Israeli Wine & Tapas Tasting at Suba

Monday night I attended an Israeli wine tasting along with a sampling of kosher Spanish tapas at the renowned Suba. Despite the general appeal of a wine tasting, my real motivation in attending this event was to get one last taste of Suba before it is swooped up by Spitzer’s Corner and turned into some Mexican joint. I am very disappointed with this turnover as Suba is one of my favorite Spanish restaurants in Manhattan. Suba has a unique three floor space that is beautifully lit. Their main dining room has a small river running along the perimeter of the room that brightens up the entire space that makes for a mystical and romantic setting. And since the restaurant is closed on Monday nights, we had the entire space to ourselves (all 30 or so of us).

Luckily I was able to experience a delicious assortment of their artisinal tapas and sample some newly imported Israeli wines before it was too late. The five wineries featured at the event were

Margalit, Tzora, Pelter, Flam, and Tulip. The first wine we tried was Tulip’s Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc blend. Though I had not anticipated enjoying the wine since I dislike the sweetness of Gewurztraminer, it proved to be a nice supple blend. We’d also enjoyed Tulip’s Shiraz Austrailian which had hints of casis and chocolate making it very enjoyable to drink, as those are two of my favorite flavors. Suprisingly I did not care for any of the other wineries except for Pelter. Pelter’s white wines are un-oaked allowing the wine to retain its true fruit flavors without the sweetness. The fruitiness and light flavor of the Chardonnay was very unique and by far my favorite wine of the night.

Though we were directed to order the wines via text, the functionality seemed to still have some kinks. But you can go on the Israel Wine Direct website and order these fine wines that are set to arrive just in time for Passover.

Suba’s tapas were created to compliment each of the wine varietals. The tapas menu encompassed:

  • Artisinal Spanish Cheese Plate, accompanied by thinly sliced raisin nut bread,
  • Hijada de Atun, cured Big Eye Tuna with fennel salad, atun al i oli
  • Queso Croquettas, fried cheese balls with caramel sauce
  • Ensalada de Remolacha, heirloom beat salad with peralzola breadcrumbs and walnut beet vinaigrette
  • Bravas Peludas, crispy potato pimenton de la vera”al i oli”
  • Pimientos de Padron, blistered Shishito peppers with coarse sea salt
  • Catalonian Smoked Cod Croquettas
  • Pan con Tomate, traditional spanish toast with tomato and garlic
The most authentic tapa was the Bravas Peludas but my favorite tapas of the night were the Queso Croquettas and the “Beet Salad”. The Queso Croquettas had the perfect balance of salty and sweet with its saavory blue cheese center and confectionary caramel topping. Though I enjoyed nearly all of the food that was served there was only one that everyone seemed to steer clear of, the roasted red pepper & sardine toast. Once the servers got tired
of holding up the lonely sardines they were left on the wine tables to remain untouched. I guess Jews aren’t big fans of sardines. Who would have thought?

SUBA (closes at the end of the month)

109 Ludlow Street (Between Rivington & Delancey)