RUFFIAN is a cozy East Village wine bar and restaurant influenced by Southern French cuisine – but serving a daily changing menu of local and seasonal ingredients. Ruffian opened in 2016 by Tabla alumnus Patrick Cournot. He is joined by chefs/partners Josh Ochoa and Andy Alexandre (also Tabla alumni) and beverage director/partner Alexis Percival.
With a focus on Southern France, Eastern Europe and everywhere in between; the highly curated wine list offers a broad range of delicious wines from thoughtful wine makers around the world. It is a dynamic list that offers over 200 selections by the bottle (including more than 30 orange wines) and over 20 wines by the glass that frequently change. In addition, we have draught and bottled beers that are carefully selected to compliment the menu.
The space dates back to 1861 and was originally owned by William B. Astor. It features brick terra cotta tile and an ogee-arched window and door. In 2012 it was included in the Landmark Preservations Commission's decision to approve parts of the East Village as an Historic District. Elena Hull Cournot turned 400 square feet into a light, open and approachable space that feels personable and intimate. She was inspired by artists Pina Bausch, Os Gemeos and Giorgia O'Keefe as well as her time spent in Taos, Ireland and Paris
"Ruffian is a sleek and powerful racehorse of a wine bar/chef's table. The alabaster concrete bar and gleaming gold accents create an intimate atmosphere that is simultaneously fresh, grounding, and infused with energy. A small, expert team of gracious pros mans the bar. Sit back, relax, and trust them to do the work for you. Prepare to be delighted by the soul satisfying wine and food. (I devoured the chicken pie with horseradish and green apple salad.) As the queen filly's jockey Jacinto Vasquez said when asked if it was hard to get in the lead at the beginning of races, 'No, Ruffian sets her own pace and gets there on her own.'" - Jennifer