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Lila Gaffney / Staff Photographer

Elis offers a variety of classics with upscale twists, like fried calamari with chipotle mayo or tagliatelle Bolognese

Looking to get fancy before a night of flirty 1020 frolicking? Elis Wine Bar & Restaurant might just be the place for you. The new bar and restaurant, located at 1012 Amsterdam Ave. at 110th Street, opened on Sept. 9. Elis is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Beneath the coffered wood ceiling, a long U-shaped bar is the center focal piece of the restaurant. Tables for groups of two or four surround the bar, which is set against white brick walls. In the front, large panel doors open to the sidewalk, with more seating available for those hoping to squeeze in their final outdoor dining experience of the season.

Owners Elis Malaj and Artur Gjaci combined their knowledge of hospitality with the creativity of executive chef Zivko Radojcic to create the menu for Morningside Heights’ newest eatery. Radojcic is also the executive chef at Elis’ next door neighbor, Marlow Bistro.

“Artur and Elis personally are making sure all guests feel that this is a special place, which you can recognize even before you get to the food,” manager Elena Talevska said. “It’s the experience that they managed to master in their years of experience.”

Elis’ menu is designed to satisfy the needs of hungry dinner guests or those looking for a quick bite with their after-work drinks. A substantial appetizer menu features crowd-pleasers like fried calamari with chipotle mayo and lemon for $14 and mozzarella di bufala served with cherry tomatoes, arugula, and balsamic for $16. Light snackers can try a plate of bruschetta with wild mushrooms, mozzarella di bufala, or tapenade for $6 or $7. For shared appetizers, cheese and meat boards are available separately for $20 and $30 respectively, or as a mixed plate for $45. Elis sources its cheese and meats from artisanal retailer Murray’s, based in Greenwich Village.

For a full meal, Elis offers a variety of classics with upscale twists, like a burger with smoked brisket, Gruyère, chipotle mayo, fries, and caramelized onion or tuna with lemon-olive oil mashed potatoes, string beans, and Kalamata tapenade. Pasta lovers can choose between homemade goat cheese ravioli with wild mushrooms, string beans, and truffle butter; tagliatelle Bolognese; or mezzi rigatoni with shrimp, calamari, chorizo, and sun-dried tomatoes. Prices for these main dishes are in the $20 range.

Much of Elis’ focus is on their drink menu. Red and white wines from California, Italy, and France are available by the glass or bottle. The bar also serves an assortment of beers on tap or by the bottle. Elis’ signature cocktails include the Herb Collins—a gin, jalapeño, and ginger beer concoction—and the Monica, a cocktail of campari, prosecco, and strawberry purée.

Talevska emphasized that the team at Elis hopes to become a community fixture.

“It’s a perfect place for pretty much everything,” Talevska said. “From a romantic dinner to a last-minute spot or late-night meal with a great glass of wine.”

Staff writer Sophie Smyke can be contacted at sophie.smyke@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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