My friend Kristen and I felt like treating ourselves well last night. Since we didn't have the bank to head to Masa or Per Se, we settled on a perfect glass of wine in a perfect room - Eleven Madison Park. Bypassing the grandeur of the main room's art deco design, we grabbed two seats at the restaurant's wine bar. Taking in the collection of dapper, well-suited gentlemen lined to our left and the striking gold ceiling above, we knew we'd chosen well.
And then I saw him...Maurizio.
Maurizio is one of those miracles among men - a brilliant bartender who takes pleasure in his craft. Within moments of a brief greeting he sized up the situation and disappeared. He re-emerged with two flutes of fizzy champagne.
He was good. Very good. And, goodness knows, the champagne was just what the doctor ordered. A few sips into the heavenly elixir and Kristen and I were feeling like pampered princesses. All that in a glass? No way. In a flute!
We weren't about to leave. Ordering up a plate of their famous, piping hot, meltingly cheesy Gougeres, we perused the wine board to move our palates on to something rich and red.
And then I saw it...Hyacrabs. Hyacrabs? What the heck kinda STD-inspired wine is that? I had to inquire.
Even Maurizio was at a loss.
I opted for a glass of meaty "Three Valleys" Ridge Zinfandel Blend and Kristen went a tad lighter with Patricia Green Cellars "Shea Vineyard" Pinot Noir. But, we did feel like we were missing out on trying a wonderful new delicacy in Hyacrabs.
And then we saw it on the printed wine menu...a Cab-Syrah Blend.
Some errant member of the bar staff must be a word jumbles fan.