I really should hang out more.
And thankfully, in my neighborhood, there have been some recent additions that may be fun to frequent. I've always been a naysayer of the Upper West Side. After living here for more than five years, I still am not the biggest fan. I actually don't like it up here. But the space we have is awesome. So, we stay. For now.
Recently, it got even worse because our favorite place to stop by for drinks, Aix, shut down. Let's just say it gave us another reason to leave. But, there have been two new additions to the UWS that have been interesting. Maybe not enough to reason to stay but kinda nice anyway.
Buceo (sorry no website) is a wine bar that also serves international(?) tapas. The food was quite tasty, the wine selection was pretty good, and the staff was very friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. It has become the new hang out for my husband and his friend, Donna. I tend to tag along once in a while. I probably will do so more often because I like the place.
Pudding Stones West is another wine bar (and exactly one block away from my front door!) that recently opened. The food looked fine, the wine selection was also pretty good, the staff was... staff. Not poor, not good, just okay. I'll probably go again but certainly not my choice as the first place to go. My husband and Donna like it too (but mostly because she is crushing on the owner, who was not that attentive when I was there). I guess my reason for not being hot on the place was because not a single staff person smiled as we sat at the bar. It's scary that something as simple as that could turn me away. I don't ask for much at all but a smile, especially if you are in the service industry, does matter. It's the entire basis of my retail education.
I also find it interesting that the husband and Donna actually prefer Buceo. They won't say anything bad about Pudding Stones but you can't help but think that the warmth that Buceo extends is much more inviting. Frankly, I felt unwelcome as a non-Caucasian at Pudding Stones. And before you go telling me to get over myself, you better be non-Caucasian yourself.
I hope this trend of wine bars with good food keeps going. It's not enough of a reason to want to live on the UWS but it's nice to have a place to go out and get a civilized drink. Later.