In the six months since Custom American Wine Bar opened, it’s achieved an usual feat: It’s gathered a devoted following while flying under the radar.
The city’s voracious food bloggers, amateur and otherwise, have yet to descend. Case in point: Even the Yelpers have only posted 10 times.
This is all the more surprising because Custom is such a charmer. What’s not to love about sitting at a long, candlelit oak bar facing bottles of wine (and a selection of bourbons) lined up against a red brick wall while Dan Lathroum, one of the owners, lets his iPod unapologetically roll through the German pop star Nena’s cover of “Sexy Boy” onto the B-52s?
Then there’s the wine. Drawing on the collective knowledge of the industry veterans involved with the project, Custom has one of the most deftly (albeit selectively) curated American wine lists in New York City.
Broken into categories of bubbles, whites, rose and reds, the list has a western U.S. emphasis with a bit of New York state thrown in. You won’t find a glass for more than $12 and, just a word from the wise, try not to fall in love — you’ll be hard-pressed to find any of these labels in your local bottle shop. These guys can’t even guarantee their stock. (Call it a professional hazard of working with such localized artisans.)
If the food menu seems disjointed — they do serve shoestring fries topped with Cheese Whiz ($4) and a sandwich called “The Elvis” (peanut butter, banana and bacon, $6) — give it a chance. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what pairs nicely with a glass of Fess Parker (Paseo Robles) syrah.
Custom American Wine Bar
644 Driggs Ave., at Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn