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June 2015
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August 2015

You’re Probably Drinking Your Rosé Wrong

Jean-François Ott @ Aldo After Dark

“The glass is as important as the wine itself,” Aldo Sohm, wine director of Le Bernardin (15,000 bottles), told the Observer. It’s 10pm at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar (200 bottles; 40 by the glass), the exquisite, casual spot he opened with chef Eric Ripert last fall. And it’s lively, to say the least. Chef’s here, wine bloggers and writers there, work friends and couples in between, cared for by expert staff, and –tonight only- holding glasses filled by Jean-François Ott. Yes that Ott. Jean-François is a great-grandson of Marcel Ott. He’s circulating a double magnum (four bottles and a giant party in each one) of his family’s 2014 Chateau Romassan Rose ($26 per glass). And everyone’s in.

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The Secrets of Getting Your First Bar or Restaurant Space in Manhattan

Wassail owners Benjamin Sandler and Jennifer Lim
(Photo: Arman Dzidzovic/Commercial Observer)

When Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim began seeking space for their second venture, Wassail, a bar devoted to cider, they considered Hell’s Kitchen, Flatiron, West Village, the Bowery and the Lower East Side. This was last spring, though the couple (in business and life) had cider in mind for years. The Queens Kickshaw, their bustling coffee/grilled cheese/craft beer spot in Astoria, opened in 2011 with three ciders on offer. As the fermented fruit drink surged in availability and popularity, their list of ciders grew and then cider propelled every vacation, every trip and everywhere they went for any reason.

An early but unrealized courtship with an interested investor ignited the dream of operating in Manhattan. At the end of 2013, Ms. Lim and Mr. Sandler partnered with Sabine Hrechdakian, one of the organizers of Cider Week NY. And the hunt for real estate across the East River was on.

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