the 34-seat Coast and Valley takes elements of New York’s new-school wine bars and filters them through the Golden State. What comes out the other end is a place that’s stylishly restrained. With its cerulean-blue pillows, white walls, and light wood chairs, it looks not unlike the sort of aspirationally casual Los Angeles café that might serve, say, a poached chicken salad or spiffy porridge. But, it’s in New York, and Watanabe and Hsu have created a place that is, instead, a sort of love letter to the state. It’s also a place that is a celebration of California wine, and every single wine served here will come from that state…there’s an emphasis on Chardonnays fermented in steel tanks; Pinot gris; Italian varieties like Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Vermentino; and even some, close your eyes wine snobs, Merlot. There are roughly 50 wines to start, and Watanabe says they’ll keep working to get it upward of 100 to 120 over the next month. Also worth noting: Everything will be available by the taste or glass, even the more expensive bottles normally not offered that way.
They’re keeping things California in the kitchen, too, and there is, in fact, poached chicken on the menu… gently cooked poultry is served during brunch with avocado, charred cucumber, and a ginger-buttermilk sauce, alongside a few other staples like buckwheat pancakes with cardamom butter and maple syrup. The dinner menu is equally uncluttered, but far from basic. There are roasted grapes with the ricotta; a dish of crispy jasmine rice with spring onion and more; and an also crispy chicken thigh and drumstick with lentils, maitake mushrooms, frisse, and honey-chili sesame oil. You might not be in California wine country, but if all goes according to plan, Watanabe and Hsu at least want you to feel a little closer.
Coast and Valley
587 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint
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They say third time’s the charm, so pencil us in this hump day where we’ll toast to our new, very official opening date of May 1. • Image Description: [A cozy corner of a soon to open wine bar in Brooklyn, New York. Dining tables are set. There’s a wood bench with blue pillows. The room is adorned with green plants and crisp white walls.]