Restaurant of the Month: Medi Wine Bar
With so many options to grab a bite to eat in Hell’s Kitchen, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed with so many fantastic dining options. With so many restaurants lined up on 9th Avenue, from wine bars to family-style sit downs, how do you even begin to narrow down the search?! After living (and dining) in the area for several years, I can confidently make your quest for the perfect brunch, lunch, or dinner spot much easier: choose Medi Wine Bar.
Located on 9th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets, Medi Wine Bar is a delightful neighborhood spot offering Mediterranean fusion, a fabulous selection of wines from those countries, and the most perfect ambiance for all occasions. With a fully stocked bar, pristine dining quarters, a wine cellar, and a beautiful outdoor garden (filled with spring time blooms), Medi is the perfect spot to sit back and soak up some Mediterranean culture.
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Most of the wine bars you’ll find along 9th Avenue offer the usual Italian, French, and Spanish wines. Medi stands alone in this category, offering bottles from other countries known for their fabulous wines, such as Croatia, Israel, Slovenia, and Lebanon, as well as the Italian, French, and Spanish tried and trues. Vino lovers everywhere, be prepared to revel in delight!
And of course, if cocktails are more your thing, there’s plenty of those, too. I’m partial to the cocktail named after the restaurant’s address: 9 & 53RD. It’s filled with St. Germain, Grape infused Vodka, Fresh Grapes with sparkling Rosé, for $14.
Medi’s appetizer game is strong, so you don’t want to bypass this section of the meal.
Order a bowl of Mixed Mediterranean Olives for the table, which are marinated in Fresh Rosemary, Oregano, Garlic, Chili Flakes and Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($7). Then move on to your greens, which will quite possibly be the best Greek Salad you’ve ever had ($12). There’s been times I’ve gone to Medi just to order their Greek Salad and a glass of cracking cold Sauvignon Blanc… Seriously, so tasty.
There’s a few different ways to go for your main course, all of which are equally terrific, it just basically depends on how hungry you are.
If you’re looking for something on the lighter (dare we say healthier?) side, go with the Pan Seared Fillet of Mediterranean Branzino, complimented with Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Toasted Almonds and Broccoli Rabe ($28).
If you’re a vegetarian, we wholly suggest the Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi, drenched in a Black Summer Truffle and Butter Sauce ($20).
Finally, if you really want something hearty, go with the Grilled Lamb Chops, served with Chopped Vegetable Cous Cous Timbale with Tzaziki Sauce ($24).
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Keeping with the Medi theme, some of the more popular desserts (inspired by the region, of course!) include the following:
- Panna Cotta with blueberries and vincotto ($9)
- Chocolate cake with toasted pine nuts ($10)
- Apple cake with vanilla ice cream ($10)
And while it’s not always on the menu, they make perfect Nutella crepes, so it’s worth asking your server if someone in the kitchen minds whipping them up, with a side of whipped cream and strawberries, too!
Good To Know
If you’re looking for the perfect space to host a special event, look no further than the wine cellar at Medi. Filled with wine bottles and soft candlelight, the room sets the mood for a special evening. There’s a giant communal table running down the middle of the room, perfect for a range of events, including birthdays, rehearsal dinners, or (in my case) a large book club meeting.
While you can certainly coordinate it so that a pre-set menu is prepared, I also appreciate that they will let your large group order a la carte off the menu, which is rare for large parties in Manhattan restaurants!
Also, if you join Medi for brunch, you have the option to have an unlimited bottomless brunch (hello, mimosas!) for $36. And their Prix Fixe lunch is $14!