#GOODEATS: CELLAR 8 WINE BAR BISTRO

 
 

In my time as a food writer, I’ve searched the streets around the Liguanea Plain for good places to eat. I’ve come across some, but I could never convince myself that any of them were worth a special trip. That finally changed in fall 2016, when Wendy facey, Aditi Dhiman, Nasma Chin and Jenny Pragnell opened Cellar 8 Wine Bar and Bistro, a restaurant inside Manor Park Plaza.

Kingston cannot compete with Port Au Spain’s patchwork quilt of cuisines, Havana’s sainted ingredients or Nassau’s discerning and passionate diners. What sets Jamaican restaurant culture apart is that it never quite shakes the past and has never fully severed its ties to Europe and eastern gastronomy.

This is why Kingston can seem to be so pretentious and out-of-its-time, but it also explains its unusual receptivity to cues from across the Atlantic. With Cellar 8, this attention to libations, life style, friendship and celebration comes together in ways that are creative and fresh.

Their menu may knock you back to flirty summer nights at Terra Nova with some newness as Cru circa 2012. But incomparable it may seem is their wine list that’s over 400 bottles long I’m told. A true love affair, Cellar 8 screams joie de vivre perhaps only to feed the Kingston metropolitan area’s increasing thirst for wine centric places and activities. With a group of women so experienced and dynamic leading the charge, Cellar 8 is quickly answering the calls of criticism echoing throughout the hills and cul de sacs of Kingston 8. From lukewarm service to an inaccessible expansive ‘cellar’, the reviews were mixed upon opening. Months after it’s arrival and one can taste the market’s fervour for the next new kid. But the Upper West Side’s favorite neighborhood watering hole is here to stay, If only for its prime positioning in the center of Jamaican affluence.

Ramesh Maragh is the in-touch lead chef that’s Utech and CIA (Culinary Institute of America) trained. For my visit he waved his wand over some grilled chicken wings, grilled chicken pasta, a black angus burger, and the herb crusted lamb chops. I’ve had their greek and classic italian pizza’s before and they were similarly delightful, especially at Christmas time after maybe 10 rounds of bellinis.

The excitement I feel when I observe the careful arrangement of freshly roasted lamb beside a firm bottle of red wine favors my zeal for sensible combinations like tacos and tequila or champagne soda and bun and cheese. With Chef Maragh’s attention to detail and experienced residency at Cellar 8’s other-side-of-town competing eatery ‘Uncorked’, the restaurant menu is subjectively simple and perfectly done to order. Nothing was specifically too good to eat but everything was particularly good enough to finish. So whether for good food or better drinks, with options like the exclusive upstairs loft or corner stalls with accenting plush chairs if you’re looking to unwind and still keep it glam and full of quality, then you’ve got a date with Cellar 8.

Now, about that take-out wine service, check please!

 

 

 

CELLAR 8 WINE BAR & BISTRO

Shop 10 Upper Manor Park Plaza

Email  : reservationscellar8@gmail.com

Phone: 1-876-6135934


A MOMENT W/ NASMA CHIN | CELLAR 8


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