ABV Wine Bar's Genius-Fun Aesthetic | Upper East Side, New York

ABV knows how to have fun

The food at the new ABV wine bar is like someone got high at the Delicious State Fair.

Former U.S. Navy submarine cook Corey Cova has carried over his genius-fun aesthetic from Earl's Beer & Cheese to this windowed corner space.

Plates hit the table with haste: Fried pickles ($5) and crisp Wondra-flour-coated smelt ($7) are paragons of frying. The first comes with a spicy miso mayonnaise, the latter with Sriracha-tobiko sauce.

We'd pocket the pocket burger ($8) any day. It turns on a fried-egg sauce and accompanying tater tots masquerading as croquettes. Tartare pizza ($12) is a riot of chopped sirloin, anchovies and olives on a pan-fried and blowtorched pita.

Delighting in the ability to order wine by the ounce, we went on a three-ounce drinking spree of the orange 2009 Denavolo Dinavolino VDT Emilia-Romagna Malvasia Ortugo Marsanne ($7) and the on-tap and barrel-fermented 2009 Red Tail Ridge Finger Lakes Chardonnay ($4.50).

To say that this no-man's-land that is not quite East Harlem but just beyond the Upper East Side is underserved is an understatement.

By adding to its excellent preexisting businesses, Vinyl Wine shop and Earl's, the team behind ABV is filling that dearth one smart venture at a time.

ABV, 1504 Lexington Ave. (at 97th St.); 212-722-8959 or abvny.com