We survived Thanksgiving with only a few hiccups – my dad’s flight getting delayed by three hours on Thanksgiving morning, the oven turning off while the turkey was roasting, a broken meat thermometer, and burnt cheesecake crust (I blame the oven – see above). More importantly, we survived NYC at Thanksgiving, which is, in a word, overwhelming. I heard on the news that 3 million spectators were expected for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which we enjoyed painlessly from the end of our block). That is a heck of a lot of people and many of them stay through the weekend. In an effort to avoid the Black Friday masses, we went to “Slumdog Millionaire” (which I recommend).
After the movie, we wandered over to Clo, the new and much-discussed wine bar in the Time Warner Center, which features a touch screen interactive table. The interactive display provides information about the 100+ wines available by the glass – a picture, basic details (region, price, vintage, etc.), tasting notes, and a map of where to find the wine in the dispensing showcases that surround the communal table. Clo payment cards allow you to obtain 4 oz. glasses from the dispensing machines.
My husband, who is a bit of a techy, was delighted with the Clo experience…technology + wine = :). My father, despite having an iPhone, was frustrated by the touch screen and overwhelmed by the selection. I was somewhere in the middle. The information provided on the touch screen was not terribly informative and, particularly in light of the wide selection, I wanted someone to talk me through the wines. There are a staff on hand to help bewildered guests, but the first gentleman who assisted me steered me in the wrong direction, despite what I thought were clear guidelines. My Clo experience improved when we began chatting with the knowledgeable and friendly manager, Brian. Brian suggested that we try the Lavradores de Feitoria, Quinta da Costa das Aguaneiras, 2004, which we liked so much that we bought a bottle from a local wine store.
From a cost standpoint, Clo is surprisingly reasonable (it sits in the middle of Per Se and Masa, two of the most expensive restaurants in the city). Take the Lavradores de Feitoria, for example – a 4 oz. taste (typical glasses are 5-6 oz.) was $12 and a bottle was $54 (I think). The retail price on the bottle is $30. It’s hard to complain about a markup of less than 2x in NYC, particularly in the posh surroundings of the Time Warner Center. The wine offerings skewed toward the high end of the price range with far more options above $20 than below $10 so it would easy to rack up a pricey tab.
Clo is worth a visit and we will definitely return. After our high-tech wine adventure, we had dinner at Bouchon Bakery to enjoy the Time Warner Center’s holiday display, which includes 14-foot stars that change colors to holiday music and falling “snow” every fifteen minutes. More on Bouchon Bakery another time when I delve in to my favorite cookies in the city. If you are intrigued by Clo (or if you have never been to Bouchon Bakery), I recommend visiting while you can enjoy Time Warner Center’s winter wonderland.