A Girl's Guide to Drinking Alone is a website, where I drink alone at bars, then review them for how awesome or awful they are for women to go to alone. Based in NYC.
The Place: A cozy (but pricey!) wine bar that’s like a magic portal to Italy.
The Time: Wednesday April 25, 7:30pm. As I said in my Surf Bar review, I’m moving from Williamsburg to other Brooklyn pastures. So I’m feeling nostalgic for all the spots I haven't been to that will no longer be within walking distance from my apartment. (Wait - can you be nostalgic for something you’ve never experienced? Anyway.) Have & Meyer’s been on my list as a nerdy wine bar in the neighb, so there’s no time like the present.
The Vibe: It’s so snug and warm in here, and so Italian, it’s like your nonna giving you a big hug. This place is very narrow; there are a few tables in front, then the bar in the back, but really there’s barely a front and back because it’s so small. The exposed brick walls are lined with wine bottles, old photographs, mini chalkboards. Actually now that I’m looking, there are wine bottles all over the place. There’s a taxidermied boar head I could live without. I kind of wish the music was Italian to round out the vibe, but would that be too on the nose? Yet the distinctively upbeat American music does throw me off. Damn this place would be fucking perfect on a snowy night. (I am not complaining about this finally nice weather. Do you hear me weather gods!? I am NOT complaining!)
The Bartender: Everyone who works here is Italian, all two of them. My bartender/server is the perfect harmony of Italian meets hipster Williamsburg. She tells me all of the wines are natural, organic, and/or biodynamic, and “are like, 95% Italian.”
The Drank: So they have 90+ bottles of wine, and you can get every single one by the glass. Every single one! That’s just ridiculous, and super awesome. Here's the catch: if you want to pay less than $17 for a glass of wine, you’re down to like, 6 wines. I choose the $14 glass of Chora Bianco, an orange wine from Calabria, because I’m up for a little adventure. Hiptalian pours it from the biggest, most elegant magnum decanter I’ve ever seen. It’s delicious. I also order the cacio e pepe (my fucking favorite) because I am taking myself out for achieving something pretty major so I deserve it. #treatyoself
Was I Hit On? Nada. In fact, I’m sitting next to another solo woman who is also drinking wine, eating pasta and reading. It’s lovely. There are mostly couples in here anyway, and the couple sitting on my other side spend a long time arguing about which meat and cheese to get. The man asks for a red wine that’s “like, y'know, a little carbonated?” So yeah, those kinds of people come here too.
Should You Drink Here Alone? I really want to say yes. But the prices are just outrageous, and therefore make Have & Meyer inaccessible to most. I’d love to come back and try all the different wines, but I need to pay rent! An average of $20 a glass is not something I can endorse, unless it's a special occasion, or you’re Alice Walton. But if you want to splurge, Have & Meyer is a little dose of paradiso Italiano.