Vyne Wine Bar's Kaasknöpfle
Vyne recently opened in the West Village, offering a wine list that's weighted toward white wines, and a number of requisite small dishes and snacks.
A glass of dry Austrian Riesling (Graf Hardegg Vom Schloss 2008 -- $12, peachy aroma, lemony, mineral taste, dry) had enough acidity to cut through the richness of its Germanic cousin, kaasknöpfle ($14), a cheesy spaetzle dish.
"Knöpfle" translates as "little buttons," distinguishing these small, knobby dumplings from larger varieties of spaetzle. Here, the chewy knöpfle is seasoned with nutmeg and mixed with what is billed as "Alpine cheeses," but which tastes like simple, bland Swiss. What makes this worth ordering is the expertly fried tangle of onions on top, which provides needed salt and crunch.
The dish works nicely as a substantial vegetarian snack split between two, or could provide a rich but judiciously proportioned main for one. And it's Riesling week, so Vyne is offering a flight of the varietal, working from dry to semisweet.
Vyne Wine Bar & Restaurant
82 West 3rd Street