Joe’s Imports: Where the food is as ambitious as the mezcal cocktails and wines
Francesca Restaurants’ Scott Harris is nothing if not resilient. After closing all his Glazed & Infused doughnut shops late last year, he converted one of them — the one at the eastern edge of Fulton Market — into a wine bar. Time will tell if this was a shrewd move, but the early returns are highly encouraging.
Joe’s Imports opened Feb. 15, which is appropriate, because the concept feels like a valentine tossed in the direction of Joe Fiely, the restaurant group’s operating partner and wine director — and one of the original partners at Mia Francesca back in 1992, when the vino was poured into juice tumblers. Francesca’s wine program has grown by leaps and bounds since then, and in a way, Joe’s Imports is Fiely’s reward, a 65-seat space where he can share his passion for wine with a presumably appreciative audience.
Fiely rhymes with smiley, an association you’ll never forget once you’ve met the man. Fiely’s smile is so omnipresent, it might have been tattooed in place, and it’s never so broad as when he’s talking about wine. He beams with unbridled joy, seemingly thrilled to engage with customers. Every bottle on his list has a story, and Fiely is happy to relate them all.
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