Just to be clear, if there's a basketball court inside a NYC restaurant, that restaurant is not getting below a 7.0 from us. Especially one that doubles as a shrine to the legendary Walt Clyde Frazier. Please keep that in mind as you read this review.
Our love for the Knicks is well documented, so you shouldn't be surprised that we'd geek out over a restaurant like this. Throw in the fact that Clyde and his friends - we've spotted Earl The Pearl, Tiki Barber, and Justin Tuck on different occasions - are all hanging out here, and it's easy for sports fans to get lost in a world of star struck excitement. But this isn't a Dave & Busters. This is an attempt at a legitimate restaurant, and we need break it down as such.
In truth, without a basketball court and Clyde's involvement, we wouldn't be talking about the Wine and Dine. The restaurant is massive - it takes up an entire city block. We were there for a Rangers playoff game and it was barely a quarter full, which makes us wonder how they stay in business. The layout is clunky too, and while we like the idea of life sized Clydes on the walls and his tie collection lining the ceiling, it all comes off feeling a little sterile and strange. Exhibits A & B: the custom Clyde-ism cocktails that come in ridiculous spring break style martini glasses, and the bottomless beer mugs that come floating in an ice bucket. Weird.
On the bright side, in terms of restaurants reserved exclusively for Sports on TV, which is exactly what Wine and Dine is, the food is pretty damn good. We love the sweet and spicy wings, and most everything else trumps whatever you'd find at the local sports bar near your apartment. Sure, it's everything's a tad expensive, but we'll happily trade a couple of bucks for some quality Clyde time.
As a full body of work - basketball court, crazy martini glasses and all -Wine and Dine is pretty impressive. You just don't see things like this in NYC very often. If you're a hoops fan, it's a must visit. 10th Ave is a hell of a lot closer than than the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. And if you have no idea who Clyde Frazier is, please ignore everything you just read.
The menu here is so ridiculously huge that you'd think Wine and Dine was a Midwest chain. We decided to let Clyde guide us, as there are a bunch of items on the menu notated as his favorites. Unfortunately, he let us down with his first assist. While the spicy guac was reasonably tasty, the "lotus chips" it was served with weren't big enough and were oily and tough to eat. Some real chips are in order here.
These crispy chicken wings have plenty of meat on them, and were clearly labored over in the kitchen to come out just right. They're a little sweet, a little spicy, and have just enough crunch. Consider them a must oder.
This is a good looking plate of deviled eggs . It's also a pretty safe order - nothing crazy going on here.
A standard serving of fried calamari. Again, it's about what you'd expect to see delivered to your table, and while it will do the job, you've probably (definitely) had better calamari before.
This chicken is cooked perfectly, and the spicy BBQ sauce is pretty tasty too. Not a bad order.