Quality wine should not be an “added bonus” when dining at a fine restaurant. It should complement the cuisine in every sense. Nerai, a chic Greek restaurant tucked between Park and Madison on 54th street, splendors with both authentic dishes and wines from major wine growing regions across the world as well as small family owned boutique wineries in Greece.
This summer, the Grecian hotspot was the recipient of their first-ever Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. To celebrate this honor, owner Spiro Menegatos and General Manager Michael Coll welcomed guests to taste, mingle and sip the wines that helped them receive such a coveted award.
Nerai’s wine cellar can hold up to 4,000 bottles of wine at a time ranging in price from $55 to over $2,000 a bottle. The selections are carefully chosen by the Wine Director and GM Michael Coll and reflect the Grecian culture of the restaurant. Throughout the evening wines from Eklektikon, Cava Spiliadis, DNS Wines, Skurnik wines from the Ted Diamantis portfolio, Athenee and Craft & Estates were served.
- Robola of Cephalonia “Vino di Sasso”, a white Greek wine grape grown on an island between Greece and Italy. The fruity drink comes from a winery that dates back centuries making some of the most natural wines produced in Greece.
- Semeli Sauvignon Blanc comes from a small vineyard with high elevation and grapes being picked in October. The citrus notes are intense leaving a fragrant aftertaste.
- Alpha Estate Chardonnay comes from a winery in the northwest part of Greece. This single vineyard is organic surrounded by a bit of woods, but in high altitude. The rich bold taste of the chardonnay makes it pair well with octopus.
- THALASSITIS is produced from Assyrtiko, Santorini’s indigenous white grape variety. The young wine is planted in volcanic soils using a modern style, then aged on fine leaves and in a stainless-steel container for three months on yeast cells. The wine is lean, firm, and high toned yet bone dry, so ideal for a starter course.
Served alongside the wines were Greek vegetable dishes like spanakopita and zucchini croquettes, and meats including juicy chicken skewers with yogurt sauce and meatballs from Executive Chef Moshe Grundman.
Nerai is a two-floor dining establishment open all-year and ready to transport diners to Greek through their palette. The neutral décor countered by soothing Mediterranean color tones, nautical rope and sea glass emphasizes the Greek Island atmosphere.
– Lauren Wire
55 E 54th Street
New York, NY 10022
Photos courtesy of Nerai and by Socially Superlative