CRAVING A CHANGE | WOODBURY MAGAZINE FEATURE
April 13, 2018, By Nameer
PHOTO BY: JOEL SCHNELL
Cravings Wine Bar & Grille Has Undergone Multiple Changes That Have Raised Its Food, Wine, And Atmosphere To Another Level.
Owner Nameer Ameen At Cravings Wine Bar & Grille.
One of Woodbury’s finest eateries has undergone new ownership and menu changes to take it to the next level. Nameer Ameen became the owner of Cravings Wine Bar & Grille in November 2016. Since then, he says that they approached changing Cravings with three themes: inclusivity, affordability, and quality.
Menu changes were a major transformation essential to elevating Cravings. “At the center of all these changes was a very guest-centric approach to evolving the menu,” Ameen says, adding that chef Kristen Fraser was a driving force behind the change. After conducting surveys and internal focus groups, the menu was paired down to items customers craved and would drive to the restaurant for, such as the short ribs and the key lime pie. New to the menu offerings is Pronto Lunch, a proper and fast lunch priced fairly, Ameen says. Price points are lowering and a new happy hour menu was also added, featuring $4, $5, and $6 categories.
Ameen had the opportunity to speak with a woman who loved the food but felt she couldn’t afford it. “I wanted to create a menu so she wouldn’t feel that way,” he says. “Being inclusive and catering to all guests is important.” This inclusivity includes those who need a gluten-free diet, with 90 percent of Cravings’ items able to be made without gluten.
The wine list, which numbers at 75, is expected to increase even more so Cravings can compete for the Wine Spectator award, an accomplishment Ameen believes to be obtainable.
Cravings’ new cocktail menu “became a huge success,” says Ameen, who recommends the maple Manhattan ($11.95) and pomegranate martini ($11.95).