A Meal at This New Soho Restaurant Feels Like a Dinner Party, but Better
In this city, you can find a restaurant to fit every mood, from shiny special-occasion dining rooms to hole-in-the-wall dives with great food. But we’ve never been anywhere quite like Niche Niche, a newly opened spot on the border of Soho and Greenwich Village.
A meal here feels a lot like a dinner party hosted by your coolest friend…except that friend has a giant apartment, cooks like a pro chef and happens to have an insane wine cellar. Thanks to the charmingly mismatched antique plates, patterned concrete tables and layered rugs (not to mention the bathroom that’s wallpapered with photos of dogs), the space actually feels like you’re sitting in someone’s cozy yet fashionable home. That’s by design: Owner Ariel Arce (who’s also behind Tokyo Record Bar and Air’s Champagne Parlor) wanted to re-create the convivial vibes of an at-home gathering—not least because many New Yorkers don’t have the space to actually host one.
Here’s the gist: Niche Niche offers two seatings, at 6 and 8 p.m., every Monday through Friday. Each night is hosted by a different wine expert, who curates a selection of four pours for guests to try. To accompany the wines, the kitchen whips up a different menu every night, served family-style. (The whole meal comes to $80 per person, or $40 if you just want the wine.) After the second seating, Niche Niche opens up as a wine bar where you can pop in for an à la carte selection of interesting wines and snacks.
We were lucky enough to snag a table on opening night and, full disclosure, we’ve already booked our next reservation. We tasted four delicious French wines from Champagne, Jura and Burgundy, which all managed to surprise us. (For example, a mineral-driven, zesty chardonnay that tasted nothing like the rich, buttery stuff we usually try to avoid.)
Our meal started with a generous plate of cheese and prosciutto served with heavenly salted butter and fluffy sourdough. Next up: monkfish, sautéed cabbage and a side of creamy Jerusalem artichokes, followed by light-as-air chocolate mousse. There are only 25 seats in the whole place, and you’re encouraged to get up, mingle and meet new people over the course of the meal. Arce has said she hopes people leave having made a few new friends by the end of the night.
If the March calendar is any indication, Niche Niche has some exciting things in store. Grant Reynolds of Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones, John Connolly of Frenchette, and Dustin Wilson of Verve Wines are just a few of the sommeliers, producers and wine-shop owners who are curating tastings this month.
Because every night features different wines and a meal to match, you could eat at Niche Niche every week and never experience the exact same thing. Plus, you get to taste eclectic wines you’d probably never know to buy on your own, and even learn a thing or two to impress your friends. You know, at your next dinner party.
43 Macdougal St.; nichenichenyc.com