Wine Enthusiast 2012 100 Best Restaurants in America

We've combed the nation for the ultimate wine-centric dining establishments. So what does it take to make the cut for our America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants list? These superlative hot spots have established themselves as standouts for wine lovers, boasting visionary beverage programs and innovative menus, with eye-catching ambiance and exceptional service. Along with our picks, the following pages are filled with exclusive chef and sommelier interviews, delectable recipes, top trends and wine bottles to savor. There's something for every taste. Click on the regions on the map below to find out which restaurants made it on the list.

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Fornelletto Cucina & Wine Bar


Designed to be an extension of the menu, the wine list enables guests to enjoy the harmony between food and wine.

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Atlantic City
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The wine program is Italian-centric, with additional international offerings.
Perfect Pairing
For an ethereal pairing, Fornelletto suggests matching Tenuta dell’Ornellaia’s 2008 Masseto with Lamb Chops Scottadito—complete with roasted artichokes and sunchokes, sheep’s milk ricotta agnolotti and lamb sugo.
Riot-Worthy Dish
"Osso Bucco Milanese with Saffron Risotto and Gremolata, using a 24-ounce veal shank."
Destination Bottle Link Text 1
Emidio Pepe 1979 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
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Destination Bottle Link Text 2
Gaja 1990 Sorì San Lorenzo (Langhe)
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Destination Bottle Link Text 3
Tenuta dell’Ornellaia 2008 Masseto (Toscana)
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2013 Restaurant Features

Game On

Move over pork: Duck is the new darling of America’s hottest restaurants, and it scores big with playful wine pairings from Rioja to the Rhône.

Pizza Party

Wine-friendly pizzas offer diners a slice of heaven.

New York's Sommeliers Pour Local

Many of Manhattan’s best restaurants aren’t just about eating local, but drinking local wines, too.

Element of Surprise

Whether menus change daily, weekly or monthly—or cease to be presented to diners at all—eating at these restaurants is nothing less than a thrill.
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