Bar of the Week: The Ten Bells

Elizabeth Thompson

Open for just over a month, The Ten Bells wine bar on the Lower East Side is brought to us by neighborhood entrepreneurs Yassine Bentaleb (Le Pere Pinard), and Fabrice Vautrin ( Les Enfants Terribles). It also takes its name from the London pub where Jack the Ripper supposedly cased his victims -- a rather unseemly detail to an otherwise sweet little addition to Broome Street. Dark, pressed-tin ceilings and walls harken back to Ripper Victoriana, but timeworn spookiness is washed away by flickering votive candlelight and a blossoming indoor tree. An all-organic, globe trotting wine menu with 50 bottles and 15 by-the-glass options are handwritten on chalkboards lit by French accordion-armed antique lamps. Budgeters will be happy to know that there are several options under $10, including a robust Saint-Chinian Les Travers de Marceau from France's Languedoc region and a crisp, citrusy Cheverny Blanc (both $8) made predominantly from Sauvignon grapes. A list of small plates include a variety of cheeses, marinated peppers ($3), eggplant caviar ($5) and scallops wrapped in prosciutto ($11). Get there early -- the oyster happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. draws a crowd -- and keep your eyes peeled for shadowy figures lurking in the corner. 257 Broome St., (212) 228-4450.

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