Café French French culture abroad New York Restaurant Romantic Wine

Amélie, NYC bar à vin

Post by Frank Cierpial

For the Francophiles on the other side of the Atlantic…

Photo by : Frank Cierpial

Going out in New York is hard to do. There are countless complaints that I have about the New York nightlife. Either the music is too loud, there is no place to sit or walk that does not involve getting drinks spilled on you, or  if you want to keep your shirt clean, it is too expensive. With that said, Going out in New York and trying to satisfy a craving for French culture is even harder. But Francophiles in the New York or San Francisco areas, there is an outlet for your yearning for French culture. I discovered this gem at 22 West 8th st. while en route to the East Village. It is best to take the N,R,or Q subways to the 8th street NYU stop. When I arrived I heard the French language being tossed around as if I were smack dab in the middle of the Marais, and my “frenchie senses” started tingling. So, I decided to go in and check it out. The bar is called Amelie and it is a great place to get a few friends together for a glass of wine on a Friday night. Happy Hour goes from 5 PM to 7 PM.

image by Germain M. from Yelp

Amelie is a “bar a vin” which means that they have a big and varied wine menu (300 bottles). The wine menu offers wines from all over France and the world. However, if you are not a wine person, there are other beverages available. You can also have a fantastic meal of French infused cuisine.The majority of the employees there are French and very sympathique. I spoke to two people. One of the guys was named Joan and is from Barcelona. He was quite accomodating and very knowledgeable about the wines. He is expertly able to advise you on your wine selection for the evening. I also had the pleasure of talking to one of the owners, Samie Didda who is French and très friendly. Unfortunately I did not get to meet both halves of this dynamic duo ( Samie Didda and Germain Michel) that started this labor of amour in the OTHER American city that the French love : San Francisco.

Photo by Germain M. from Yelp

So, as well as a dim-lit romantic place to bring a date, it is also a great place for people trying to learn French or maintain their French, or just wallow in their misery of not being able to master the language of love. When you walk in, the room is generally glowing with a red décor theme, which gives the place an air of elegance and intimacy. When you are walking in, the bar is on the right along with European style tables and theatre seats. On the whole, all of the staff introduced themselves to me and spoke to me in French, which made me feel right at home. The bar has a French flair that is very difficult to find in the states. When I walked out of the bar, I had the giddy and joyous feeling in my body that only France, French, and French culture gives me!

For more info & the San Fran location, check their website :

Article by Frank Cierpial


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