Things and people you’ll find in the West Bottoms

West Bottoms
Running in the streets of the west bottoms.

It was just another post-Christmas winter evening. It was dark by the time I left work and there were no Christmas lights up anymore. I was headed to the West Bottoms for some wine. I turned off of the Boulevard onto West 25th street. I goes along the railroad track and then curves north towards West 23rd St Trafficway. I think it was the first time I had driven down that street and it made me realize that there are so many streets in this city I don’t think I will ever discover them all.

The streets in the West Bottoms were dark. Even though it was January so there were no Christmas lights, I don’t imagine it as a place that would ever have Christmas lights. My destination was Amigoni Winery. It’s an urban winery in a building that previous housed the Daily Dover Telegram Newspaper. They have wine tastings for $6 and very reasonably priced bottles. The bartenders are knowledgeable, which is to be expected. Being young smart people we choose the most economical option: bottles.

Amigoni Winery
Wine face.

After wine most obviously comes food. We wanted to continue our economical streak, and while economicalness and adventure can often coincide, sometimes they do not. And on this night they did not. We came to Amigoni in cars but we left running. We ran south through the parking lot and came next to a small building with a front almost entirely of glass windows. There was a man outside smoking a cigarette. We asked him for advice on where to eat. He said not to eat at the Golden Ox, but he was telling us that further down the street there was a good place with good food. But he couldn’t remember the name. He was trying to remember, but we were cold, hungry, impatient young people so we thanked him and continued running down the street. That’s when we found Voltaire.

Voltaire, the restaurant, not the philosopher.

It was farm-fresh, hipster goodness (farm-fresh and hipster go together like economicalness and adventure: not always, but most of the time). We ordered dates on toast, heart of romaine, banh mi, and lamb kebab. Get the banh mi. (However, their menu changes depending on availability of fresh produce. So if the banh mi is no longer on the menu I don’t know what to tell you.) Jenny got a beer and when she went to the bathroom she told us to help her drink some of it, but not all of it. “This one’s so slow at eating, she probably couldn’t even drink it all if she tried.” She said to me. Well that was not the right thing to say. We drank it all and then we laughed. Actually we laughed while we were drinking it.

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