At Bed Bath & Beyond, you can return a waffle iron that you bought two years prior. And if you get a membership to Costco, you can eat as many free samples as your shame will allow (typically, many). We aren’t being paid by these companies to say any of this - we just think that these are perks that probably shouldn’t exist. Sort of like the wine list at Have & Meyer.
Have & Meyer is an Italian wine bar in Williamsburg where you can choose from over 90 natural wines by the glass. If this sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. It’s sort of like if a movie theater decided to show every current release along with the entire filmography of Nicolas Cage. It’s great and irrational - and, if all of this wine sounds intimidating, you should know that this place is surprisingly unpretentious. If you mispronounce a word, your server will get the gist, and if your wine knowledge is limited to whatever is currently on sale at Trader Joe’s, you might even learn something here.
To soak up all this wine, there’s some pasta, charcuterie, and larger things like lamb chops and octopus. None of it is really worth traveling for on its own, but it doesn’t need to be. The wine is the star here, and, much like the non-pig animals in Babe and the anaconda in Anaconda, the food plays a perfectly fine supporting role. Have some meat and cheese and maybe a pasta while you enjoy a few wines that you never knew existed, and you’ll be happy.
If you aren’t, the servers will notice, and they’ll try to do something about it. The people here are weirdly nice, and you’ll probably leave thinking that you’re more likable than you actually are. It’s a comforting place that feels like something you’d find behind a rotating fireplace in a mansion on a hill where there’s occasionally lightning. There are vintage-looking lamps hanging from the ceiling and little antiques lying around, and the walls are lined with enough wine to calm every nervous flyer currently departing from JFK.
Add all of this up, and it’s surprising that more people don’t know about Have & Meyer. It’s an ideal place to try some wine that would normally require a transatlantic trip, and you can get a seat here any night. So bring a date. Or stop by after you’ve had a long day and want to pretend that you own a wine cellar. Your server might open a bottle just for you - because that’s just what happens when a place has four tables, 15 barstools, and around 100 wines by the glass. And if your server winds up opening several bottles just so you can try a few things, don’t feel bad. Much like a quality return policy, you should be taking advantage of Have & Meyer.
This is what you should be eating here. Get any kind of meat and/or cheese, and drink something you’ve never heard of.
It doesn’t say this on the menu, but this is actually artichoke toast. You get two thick pieces of bread topped with some artichokes, and, while you could probably make this at home, it’s still a good snack to have alongside a glass of wine.
This is a small plate of toast just like the artichokes, and it’s very straightforward: butter, bread, and anchovies. If you like all of those things, order this.
If you’re going to eat a pasta, this is what you should order. It’s homemade and exactly what you want it to be - and the only thing it needs is a little salt (which you’ll find on your table).
This octopus is nice and crispy on the outside, but it also has the consistency of the inner tube of a bicycle tire. If you’re really hungry, eat the pappardelle.
Somehow, these eggs with pecorino and pancetta aren’t actually very good. Brunch just isn’t one of this place’s strengths - which is fine, because there are plenty of other brunch spots.