There’s something about a place being “secret” that makes it exponentially more exciting. Counter Reformation, the European-style wine bar hidden from sight inside the Parker hotel, lives up to that notion. Open from Thursday to Monday, 3 to 10 p.m., the pocket-sized shrine to great wine has no tables and takes no reservations (though leaning at the low-lit 14-seat bar is encouraged). But there is food, and fantastic food at that. Instead of trying to be everything to everybody, Counter Reformation’s tapas menu is short and original, including caviar served with crème fraîche and a quail egg, plus a layered summer tomato salad with melon. The wines are carefully curated from California, France, and Italy
, with a few wild cards from places like Portugal and Oregon, and are all priced the same. While the spot has the feel of an insider’s club, it’s without pretense, with the experts behind the bar providing enthusiastic guidance. For dessert, order the foie gras macarons with sea salt, with a sip of champagne. If you overdo it, don’t worry: You can ask for forgiveness in the restaurant’s authentic confessional booth, shipped in from Italy.