By Sommelier Leo Schneemann
Leo Schneemann is the co-owner and wine director of The Upholstery Store in New York City's West Village. He's originally from Vorau, Austria and trained in high-end restaurants in Austria before coming to New York to work with chef Kurt Gutenbrunner, his partner at the Upholstery Store: Food and Wine. He is also the general manager and wine director of Gutenbrunner’s restaurant Wallse.
The Upholstery Store recently began offering a daily weekday Happy Hour menu with $1 oysters, as well as 2 for $7 oysters that include Salmon Roe & Chive, Uni & Pickled Celery, Cucumber & Mint.
"In terms of design, Upholstery Store embraces a modern Austrian aesthetic, which is highlighted through black and white photographic prints, brass chandeliers and sleek banquette seating, reflective of the sprit of 19th century Vienna. Regarding our wine list, we feature a slew of German and Austrian wines also available by the glass. This is definitely inspired by my Austrian background and a way for us to pay homage to my heritage."
The Experience & Menu Highlights
"Our vision is to create a high-end dining experience in a casual and comfortable setting. Starting with a seafood-driven menu and a well-curated cocktail list. We carry a wide selection of reasonably priced local and international wines and craft cocktails. One of the many gems worth trying at Upholstery is our striped bass with spring onions, fiddlehead ferns, English peas and dill. This dish also perfectly pairs with our cocktail Vanilla Illégal, which is infused with agave, tequila, mescal and tonka beans. These two create an immaculate symbiosis of tastes and textures."
LEO'S NYC GUIDE
West Village Favorites
HIDDEN GEM | Malaparte
"Only three blocks away from us is Malaparte, an intimate Italian spot that has a great selection of pizzas. The staff is amazing and the mushroom thin-crust pizza that is topped with generous amounts of cheese is to die for."
753 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014
T: 212.255.2122 | malapartenyc.com
ELEGANT SPACE | Perry Street
"Not necessarily a hidden gem, but Jean-Georges’ Perry Street restaurant is a local favorite of mine. They have a great selection of brunch, lunch and dinner dishes in an elegant and sophisticated space."
176 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014
T: 212.352.1900 | www.perrystrestaurant.com
For The Wine Selection
"Most wines on the menu are French sparkling wines that go well with their seafood menu."
142 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10012
T: 212.431.7676 | www.lurefishbar.com
When I Don't Want Wine
The Dead Rabbit
"They have a spectacular selection of cocktails and beers that I really enjoy. The space upstairs is a real gem; it has an authentic ambiance that gives this place character. When at the Dead Rabbit, I recommend having a Rollerball, it’s a great cocktail with Whiskey, Raspberry and Fennel and Pimento Bitters."
30 Water Street, New York, NY 10004
T: 646.422.7906 | www.deadrabbitnyc.com
It’s a speakeasy located in the West Village with a world-renown cocktail list. It might be a hassle to get in during dinner hours, but definitely worth the wait. Try the Mata Hari [Remy Martin 1738 Cognac shaken with Chai-infused Martini Rosso, and Pomegranate Juice]. You'll thank me later.
510 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
T: 212.242.3021 | www.employeesonlynyc.com
Late Night Bites
The Spotted Pig
"For a late night eating spot, The Spotted Pig does the deed. They have a great selection of bar snacks and drinks. The Sheep's Milk Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter, and Crispy Sage is a real treat."
314 West 11th Street, New York, NY 10014
T: 212.620.0393 | www.thespottedpig.com
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