Sometimes while walking the streets in this city you can still be surprised by what you will find when going down a block rarely visited. Such was the case not too long ago when I was on my way to a wine tasting event at a local store. As I was hurrying down 78th street towards York Ave I noticed this quaint little storefront with an old set of table and chairs having flowers and lights adorning them. I did a double take as I walked by, stopped in my path, and walked a few steps backwards to take a peek inside. Turns out, it was a very small wine bar. I grabbed a business card from the table outside and went to the event.
Heidi’s House By The Side Of The Road. I had not seen anything like this spot up here on the UES / Yorkville area I live in.
As we were finishing up the wine tasting I mentioned we should maybe extend our evening and hit this place up. When we arrived there it was packed wall to wall with people. As I was standing in the doorway looking around the owner Heidi came over and would not let us leave until she got my number and said she would call when a spot became available for the three of us. We walked around the area for about 20 minutes when the call came to come over. She offered us a great spot near the end of the bar overlooking the whole place. It was then that you could really see how small this bar/restaurant really is. Almost shoe box sized, but with a very cozy and homey type feel, and everyone around seemed genuinely happy to be there.
As we had pre-gamed during the wine tasting event we were set for more wine, and Heidi’s did not disappoint. They have a really nice selection of wines by the glass and bottle at reasonable prices. I had a Cotes du Rhone that was fantastic and consumed three glasses of it. Dummy! I should have just bought the whole bottle. There is also a diverse selection of craft bottled beers and sodas here too if wine is not your speed. The drinks went down easy all evening, almost too easy, while enjoying constant banter with Heidi at the bar. She is lovely and fun, and really seems to enjoy owning this place and taking care of the patrons. It’s good to see a small business owner thriving in this part of town.
Now for the food. Oh My God! The food here is just awesome. It is basically comfort food tapas style. To start we ordered the hummus made with organic garbonzo beans and warm pita slices. It was pureed into a tasty creamy consistency. We also ordered the guacamole with homemade corn chips and it was terrific. I could not stop eating those chips. Being the starving ravenous animals we are we also ordered the mac and cheese, and the pasta special gnocchi of the day. The mac and cheese came in a bowl with a crunchy top and was made with white cheddar and rotini pasta. Just. Simply. Terrific. The gnocchi was melt in your mouth delicious and was made a little different than usual with tomato, seasoning, and shredded cheese on top. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Yes, this place is a food orgasm. As I said, even though the menu is limited, what they do offer is beyond the normal wine bar small plates. Some serious love and thought went into this menu. Plus, there are daily specials on the board placed outside. The gnocchi ran out right after we ordered ours, so get there early if you don’t want to miss out. I also noticed the fantastic looking burgers they offer here that others were digging into. Mental note to get that on my next visit.
Now dessert is another story, and is crazy good on another level. Only two on the menu – chocolate souffle and date pudding. Now, the souffle was wonderful and creamy made with dark chocolate, but the date pudding was unreal! It is hard to describe, but was served hot with a spicy wonderfulness that actually made us fight over it. Yes, we ordered another immediately!
Food. Orgasm. For. Sure.
I tell you, this place is simply a terrific gem on the UES. Nothing fancy. Nothing large and obnoxious. Just right. The owner is a super fun person and already knows many of the patrons here. Charming and cozy is an accurate way to describe it. Great service, wonderful food, and terrific wine choices. I almost did not want to write this review for fear that more people will find out about it and make it impossible to get a seat there! At the time we were there she told us it had only been open for about four months, and the crowd had found it now. Good to see a small business doing well in NYC.
The things you can still stumble upon in this city amazes me to this day. Just by chance walking down a street we never take. We fell in lust with this place and will be back for sure! Many times too!
Definitely call for reservations, or get there really early. As there is limited seating, and it is small, you might be placed at the bar, so be aware if that is something that will bother you. We loved being at the bar.
The bathroom is nice and clean, with dried roses hanging from the ceiling, peppermint scented soap, and small fresh towels to dry your hands. You just don’t see that in many restaurant bathrooms! Nice touch!
Heidi’s House – http://www.heidishouse.net/