Situated between a liquor store and a sports bar, Domaine Wine Bar sits just outside the 7-train, one stop into Queen. But, as we ascended the station stairs, gazing up at the aluminum siding, we weren’t quite sure to think; and then Ellen remembered, she’d been here before, after we’d spent the 4th of July beneath the Pepsi sign in Long Island City. We stepped to the door, peered inside where there were a few folks seated at the bar, paused, then took a table in the corner and sat.
Here, it wasn’t long before we were cozy with glasses of Pouilly Fumé in hand; poured by the host—bar-tender one-man-show, shucking oysters, popping corks, attentively servicing tables, keeping everyone’s glass filled with wine. The surrounding walls are covered in subway tiles and the wood is dark. There are short round tables and tall with high stools; and ceiling fans and bistro lights that radiate soft yellow light.
We’d ordered a carafe, but drank more. And because I see Ellen so infrequently, I forgot to note the producer of the wine, which was fruiter than I’d expected, and full-bodied with minerally, dusty notes of stone fruit, and a finishing spice, which might have come from oak. The list at Domaine is extensive, offering more than 20 by the glass; and if we hadn’t ordered oysters, I would have drank red from a list that includes Cahors, Zweiglet, Nuits Saint George, and Saint Emilion. I do regret that there weren’t more wines to pair with the oysters, which along with cheese from Artisanal, paté, and charcuterie, are a speciality of the house. Other than a few bubbly options, were were limited to drinking Pouilly Fumé.
The Bluepoints were super fresh and meaty. But because they weren’t fully shucked, had to be detached from their shells and disfigured with a fork before they were primed for eating. As the night wore on, the place filled up; and by 11:30, Domaine was rock-steady.