MEET THE TEAM
Wine Director / General Manager
Maria began her career in hospitality as a teenager working summers in her uncle’s restaurant in Holland. Every night after the restaurant closed, Maria recalls sitting with the entire staff at a long table in the dining room drinking a glass of wine, discussing the evening and the next day’s service. It was here that her love of restaurants began.
Directly out of high school, Maria attended Paul Smith’s College where she studied Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. In 2000, she moved to New York City to continue her career. Here she garnered positions in the restaurants of such renowned chefs as Michael White, Daniel Boulud, and Michael Lomonaco. From there, she opened Castor and Pollux, a company that organized excursions into the country to an open air kitchen where guests were served five-course meals, using local food and wine. A couple of years later, Maria went back to restaurants as the Beverage Director at Sfoglia on the upper east side of Manhattan, where she curated and maintained a 200-bottle list, assisted guests with wine service, and trained the staff on service and wine.
Most recently, she was one of the sommeliers at La Sirena, the latest, acclaimed offering from star chef Mario Batali and restaurateur, Joe Bastianich. Maria’s love of wine has taken her to several harvests in Italy. A trip to Burgundy, Rioja and Ribera del Duero is currently in the works. Favorite Wine Regions: Her heart lies in Italy especially Piedmont. Other favorites Champagne and Loire.
Ciprian Toma was born and raised in Transylvania, Romania, where his family owned one acre of Merlot. At the time he had little if any interest in wine. With a background in journalism and PR, and flirting with documentary film-making, he arrived to the US in 2002 to attend the Margaret Mead Film Festival. Instantly falling in love with New York he decided to stay and started working in restaurants where he found the wines and the wines found him. First wine crush - Chateauneuf du Pape. Favorite wine region: Montalcino, in Tuscany.
Ciprian got his certification from Court of Master Sommeliers in 2011 and worked the floor at OTTO Enoteca, La Sirena and IL Buco on Bond St. before landing at Somm Time.
Christopher started his career in restaurants at a beach club in Darien, CT where he grew up, and quickly fell in love with hospitality. After opening locations for several prominent restaurant groups in Connecticut and a stint in wine retail at Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit, he joined the sommelier team at Betony, and was promoted to head sommelier after a year.
Having been a frequent guest at Somm TIme, he realized he liked it so much he asked to join the team! His favorite wines tend to be from the Loire and the Northern Rhone, specifically from Savennieres and Cornas.
When not working, he enjoys reading outdoors, Sci-Fi movies, and Nintendo games, all activities that pair perfectly with champagne!
A graduate of The School of Culinary Arts in Houston, Texas, Angie Berry’s career is punctuated by stints at some of the country’s top restaurants including Gotham Bar & Grill, Del Posto and Asiate in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City. Berry’s cooking blends classic French technique with modern twists in an approachable way.
Mon 4 pm – 1 am
Tues - Fri 4 pm – 2 am
Sat 3 pm – 2 am
Sun 3 pm – 12 am
Mon - Sat 4 pm – 7 pm
Sun 3 pm – 7 pm
959 2nd Ave / 51 st
New York, New York 10022