‘inoteca Lists Still Deep, Cheap
On the top end, you’ll find too many temptations to count and, like the uptown location, you’ll get to shave a chunk off a short list of wines post 11p.m. But even without the late night discounts ‘inoteca remains one of the best places in the city to drink a bottle of vintage Barolo or Barbaresco without forking over half a month’s rent. Read the entire article here.
New York Magazine.com
This Lower East Side offshoot of New York’s panini pioneer `ino takes it to a mercifully bigger space-all rustic wood tables, walls lined with wine bottles, and service so chipper you’d think there’s nowhere else your well-trained waiter would rather be at two in the morning. The jovial atmosphere is infectious, and the kitchen knows what New Yorkers like to nibble, including mini-meatballs flecked with orange zest, and—next to `ino’s—the city’s best panini and tramezzini.
Gourmet, America’s Best Restaurants
Neighborhood Gems — The most exciting place on the hot, young, Lower East side is `inoteca, a wine bar serving the sort of easygoing Italian food you feel like eating after work or a movie. The menu is rich with salumi, panini, and fabulous fritti, followed by bigger dishes like chicken cacciatora. Co-owner Jason Denton is also an owner of Lupa, and the food is similar-no wonder there were lines the day the restaurant opened!
New York Magazine.com
, Lucy Cohen
`inoteca is a rare find; each glass of wine at this homey wine bar feels as though it was poured, and perhaps bought, with you in mind. … And a knowledgeable staff can certainly help you choose the perfect libation. A completely Italian wine list and menu, dimmed lighting, wood paneled walls and shelves overflowing with wine bottles make this venue feel like a cross between a Tuscan restaurant and a ski lodge. … Late at night the music gets louder and the place fills with people who enjoy sipping and talking about wine.
July 08, 2003
With a space three times the size of `ino, a downstairs wine cellar, private dining, and outdoor seating, `inoteca might just upstage its older brother. See, when Jason Denton opened his button-cute West Village haunt `ino (and later Lupa), his younger brother Joe was right by his side. Now Joe’s taking the stage as full-on partner at `inoteca, an offshoot of the original `ino, which opens today. Wine is still the name of the game at `inoteca, which has a selection of nearly 200 bottles and 25 wines by the glass or half carafe. Nibbles, courtesy of Chef and co-owner (Eric) Kleinman, include the eminent truffled-egg toast, plus new items from paninis to piattis of melanzana lasagnette and frittata del giorno. Not to be missed: the salumi featuring culatello, a specialty of prosciutto crudo.Link to complete article
New York Magazine
June 30, 2003
The Italian suffix -ino is a diminutive, making it a great name for Jason Denton’s 23-seat panini bar. But now, among hungry New Yorkers at least, `ino has come to signify the luscious Italian pressed sandwiches and bruschetta he serves there. Ever the savvy entrepreneur (as well as a partner in Lupa and Otto), Denton, joined by his brother, Joe, and Eric Kleinman, a former sous-chef at Lupa, has taken his Italian wine bar concept to the next level: a full-scale wine-themed restaurant, `inoteca, opening in early July on the increasingly gourmet-friendly Lower East Side. In a space at least quadruple the size of `ino, the partners have much more to work with-not to mention a real gas-powered kitchen. That’s where Kleinman will assemble an abbondanza of antipasti, fritto, salumi, and cheeses, plus heftier dishes like chicken cacciatore and eggplant lasagnette. Fans of `ino’s truffled-egg toast will find it here, along with house-made mozzarella, porchetta panini, and a wine cellar for private parties.
New York Magazine
December 8, 2003, Gael Greene
Bottle of Red? — What price are you willing to pay for a full and complex super-Tuscan with enough sprightly snacks to make you feel that you’ve actually eaten? At no-frills `inoteca, an expansive sapling of `ino, it may be a wait on the corner of Ludlow and Rivington for that bare wooden table with its paper napkins. But once settled, you can count on a cheerful guide to the cellar list, underground prices ($4 to $15), and savory starters (like beets with orange, mint, and hazelnuts), splendid panini (the one with coppa, hot peppers, and rucola is my weakness), a rich-as-Croesus truffled-egg toast, a filling eggplant lasagnette, and iconic meatballs.
Time Out NY, Best New Small Plates
April 29 - May 6, 2004
Eat Out Awards — Mastering small plates is a big deal. When the formula is wrong, dishes clash, menus are confusing, and diners leave too full or too hungry. Since opening in July 2003, `inoteca has been showing everyone in the minicourse business how it’s done: top-notch ingredients, an award-winning wine selection, savvy servers and, above all, a co-owner, Joe Denton, who remembers practically everyone who’s ever walked through the door. This isn’t beginner’s luck; Denton gathered a following when he ran `ino in the West Village. At this bigger, broader spin-off, the kitchen moves beyond sandwiches and antipasti to warm, cheesy polenta; potatoes and baby peas smothered in fresh pesto; and fat prawns wearing a straitjacket of crisp pancettawith any of 315 Italian wines to match.
Time Out NY, Best New Wine Bar
April 29 - May 6, 2004
Eat Out Awards — You don’t have to know a thing about wine to enjoy a great wine bar in fact, that’s exactly the point. You only have to know what types you like, and `inoteca co-owner Joe Denton and his wine-smart staff take care of the rest, delivering one of 315 Italian finds in thin-rimmed, grown-up wine glasses. Ask for a dry, crisp and medium-bodied white, for instance, and your server might zip to the wine cellar in the basement and return with a $33 Ribolla Gialla. About 30 bottles are available by the glass or carafe, with most carafes costing $15 or less. Order the fanciest bottle on the menu (a $200 1997 Le Pupille Saffredi) if you must, but know that Denton is just as thrilled to have you try one of his favorite low-cost finds, like a 2000 Le Querce Aglianico del Vulture for $29. But remember to eat, too: `inoteca also takes this year’s prize for best new small-plates restaurant.
100 Best Italian Restaurants: #6, `ino / `inoteca
June 9, 2004, Robert Sietsema
A plague of panini is upon us! And `ino is to blame, inspired by the Milanese sandwich bar Quadronno and still my favorite. Groove to the Italian BLT, the olive bowl, the Nutella panino, and the truffled egg toast, and wash them down with the city’s most perfect cappuccino.Link to complete article
Food & Wine
Where To Go Next: Manhattan —`inoteca This offshoot of `ino could have become a smash just by duplicating its sibling’s panini menu. Instead, co-owners Joe and Jason Denton joined chef and co-owner Eric Kleinman to create delicious small plates, like calamari with borlotti beans. The wine list has 25 choices by the glass.Link to complete article
Tastemaker Awards, Italian Food Emissary
September, 2004, Ratha Tep
Food & Wine — In 1998, Jason Denton, 34, launched New York City’s wine-bar trend at his tiny restaurant, `ino, using one panino press and 10 carefully chosen wines by the glass. The formula, which combines an authentic and inexpensive Italian experience with a fun environment and top-quality ingredients, worked, and Jason has gone on to become one of the city’s most successful young restaurateurs. In the past few years, Jason teamed up with Mario Batali (for whom he’d worked as a waiter at Po) to open the Roman trattoria Lupa and the boisterous pizzeria-enoteca Otto. In 2003, Jason and his brother Joe, 29, debuted `inoteca, a bigger version of `ino with a menu of Italian small plates. Like `ino, it’s authentic, inexpensive, fun—and a hit.Link to complete article
Best Wine Bar
April 7, 2005
Time Out New York — You won’t find any sublime French wines or discount Aussie shiraz at `ino or `inoteca. The staffs at these award-winning wine bars (see also “Best small plates,” page 18) pour only Italian wines, and they do so with authority. The restaurants’ cult following started when tiny `ino opened in 1998 and grew with the launch of the larger Lower East Side insta-hot spot `inoteca in 2003. The wines at both are organized by region (north, central, south) and change weekly: `ino offers 120 bottles, ranging from $21 deals to $250 rarities. `Inoteca nearly triples the ante with a wine list hovering around 350 bottles, including a $20 bargain-basement Colosi Nero D’Avola 2002 from Sicily. Those who want just a taste can choose among 28 wines by the glass. No wonder the sandwiches taste so good.
Best Small Plates Restaurant, Reader’s Choice
April 7, 2005
Little `ino and its bigger, bustling spin-off, `inoteca, have probably taught New Yorkers more about the Italian language than any other business in the city. How else would diners remember that they had fawned over the tramezzini (crustless sandwiches), the polpette (meatballs) or one of the formaggi (cheeses) the night before? Meat lovers happily return to this popular duo time and again, having brushed up on the differences between coppa, culatello, bresaola, soprassata, speck and prosciutto. And vegetarians have had their way too—eating beets matched with orange, mint and hazelnuts, or a salad of romaine, radicchio and ricotta salata—all at prices that rarely rise above $10.
Time Out New York
October 20, 2005
The Builders — When a restauranteur finds a formula that really works, he’d be crazy not to use it again and again. The culinary conquerors, Jason & Joe Denton have laid claim to certain neighborhoods and / or cuisines with their own recognizably iconic results. Both `ino and `inoteca involve a simple idea taken to great heights by the Dentons; wine and panini, served late in cool neighborhoods.
Savory New York
New York Magazine
November 18, 2007, Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite
‘inoteca’s Tramezzini di Tacchino alla Diavo — No Thanksgiving is complete without a turkey sandwich cobbled together long after the last relative has toddled out the door and thoughts of having various family members committed have begun to fade. This one, an adaptation of the peppery turkey tramezzino Eric Kleinman serves at inoteca, requires a little advance planning, but, like ritualistic family gathering’s themselves, its worth the effort.Link to complete article
Dressed for Dinner — Hipsters flock to this Lower East Side favorite to share small plates and flavorful panini. The restaurant stays packed until 3 am, due in no small part to the unusual wine list that boasts more than six hundred bottles. The brothers Denton wear Canali suits with printed shirts and ties that bring out their friendly downtown style.
New York Magazine
February 4, 2008 , Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite
Diner’s Dictionary: “Tasting Table” — In today’s hypercompetitive restaurant market, even the furniture has to make an impression. But now that communal tables and chef’s tables are old hat, the new hot seat is a “tasting table”, the latest phrase to hit a press release. Sadly, for some, they’re not the buffet-style feeding troughs the name might suggest. Here’s how a few local spots define the term.Link to complete article
R.E.M. Goes on Lower East Side Wine Crawl
New York Magazine, Grub Street — Sure, U2 rode through Manhattan on a flatbed, but we find it way cooler that R.E.M. stopped into September Wines and two Lower East Side restaurants this Monday while filming a music video for their upcoming album. ‘inoteca partner Ethan Richardson, who says Michael Stipe comes in now and then, tells us he fielded a call from a band rep asking for permission to film there. They ended up performing acoustic for a little less than five minutes and then ate for fifteen or twenty minutes before moving a couple of doors down. Click to view