Cornelius in Prospect Heights has long been a neighborhood favorite for its $1 oysters at happy hour. Now that it has added wine on tap to its repertoire, locals have even more reason to flock there at the end of the workday.
Chef Chris Caracciolo, who took over the kitchen earlier this year, has redesigned the menu, adding other types of oysters, like French Belons, to the roster. Having lived and worked in New Orleans, he knows from bivalves, as is evidenced by his excellent po’boy sandwich made with plump, briny specimens contained within a crispy, deep-fried coating and stuffed into soft, chewy white bread. Caracciolo also does a Surf ‘n’ Turf burger topped with bacon and oyster. Hello.
And yet, it was the gleaming new tap (pictured) pouring fresh, uncomplicated wines that caught our attention. For a white, there’s the crisp, refreshing Paumanok Riesling from Long Island. The red is a mineral 2010 Pedro Ximenez from Chile brought in by the Gotham Project, which bills itself as the first all-keg wine company. Attention, wine geeks, and mollusk fiends.