America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants

100 Best Wine Restaurants 2012

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.

  1. 1

    A Voce Columbus

    Url: avocerestaurant.com

    Phone: (212) 823-2523

    A Voce prides itself on introducing guests to unfamiliar regions through cuisine and wines, acquainting diners to foods and wines they may have never encountered.

    Read a Q&A with A Voce’s Executive Chef Missy Robbins.

    Wine list: The wine list is 70% Italian, 15% American and 15% French, with approximately 20 wines offered by the glass. A large-format bottle is opened nightly, and guests may purchase by the glass, carafe or quartino.

    Perfect pair: Wine and Beverage Director Olivier Flosse enjoys pairing the Octopus with Olive Oil with MandraRossa’s 2010 Fiano from Sicily.

    Riot worthy: ‘Removing the Funghi al Forno from the menu would create a lot of unhappy guests.’

    Destination bottle: Château d’Yquem 1900 Sauternes
    Salcheto 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano,—Melchior

    Related links: Stump the Sommelier
    Recipe of the Month: Tomato and Sweet Onion Salad with Braised Baby Octopus

    Area: Northeast

    State: NY

    City: New York City

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/a-voce-columbus

    Review: http://avocerestaurant.com/avoce_columbus.html#/menus/

  2. 2

    A16

    Url: a16sf.com

    Phone: (415) 771-2216

    A16 focuses on Southern Italian cuisine, emphasizing seasonality and wine pairings.

    Read a Q&A with A16’s Executive Chef and Salumaio Christopher Thompson and get his Crispy Pork Belly With Fava Beans, Pea Tendrils and Salsa Verde recipe.

    Wine list: The wine list encompasses 500-plus bottles, predominately from Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Sardinia and Sicily, with the remaining wines celebrating small production in California.

    Perfect pair: A16 offers Tuna Conserva year-round with seasonal presentations. Fiano di Avellino sings with the Maccaronara pasta dish, “truly an example of ‘if it grows together, it goes together,’” says Shelley Lindgren, wine director and owner.

    Riot worthy: Originating from Nusco, Campania, the Maccaronara Pasta with Ragu Napoletana and Housemade Ricotta Salata is a customer favorite with a soulful quality that has never been off the menu.

    Destination bottle: Occhipinti 2006 Grotte Alte (Cerasuolo di Vittoria)

    Related links: The James Beard Foundation Celebrates its Silver Anniversary

    Additional info:
    A16 offers Tuna Conserva year-round with seasonal presentations. Fiano di Avellino sings with the Maccaronara pasta dish, “truly an example of ‘if it grows together, it goes together,’” says Shelley Lindgren, wine director and owner.

    The wine list encompasses 500-plus bottles, predominately from Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Sardinia and Sicily, with the remaining wines celebrating small production in California.

    Area: West

    State: CA

    City: San Francisco

    Address: ‘Originating from Nusco, Campania, the Maccaronara Pasta with Ragu Napoletana and Housemade Ricotta Salata is a customer favorite with a soulful quality that has never been off the menu.’

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/a16

    Review: http://www.a16sf.com/files/dinner.pdf

  3. 3

    ABC Kitchen

    Url: abckitchennyc.com

    Phone: (212) 475-5829

    The cuisine is seasonal American, with an emphasis on the farm-to-table movement.

    Wine list: The wine program is centered on organic, local and biodynamic offerings.

    Perfect pair: ‘We love to pair our Chiroubles, chilled, with Soft-shell Crab with a Hot Chili Sweet-and-Sour Glaze. Even though it is a red, we keep it chilled and it’s the perfect gateway into the spring seafood dishes.”

    Riot worthy: ‘Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli on Toasted Sullivan Street Bakery Bread and Sea Bass with Herbs, Market Potatoes and Spinach are favorites among guests.’

    Destination bottle: Beaux Frères Vintage Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) 2009
    Antiyal Red (Maipo Valley) 2008
    Bergström Sigrid Chardonnay (Willamette Valley) 2009

    Related links: Jean Georges
    Wine’s Face Changing

    Area: Northeast

    State: NY

    City: New York City

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/abc-kitchen

  4. 4

    Addison at The Grand Del Mar

    Url: addisondelmar.com

    Phone: (858) 314-1900

    Contemporary French cuisine with local, seasonal ingredients. Wine and food pairings never repeat the same grape, country or style of wines on any given tasting menu.

    Wine list: The wine program is extensive and deep, strong on verticals and diverse, highlighting small producers.

    Perfect pair: Mushroom Velouté, Coddled Farm Egg and Brioche Bread Crumbs with Domaine Leroy’s 2006 Bourgogne Blanc. “The velouté hits a crescendo with this pairing,” says Jesse Rodriquez, wine director and sommelier.

    Riot worthy: ‘One signature dish is the Braised Short Ribs, having gone from rustic to refined, using Port wine and various spices.’

    Destination bottle: René Geoffroy NV Cumières Brut (Champagne)
    Dönnhoff 2010 Riesling (Nahe)

    Related links: A Sommelier Gives San Diego the Spotlight
    Riesling in Many Languages

    Additional info:
    Mushroom Velouté, Coddled Farm Egg and Brioche Bread Crumbs with Domaine Leroy’s 2006 Bourgogne Blanc. “The velouté hits a crescendo with this pairing,” says Jesse Rodriquez, wine director and sommelier.

    The wine program is extensive and deep, strong on verticals and diverse, highlighting small producers.

    Area: West

    State: CA

    City: San Diego

    Address: ‘One signature dish is the Braised Short Ribs, having gone from rustic to refined, using Port wine and various spices.’

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/addison-at-the-grand-del-mar

    Review: http://www.thegranddelmar.com/assets/Uploads/AddisonSpringMenu2012.pdf

  5. 5

    Adour Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis New York

    Url: adour-stregis.com

    Phone: (212) 710-2277

    Contemporary French in style, the seasonal menu is created to work in harmony with both red and white wines.

    Wine list: The wine list is 90% American and French, with 10% of offerings from the rest of the world.

    Perfect pair: Langoustines a la Nage de Chardonnay with Pierre Morey’s 2008 Les Tessons Meursault. It works well with the texture of the langoustines, as the acidity and minerality from the Meursault cuts the creaminess of the nage and its citrus notes complement the grapefruit segments in the dish.

    Riot worthy: ‘Langoustines a la Nage de Chardonnay, which features a sauce that has a touch of orange and ginger and is served with grapefruit segments.’

    Destination bottle: Domaine Leflaive 1992 Batard-Montrachet
    Screaming Eagle 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
    Moët & Chandon 1973 Cuvée Dom Perignon Oenothèque Brut (Champagne)

    Related links: Fare Play: Béarnaise, Revisited
    Champagne’s Brightest Stars

    Area: Northeast

    State: NY

    City: New York City

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/adour-alain-ducasse-at-the-st-regis-new-york

    Review: http://www.adour-stregis.com/menus/AdourNY_DinnerMenu_2012.pdf

  6. 6

    Alma de Cuba

    Url: almadecubarestaurant.com

    Phone: (215) 988-1799

    Coined “Nuevo Latino,” the cuisine is a riff on traditional Latin cuisine. Guests often choose a wine first, and the service team recommends a fitting dish.

    Wine list: The wine list has a strong South American influence, with a wide range of various varietals from across the region.

    Perfect pair: The Mar de Frades Albariño from Rías Baixas has fresh citrus-zest notes and acidity on the finish that pairs well with a range of Alma de Cuba’s ceviche offerings.

    Riot worthy: ‘A guest favorite since its introduction, the Vaca Frita is a pan-seared skirt steak served with onions and Cuban oregano, with black beans, white rice and tomato escabeche.’

    Destination bottle: Bodega Catena Zapata 2007 Catena Alta Malbec (Mendoza)
    Quintessa 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
    Truchard 2010 Roussanne (Carneros)

    Related links: Perfecto Mojitos
    Summer Ceviche

    Area: Northeast

    State: PA

    City: Philadelphia

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/alma-de-cuba-philadelphia

  7. 7

    Anasazi Restaurant

    Url: rosewoodhotels.com/en/innoftheanasazi/

    Phone: (505) 988-3030

    Creative Southwestern cuisine.

    Get Anasazi Restaurant’s popular Buffalo Burger recipe, made with artisinal bacon, escabeche onions and orange-chipotle mayo.

    Wine list: The wine program features 300 international wine labels spanning the globe.

    Perfect pair: The Duck Enchilada Molé paired with Alberti’s Malbec from Mendoza is a favorite pairing.

    Riot worthy: ‘The Duck Enchilada Molé starter, featuring pico de gallo and cilantro sour cream, has been a hit on the menu for 10 years.’

    Destination bottle: Tikal 2009 Patriota Malbec-Bonarda (Mendoza)
    Gruet NV Brut Rosé (New Mexico)

    Related links: Destination: Santa Fe
    Visiting Mendoza, Argentina

    Additional info: Burgers

    Area: Central

    State: NM

    City: Santa Fe

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/inn-of-the-anasazi

    Review: http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/innoftheanasazi/i/downloads/Dinner_Menu.pdf

  8. 8

    Art and Soul

    Url: artandsouldc.com

    Phone: (202) 393-7777

    Regionally inspired cuisine with a Southern twist.

    Get Art and Soul’s Maple Ham Hoecake and Shrimp and Grits recipes.

    Wine list: The wine program focuses on small-batch production wines and sustainable producers.

    Perfect pair: The Trio of Tamworth Pig (belly, shoulder, housemade kielbasa), along with La Gerla’s Rosso di Montalcino is a perfect pairing.

    Riot worthy: ‘The Shrimp and Grits, served with housemade andouille sausage (from locally sourced pigs) is a signature dish, blending classic Southern and regional ingredients.’

    Destination bottle: Kirchmayr 1975 Soloist Neuburger (Neusiedlersee)
    Dobogó 2008 Furmint-Hárslevelű-Muscat Lunel (Tokaj)

    Related links: Soul Food Steps Up
    Jimbo’s Hambo (Ham with mustard glaze and pineapple salsa)
    Demystifying the Sommelier

    Area: Northeast

    State: D.C.

    City: Washington

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/art-and-soul

    Review: http://www.artandsouldc.com/dinner.html

  9. 9

    B&B Ristorante

    Url: bandbristorante.com

    Phone: (702) 266-9977

    B&B Ristorante’s philosophy revolves around using quality local ingredients prepared as simply as possible, served with wines that celebrate the vernacular of the Italian table.

    Get the Grilled Octopus with Fagioli Marinati and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette
    recipe courtesy of Mario Batali, chef/owner of B&B Ristorante.

    Wine list: With almost 1,000 selections, the wine list is broad and progressive, featuring venerable producers from Piedmont and Tuscany, as well as more esoteric wines from Etna’s volcanic slopes.

    Perfect pair: The succulent, vibrant Grilled Octopus with Fagioli Marinati and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette is perfectly framed by the lithe texture of the Laura Aschero’s 2010 Pigato.

    Riot worthy: The Beef Cheek Ravioli with Black Truffle, Crushed Duck Livers and Browned Butter is decadently rich, deeply flavored and unctuous, and is best paired with Zyme’s 2007 Valpolicella Classico Superiore.

    Destination bottle: Giacomo Conterno 1958 Monfortino Riserva (Barolo)
    Giuseppe Quintarelli 1990 Riserva (Recioto della Valpolicella)

    Related links: Digging Treasured Truffles in Unexpected Places
    Filet of Beef en Roulade with Black Truffles

    Additional info:
    The succulent, vibrant Grilled Octopus with Fagioli Marinati and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette is perfectly framed by the lithe texture of the Laura Aschero’s 2010 Pigato.

    With almost 1,000 selections, the wine list is broad and progressive, featuring venerable producers from Piedmont and Tuscany, as well as more esoteric wines from Etna’s volcanic slopes.

    Area: West

    State: NV

    City: Las Vegas

    Address: ‘The Beef Cheek Ravioli with Black Truffle, Crushed Duck Livers and Browned Butter is decadently rich, deeply flavored and unctuous, and is best paired with Zyme’s 2007 Valpolicella Classico Superiore.’

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/b-and-b-ristorante

    Review: http://www.bandbristorante.com/dinner.cfm

  10. 10

    Bacchanalia

    Url: starprovisions.com

    Phone: (404) 365 0410

    Modern American cuisine, with an emphasis on wine pairings with every dish (available in half-glass or full-glass pours).

    Read a Q&A with David A. Carson, chef de cuisine of Bacchanalia.

    Wine list: The wine list focuses on California wineries, ranging from the mainstream to niche producers.

    Perfect pair: Jermann’s 2009 Pinot Grigio from Venezia Giulia paired with Kumamoto Oysters, Cauliflower Panna Cotta, Caviar and Sourdough Croutons.

    Riot worthy: The Crab Fritter with Thai Pepper Essence and Avocado has been a mainstay on the menu for 19 years.

    Destination bottle: Colgin 1997 Herb Lamb Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
    5 vintages of J. Rochioli East Block Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)

    Related links: Posh Pinot Grigio
    Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: The Triumph of Terroir

    Area: South

    State: GA

    City: Atlanta

    Location: http://www.opentable.com/bacchanalia

    Review: http://www.starprovisions.com/menus/bacchanalia/bacchanalia_menu.pdf

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Published on September 1, 2012
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