42 Rivington St, 212-254-1675, Lower East Side

Cheapest drink: $5 glass, $20 bottle of wine
Most expensive drink: $85 bottle of 2002 red
Overheard:  [with affection, about stinky cheeses] “If you really smell this one, it smells like feet.”

It can be frustrating to order a glass of wine in this city and discover it’s the same price that the entire bottle sells for retail. Kind of makes you feel like a chump… I’m not suggesting smuggling in a flask or anything, but wouldn’t it be nice to go out with a big group of pals and get on a big velvety, poetic red wine drunk? Thankfully, there’s now a place on the Lower East Side where the wine flows like beer. Sort of.

Jadis is a quaint little wine bar on an otherwise empty street, situating itself as the possible missing link between Soho and the LES. At the entrance you step down into a subterranean basement of ceiling-to-floor exposed brick, candle light, rustic but minimal décor, seating that ranges from worn wood tables, to a back room that is more of a lounge. This is all hinged on a loud French pop soundtrack that instantly removes you from the streetside LES flavor just steps away.

If members of your party are looking for a bite to eat, Jadis also provides a modest menu of starters, quiches, paninis, platters (get the cheese!), and a few desserts. And while the cheeses could’ve been bolder and the wine list more aggressive, there was very little reason to complain. Everything was enjoyable. For such a new place, the staff knew to ask patrons their opinions, for future adjustments. But mostly this joint is about drinking wine in a friendly neighborhood atmosphere.

As our server put it, “We want to ingratiate to the locals.” And he did his best to educate us on the wine selection, provide sample tastings, and supply us with continually big pours — no doubt a tactic that keeps ‘em coming back. They’ll also tell you if you’re about to order crappy wine (they’ll still let you drink it), and I respect that. Let the days of wine and roses begin.


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