272 Boylston Street
Brahm Callahan moved up from sommelier to wine director of Excelsior in the last year, and in that post he has continued to develop the restaurant's stellar collection of terroir-driven cult wines from small New and Old World producers to complement Executive Chef Eric Brennan's globally influenced American cuisine. Designer Adam Tihany's glass elevator, surrounded by a three-story, 8,000-bottle wine tower, greets you at the entrance and never fails to deliver a thrill. Once inside, the dining room's inviting wood and leather furnishings make you want to stay. By all means do, and try the Maine Lobster Tail Schnitzel—butter-poached lobster claws and a German fingerling potato salad—ideally paired with Domaine de la Solitude 2004 Cuvée Barberini, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc or Georges Faiveley's 2005 Bourgogne Blanc.
Number of selections: 1,000
Bottles in inventory: 8,000
Number of wines by the glass: 34
Wine list highlights: Focus on California Cabs, Meritage and Pinot Noir with extensive selections of Northern Italians and Burgundy. Good balance between New and Old World bottlings. Small producers who make terroir-driven wines from all over the world. Giacomo Borgogno Barolos from 1961, 1978, 1982, 1985 and 1990. Meo-Camuzet Echezeaux from 2001, 2003 and 2004 in half and full bottles. Fougeray De Beauclair Bonnes-Mares in magnums from 1990, 1992 and 2001. Pierre Peters Champagne. Domestically, Larkin, Owen Roe and Peay Vineyards. Quintarelli's Alzero Cabernet Franc. A broad selection of the late Didier Dagueneau's Sauvignon Blancs from Pouilly-Fumé.