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March 30th, 2010—Bar 79

Day 79—Monday, March 29th
Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar

A lot of people have asked me in my tavern travels so far, what’s my favorite kind of bar.
The answer is dive bars. Really if I had my preference I’d be hitting a dive bar every night. But one of the points of the website is to visit diverse bars and occasionally wander out of my comfort zone. Today while Googling around I found a wine and chocolate bar that’s only blocks from where I work called Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar. Normally I would never think of going to a place like this, but then again, why not? It’s got wine, it’s got chocolate, how bad can that be? They’ve also got a peppermint chocolate martini, I’ve gotta try that. Get your sweet tooth ready for a treat and let’s go!

It's a rainy night out tonight, but they've put up a plastic shield so patrons can still sit on the patio seats outside.

The bar is small and intimate, but lucky for me I spy an empty seat.

Being a dope about wine, I asked the bartender Yulia to pick the wine. I told her I liked dry, white wine that's not too sweet. Within seconds she found the perfect wine and here it is.

It was perfect! And notice the extended pinkie while drinking. Who says I ain't got class?

Andre and Tro are two of the friendly staff on duty.

Krissy and Chris were visiting from Las Vegas. This was their first time in New York and they were having a great time in the city and in Ayza. I want to take this moment to say hi to their friend, Todd, who they told me could probablly match me drink for drink on this bar crawl. Hi Todd!

there's tables on either side of the bar for patrons who come here to sample the wonderful appetizer and main course menu.

Bartender Yulia serves up a peppermint martini with a gorgeous smile, thanks Yulia!

Here's some of the wine bottles that are on display over the bar.

Annie gets a glass of wine to take to a table.

Fire! (I'm sorry, this just never gets old for me! Although I know everyone else is sick of it.)

Ayza also offers outside seating. Smokers take note!

Steve was seated next to me at the bar and we learned that we both work within the same industry. In fact, after talking, we discovered his company makes the magnetic boxes for the mettalic ink jet prints I make. As Steven Wright once said, "It's a small world, but I'd hate to paint it." Cheers, Steve!

Yulia taking care of business at the bar.

In addition to the wine, there's a full bar available.

And Yulia pours the final drink of the evening, a champagne martini. Thanks for the great and hospitable service and conversation Yulia! And goodnight everybody!


I saw both versions of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and never saw him touch a drop of alcohol. If he did develop a liking to booze, this would be the spot he would definitely hang at. Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar is a wine and chocolate lover’s paradise. The place is classy and cozy, but be forewarned, it ain’t cheap in here, but as they say, you get what you pay for and if you like wine and chocolate, it’s worth the extra bucks. The bar is a small one, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat and Yulia is the bartender, you’ll have a wonderful evenging. Yulia and the rest of the staff are super friendly and knowledgeable about the wines, house cocktails and chocolates. Yulia is an expert mixologist and I highly recommend the chocolate peppermint martini.

Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar more than live up to their name.
There’s over 90 wines and champagnes to choose from and a large selection of gourmet chocolates. They also offer three different types of chocolate martinis and four selections of beer. And if you’ve got an appetite for something more than vino and chocolate, they have a full lunch and dinner menu. Some of the unique appetizers include: White Truffle Pizza, Wild Mushroom Pita Tart, Asian Steak Tartare and Carpaccio Di Manzo. There’s a large variety of panini available and some of the entrees to choose from include: Medallions Of Filet Mignon, Stuffed Chicken Paillard and Pasta Radiatore. Save room for dessert, because they have a large and enticing menu. Next time I come here I’m trying the Warm Chocolate Molten Cake.

Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar
11 W 31st St. (Between 5th Ave & Broadway)

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Reader Comments (13)

Marty, that is what I love the most about this wonderful web site you have going here...the diversity and juxtaposition between the bars.

I must admit that I like dive bars but only when I am in the mood but Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar really looks like my kind of place. I love WINE and I LOVE CHOCOLATE, what's not to love!

I thank you for including this bar in your travels as I never even knew that "wine and chocolate" bars existed. However I have long been aware of the delightful pairing that a fine Cabernet and a delicious chocolate dessert make. I thought that it was my little secret....

The patron look very nice and the bartenders very friendly and cool. It looks like a magnificent venue.

"Next time I come here I’m trying the Warm Chocolate Molten Cake". That sounds amazing!! Those types of gooey chocolate desserts are my favorites!

P.S. When we were in Vegas over the weekend I went to The Double Down Saloon in your honor.

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

I agree with Tiki, I love all the different bars you are going to. I'm a beer and shot man myself, but this place looks great! And Yulia's smile really brightens up your blog!

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

A chocolate peppermint martini!?!?! Sounds like a very interesting drink...and easy to underestimate in terms of potency. If one were to overindulge (perish the thought) would this drink taste as good coming back up as it did going down? One can only wonder...

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Nice lookin' crew they got there! And I like their lights and wine boxes and tables, etc...how do you say? Decor. Food sounds really tasty too. A good alternative to your standard sit-down-dinner-restaurant where you gotsta get all dressed up and shit. I love a good viognier. I'll have to try that one.

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

P.S., If Willy Wonka had anything to do with the development of the afore mentioned martini, if a cop pulls you over and you lie to him about how many of them you had, do you swell up and turn into a giant blueberry, or do a bunch of little ompa loompas pile out of the squad car and taser you and then beat you comatose with candy canes?

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Ha ha ha! I'm going to say it's the Oompa Loompas, Jaws and who knows where they'll stick the candy canes!

March 30, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

I'm so excited to finally have been to one of the bars you have on here! I liked this place a lot. Although, I was highly intoxicated at the time and dolling out random dating advice to people who weren't even with me.

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLola Lakely

I take the wine but I let the chocolate to Jason!

WOT??? no beer!!!! NO BEEERRR!!! i had only ever heard rumors that this sort of place existed!!! u really took one for the team here Marty!!!....in saying that i will give you 10/10 for the diversification of 365....for the blokes still in the single game, this joint would most definitely be a chick winner on a 1st, 2nd date thing.....(no way i'd tell Reddog or me other mates i'd been there though)...now DIVE Marty DIVE!!!!!

post script....how much for the white truffle pizza? & do they deliver? (the boys would be impressed gettin' a couple of white truff' pizzas & maybe a bottle of Barrossa Light Chardonay at the next poker night...not....)....& Jaws, you crack me up!!...the choccy martinin that tastes good & coats the throat on the way down AND on the way back up!!!.... willie wonker, hahaha! good one mate!!

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

It's ten bucks for the truffle pizza, fitzy and I don't think they deliver. Oh and they do serve beer here, but I thought I'd stick to their house specialties. Tonight will be another non-beer night, but Wednesday I'm back to the diving board, promise!

March 30, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

You had me at chocolate! You had me at chocolate!

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

I have to see if they have any Dark Chocolate , it's the only chocolate I like !!!
I wonder , A Dark Chocolate Martini ?

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

Hey Marty! Thanks for the Todd shoutout! We gave him your personalized card over the weekend, and he was stoked to say the least! Hope all is well in New York. We will continue drinking in your honor all around Las Vegas. When you get a chance you should totally come check out some of our bars too!!

April 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Bannisters

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