A Cheese, Chocolate and Wine Bar? Oh My!


Courtesy of ayzanyc.com

This is one of those places, that while the prepared food isn’t worth eating, it’s still a fabulous venue to go to. Ayza is a brilliant concept. It is a chocolate, cheese and wine bar that also has a lunch and dinner menu. The problem is the lunch and dinner menu. My date and I ate the following dishes that night:

Asian steak tartare
Grilled octopus salad
Beef carpaccio
Pasta with basil, marinara and mozzarella

All were incredibly mediocre. Nothing was awful, but everything was just average if even. Even when I saw my pasta, the first thought that came to mind was Chef Boyardee. The steak tartare was a disappointment. The carpaccio had too much greens compared to the amount of parmesan that was shaved on, which led to the dish tasting under seasoned. The grilled octopus salad was good, but not really anything to write home about. I had to ask for salt and pepper as there was none on the table. I feel like restaurants who don’t offer condiments at the table are very confident about their food. In this case, Ayza should definitely take their confidence down a notch.

One more sad dish was the moist dark chocolate cake. I never ever send food back, but this needed to go back. A very bland dessert, I would have been happier with a Hostess cupcake. BUT! Onto the good parts of Ayza.

It would have been a fantastic experience if we didn’t have our dinner there. Our drinks were wonderful! My date had a pinot noir, I chose the ‘Is Paris Burning’ martini, made from Remy Martin VSOP and raspberry liquor. The cheeses were delicious and the chocolates from Jacques Torres are always a good choice. The bar itself is very tiny, but cute and they provide a heated outside area to sit in. I would definitely go back and order anything the kitchen doesn’t have to cook themselves.

One more puzzling thing…aside from the Jacque Torres chocolates there are actual desserts, like the cake I ordered. When the waitress saw how much I really didn’t like it, she suggested their best dessert, the 20 layer crepe cake. My first thought…as this is a chocolate bar…shouldn’t your best dessert contain chocolate?

6 out of 10

-Joyce Huang

Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar
11 W 31st St, New York 10001
(Btwn 5th Ave & Broadway)
(212) 714-2992
AYZA Wine and Chocolate Bar Midtown on Urbanspoon

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