Tucked away on 7th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A is Ruffian Wine Bar and Chefs Table! This boutique little wine bar is the perfect spot to enjoy unique wines from Southern France and seasonally inspired light fare.
Ruffian is owned by Patrick Cournot and Nick Fusco, with a team of top industry professionals including: Chef Josh Ochoa, Andy Alexandre, and Sommelier Alexis Percival. The menu changes daily and the dynamic wine list offers 100 selections by the bottle and 15 wines by the glass.
Patrick walked me through some wines by the glass. I was incredibly impressed by his passion for Southern France, industry experience, and pairing expertise. I started off with the Capdepon, Ancestrale de Limoux, Languedoc, France NV. This sparkling wine from Languedoc is delicious and was paired with the hearty Steak Tartar, Nori, Yolk, Soy & Yuzu. While flipping through the list, I spotted an orange wine from Slovenia, which of course, I had to try. The 2012 Kabaj, Pinot “Sivi” Pinot Grigio, Brda, Slovenia was striking and beautiful with lively notes of hibiscus, honey, and grapefruit. Paired was a Cauliflower Soup with Miso that was out of this world, yum!
After some starters arrived some even more interesting and daring pairings including: 2013 Clos Lapeyre, Jurançon Sec, Southwest France and Saiya “Yuki No Bosha”, Yamahai Junmai. Paired with the Sec and Sake was the shareable Warm Fingerling Potatoes, Chickpeas & Muhammara, which was a fun pairing with the junmai sake as well as the French white wine. Next up was a bold and beautiful red wine from southern France. The 2009 Chateau Gautoul, Cahors, Southwest, France was paired with a Chocolate Soufflé with Crème Anglaise, which was a sweet way to end the evening!
What’s unique about Ruffian is that all the cooking is done behind the bar, which also houses the wines by the glass and bottle. Everything is done behind the bar, creating an intimate feeling thats different than many other wine bars in NYC. For those seeking small bites and great wines I recommend stopping by Ruffian in the East Village for some great wines and an incredible changing menu.