Defining moments often happen at the most innocuous of places. For Scarsdale resident Jennifer Deutsch, it was sitting at her kitchen table. Doodling on a paper towel while chatting with her kids, she sketched out her dream for a wine bar. The swirling-with-vino glass she drew is now the logo for Crush, which opened in Larchmont in March.
Deutsch admits it took her kids’ urging — along with a strong desire to leave corporate America where she’d long worked in financial services — to take the plunge and open her own business. But it’s a business she knows well, having run a wine-distributing company (in addition to her day job) in Charlotte, N.C., for many years.
Her goal with Crush: To create a place that’s an alternative to dinner, where you can enjoy good food and wine.
Photos by Tania Savayan/TJN
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“There aren’t a lot of places around here where you can relax and talk with your friends,” she says. “I wanted a comfortable lounge atmosphere that feels like you’re in someone’s living room.”
And so you do: there are two cozy window seats that easily seat four; a dancing gas fireplace and plenty of seats at the bar. Also homey are the glittery chandeliers and an original tin-pressed ceiling, which complement the dark purple walls, flickering votifs, and nicely-spaced tables.
The menu remains a work in progress. both food- and wine-wise — as Deutsch figures out what the neighborhood likes vs. “what Jennifer likes.”
For now, you can expect traditional small plates (garlic shrimp and sliders with spicy ketchup), charcuterie and cheeses, dips and spreads (roasted mushroom and spinach-artichoke) plus salads and desserts.
The chef is Alex Garcia, a frequent Food Network contributor known for his Nuevo Latino cooking as well as for his work leading the kitchens of notable Manhattan restaurants Patria and Calle Ocho.
Wine suggestions are paired with each offering and are available by the glass or bottle.
There’s a sense of fun and playfulness to the wine menu with drinks divided into what suits your palate. , including “lighter style reds,” “jammy goodness,” and “sweet and fruity.” There are a few beer options, and a specialty cocktail list that plays on the crush theme, including a Schoolgirl Crush (Prosecco, Absolut Raspberri, Pama Liquer), Lifelong Crush (Prosecco, Gran Marnier), Working Wife Crush (Moscato, Absolut Mandarin) and Secret Crush (Prosecco, Absolut Citron).
Deutsch is busy planning a host of fun events and special promotions, too.
There’s a Monday night “Commuter Deal” with free tapas from 5 to 7 p.m.. She’s also planning a “How to be a Guest at Your Own Cocktail Party” from 7 to 10 p.m. April 23 ($35) and “How to Spice Up Your Summer with Chef Garcia” from 4 to 7 p.m. June 4 ($50). The space — with a capacity for 90 – is also available for private parties.
Crush Wine Bar, 1985 Palmer Ave., Larchmont, 914-834-6600.