Heard the sad news this week that Brasserie Du Vin in Chinatown is closing down. Owner Dave Stewart has been a fixture in Chinatown for decades with his multiple restaurants (the now-closed landmark Indigo, Du Vin, Bar 35, Bambu2 which is now Eleven44) and ushered in the current-day throng of thriving establishments. It’s sad to see a place go not because it’s no longer popular but because of lease disputes (as in this case) or a lack of new blood willing to take over (as happens often with old-school mom-and-pop establishments).
I’ll be honest—when Du Vin first opened, we didn’t care much for it. Although the venue was stunning with its hidden courtyard with its trompe l’oeil French country village design, the food wasn’t great (and there wasn’t much offered), what there was was overpriced and there was no cocktail program to speak of. (Not hugely surprising, since it was conceived of as a wine bar, but I don’t drink much wine, so a wine-only establishment that doesn’t have good food that I can enjoy while companions have wine is not a place I’m eager to visit.)
However, as time progressed, the food got better and better—the duck specials were always a hit with us and the Caesar was probably my favorite in town, with its tangy white anchovy filets spread overtop—and they started a solid list of cocktail offerings. Du Vin became a go-to place for us to head after work to meet friends or just decompress on our own.
In their honor, today’s Friday Photo is dedicated to Du Vin.
This Blackberry Old Fashioned was one of Shake’s favorites. I even liked it, despite them hiding some beet syrup in there.
If you’re willing to brave what we hear are some fairly large crowds and slowed-down service, Du Vin’s last day is tomorrow and all their booze is half-off until it’s gone.
Du Vin, we’ll miss you.