America's Best Wine Lists of 2009

Wine Enthusiast Magazine's 2009 Restaurant Awards.

In uncertain times, there’s nothing so reassuring as a good meal and a glass of wine. Indeed, the word restaurant comes from the French word for “restore” and refers to the nourishing potages served by the earliest restaurants. The restorative function of the restaurant is as true today as it ever was; belly full and thirst quenched, we can face whatever tomorrow might bring.

That’s why it’s especially gratifying to announce the results of this year’sWine Enthusiast Restaurant Awards. It’s both a pleasure and an honor to recognize the folks in the restaurant industry who toil so hard in these challenging times and continue to serve up the respite of good food and wine. That so many of these folks continue to tend their wine programs even as budgets are squeezed is a measure of their professional excellence. They allocate resources to expand and refine their lists and devote time and money to staff training. Since the economic downturn, they’ve done extra duty, offering more half-bottles and by-theglass selections and sourcing more economical choices from up-and-coming regions and less familiar grape varieties—all of which pays off for the dining public. Challenging times call for creativity and vision, and our winners, and the restaurant industry at large, are rising to the challenge.

A few words about our awards: as in the past years, the Wine Enthusiast Restaurant Awards are based not on the size of a restaurant’s wine list, but on the quality of its overall wine program, and unlike other awards, we welcome eateries of any size and type. Applicants complete a detailed questionnaire on their wine program: personnel, training, wine storage methods, stemware choices, service options, special events, menus and wine lists. Our judging panel, made up of members of our editorial staff and other wine professionals, carefully consider each establishment’s submission, basing their judgments on selection, service, individuality and value. Read more on How it Works.

Following is our list of the 25 recipients of the Award of Ultimate Distinction for 2009. To see all the 2009 winners as well as all winners in years past, visit our  full award-winning restaurant database. In the view of our judges, all restaurants listed on these pages offer great food and top-quality wine programs. Our congratulations—and our thanks—to everyone!

The 2009 Winners of Ultimate Distinction

Addison, San Diego (California)

The Angus Barn, Raleigh (North Carolina)

Bar Boulud, New York  (New York)

The Bay House, Lincoln City (Oregon)

Billy Cews Dining Room, Santa Teresa (New Mexico)

Café Boulud, New York (New York)

Charley's Steak House, Tampa (Florida)

Charley's Steak House, Orlando (Florida)

Crabtree's Kittle House, Chappaqua (New York)

Courtright's Restaurant, Willow Springs (Illinois)

Crustacean Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills (California)

Daniel's Broiler Lake Union, Seattle (Washington)

Dream Dance Steak, Milwaukee (Wisconsin)

Dulces Latin, Seattle (Washington)

The Grill at Hacienda del Sol, Tucson (Arizona)

The Inn at Dos Brisas, Washington (Texas)

The Kitchen, Sacramento (California)

The Lark Restaurant, Bloomfield (Michigan)

Marcello's La Sirena Restaurant, West  Palm Beach (Florida)

Pluckemin Inn, Bedminster (New Jersey)

Salpicón, Chicago (Illinois)

Sona, Los Angeles (California)

The Triple Door, Seattle (Washington)

Vivere in the Italian Village, Chicago (Illinois)

Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant and Satay Bar, Seattle (Washington)

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