Wine Bar, Italian
117 Perry Street – West Village
This is not a full review, rather an observation from a brief visit to Aria. We have always been curious about Aria, as it is wedged between Spasso and Left Bank on Perry Street. It always looks busy and emits a candle lit glow. Now we know why it is always busy. The place is perhaps as large as our 700 sq foot apartment. In it is one large communal table and perhaps 2 or 3 individual tables. A behemoth white tile L shaped bar fills the majority of the space. Customers can sit on both sides of the bar and the bartender works behind them along the wall. The chairs are all antique metal stools with wooden seats and backs – legs jut everywhere and the seats wobble. They are very uncomfortable. It’s like being a sardine. Nobody can get between the communal table and the bar without tripping on all of the legs.
I am sure the food is great, but the vibe is hipster. What’s interesting is it’s Italian hipster. The bartender was total Brooklyn flannel shirt, beard and knit fair isle cap complete with pom pom. Certainly not the image of Italian style…it was a bit of a contradiction. Anyway we were seated at the bar with some young Italian drunks who were quite happy, but it was uncomfortable facing them directly. We knew we should have turned around when we realized how tight it was, but stayed against our better judgment.
Here’s the part that pissed us off. Our bill for two glasses of prosecco was $14, and with tax $15.24. We forgot to pick up cash, so I had to use my debit card. When he processed the card he added $2 to the check. I did not notice, but put a $4 tip on the slip for a total of $21.24. It occurred to me that I must have messed up my math. That’s when I noticed he increased the check. Did he think we were tourists? Did he not like that we put down a card for a small check? Don’t know, don’t care. Merry Christmas dude. Left it alone and we will not be back.