When I Googled the address (26 Astor Place), I thought it would be simple enough, but that's where I was sorely mistaken. Ange and I were running around in circles in the freezing cold, asking strangers like a bunch of crazed tourists just to try to find this place. At one point I thought I was being filmed as a joke. We were almost at the point of giving up when we decided to go into this building nearby, and the concierge said "yeah, people have been asking about that all night. I'll show you where it is." HALLELUJAH. I have never been so relieved in my life – he took us through the building and we came out closer to Cooper Square and there it was next to the Chase Bank. Or in the same building as Chase Bank. So the address had a minor typo – completely different street. No big deal.
Once we got inside, I was just happy to be in a place with heat, alcohol, and hopefully food. The interior is small, and yet it felt roomy; so if "intimate wine bar" is your thing, Bahr Che is a good bet. Just don't do what we did and sit by the door in the dead of winter. Those flowing curtains dont do much to prevent that icy chill of air from blowing across the back of your neck.
In terms of food, Bahr Che is supposed to be all about "cheese and chocolate", which are two things I happen to love, but not necessarily in that order. We started out with a carafe of pinot noir, and a few small bites. The wine arrived pretty promptly and it was really nice; medium bodied with a dry finish. The food on the other hand, took almost an hour and it wasn't even anything that required cooking, so I was a little annoyed by that. One table next to us had the same problem, while two tables on the other side said their food arrived quickly, so I guess we were just one of the unlucky tables. I know that it was a preview night for them and it was pretty packed, so I assume the kitchen wasn't prepared for such capacity.
The food was decent (nothing out of the ordinary for a wine bar) but the portions were small. We had a selection of meat (prosciutto) and cheese (pecorino) from the charcuterie, and the goat cheese salad. The salad had this lovely baked tomato with it that I would have enjoyed more of, but it was still a nice compliment to the bitter greens and tangy goat cheese. My favorite of the two cheeses would definitely be the pecorino; so strong and sharp, it was a good combination for our medium-bodied pinot noir. But again, it was a pretty small piece, and I was so hungry by that point that I would have eaten an entire wheel of it without coming up for air.
Sadly, I didn't get to try any chocolate, because I had to run out for another dinner. If it didn't take us 25 mins to find the place and if we got one of the fast tables, I definitely would have had more time and would have liked to try some – the chocolates on the menu sounded yummy.
Bahr Che is still brand new, so I imagine it has to work out some kinks before it's all settled, but I would not come here if I was expecting to leave full (from food). I would come here with the expectation of getting good and tipsy off of some wine (they do have a nice selection), and then maybe nibbling on some cheese and chocolate with friends. Isn't that what a wine bar is REALLY for anyway?
Click here for some great photos of Bahr Che from Christopher Moy Photography
26 Astor Pl (but not really)
No Number (that I'm aware of)
Now you know why I got lost