hard to choose... but yeah, we'll have a Rioja. I love that they have the weight of Pinot Noir, but with slightly sweet notes like tart raspberry. Why, thank you Leonard or Craig, I do know my Spanish wines!".
Vidalia Ask for: Ed Jenks Say: "Hmm... I know that Southern cooking pairs well with the little bit of sweetness in German Rieslings -- well, more specifically, the Spatlese style from the Mosel Region -- so yeah. Let's have one of those."
Proof Ask for: Sebastian Say: "Call us crazy, Sebastian, but I think we want to just celebrate each other and drink Champagne! Do you still have any of that "special club" style? You know, the stuff made by several small growers working collectively?" When it's poured, say to her: See those tiny bubbles? That's a sign of good quality Champagne".
Central Ask for: David Say: "Babe, did you want white or red? Ok. Dave, we'll go with a Chardonnay from the Cote de Beaune. If she had said 'red' I would've gone with a Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, as its soft vanilla and light cherry notes pair equally well with your butter-heavy cuisine, but, you know, women".
Old Ebbitt Ask for: Johnny or Jenny Say: "Hmm... I can never remember what best complements oysters... oh wait, yes I can, it's the sort of crushed minerality of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, not to mention the brininess and hints of bright kiwi".
Cork Ask for: Anyone. It's called "Cork Wine Bar". Say: "I know you guys have a huge Old World list, but I'm really trying to narrow in on something rustic from Southern France. Actually, you've got a Grenache blend, so that's perfect! I just love anything "sauvage". Turning to her, say: "Just sort of raw and untamed". Then wink.
Johnny's Half Shell Ask for: John Fulchino Say, while pretending to scan the page: "What pairs with seafood, what pairs with seafood... ah, a Muscadet from Loire Valley. That's moderately acidic, with notes of lemon, right? A little yeasty? Perfect".
Bourbon Steak Ask for: Julian Say: We're carnivores tonight, so let's get up on an Argentinian Malbec. Really, Julian, anything from the Mendoza region will be fine -- we're just looking for something with loads of tannins to break down our protein". Say to her, when Justin walks away: "I wonder if that means I should be drinking Malbecs post beefing-out with my GNC shakes?"
Cashion's Ask for: Justin Say: "No, this isn't our first Mediterranean rodeo, Justin -- we'll take something from the Campania region of course. How about a Southern Italian white... I dunno... eh, how about a Fiano di Avelino? Gotta love the great minerality in that thing thanks to the region's volcanic soils".
CityZen Ask for: Andy, duh. And double-kiss-hello him. Say: "We've been great, Andy, thanks for asking. What have I been up to? You know, working out, sampling Malbecs. No, definitely not reading email newsletters -- what are you even talking about? Anyway, we'd love to pair our lamb with a Barbaresco from Northern Italy. I've noticed it almost 'evolves' over the course of the meal". Say to her: "Oh, you think I've evolved too? That's so sweet!". Hug her, while fist-pounding Andy.