If you’re going to have a wine bar, have fun with it,” says Clark Moore. If you follow the county bar scene, you’ll easily recognize Moore’s name — along with his inventive cocktails — from time spent at Harper’s and Juniper. Now the GM at The Red Pony in Rye, a 40-seat wine bar under the same ownership as Wine at Five next door, Moore has cultivated the county’s most interesting by-the-glass wine selection. “I’m less concerned with varietal recognition than with bringing in the best stuff possible that yields a unique experience,” he explains. There’s sparkling rosé pet-nat, peppery tinto from the Canary Islands, an almost-orange Italian Cortese, biodynamic Oregon Pinot Noir, Spanish Monastrell, a floral Alsatian-style white blend, and Californian Nebbiolo, among more than 20 others.
A little overwhelmed by the seeming complexity of that selection? “I’m okay with that,” says Moore. “If you tell me what you like, I will find a match for you. These are wines that we carefully researched and tasted…[so that] a person who would never otherwise be drinking Mauzac now loves Mauzac because of what they described to me.”
Of course, it’s bad form to drink on an empty stomach. The Red Pony sources cheese and charcuterie from the world’s major wine-growing regions, including a plate of meats from Spain’s famed black-footed pigs. As for cocktails, Moore’s distinctive drinks feature craft spirits like Catalonian olive-distilled gin, Indonesian red rice rum, and mesquite-smoked whiskey.
The Red Pony
53 Purchase St, Rye