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13 Restaurants for Top-Notch Champagne

At these dining destinations, sparkling superstars from the quintessential region reign supreme
Photo by: Alanna Hale
Just south of San Francisco in Saratoga, wine director Jeffrey Perisho curates top-grade Champagne selections and local sparkling wines at the Plumed Horse.

Posted: December 1, 2015

Updated: December 22, 2016

Think festive drinking, and there’s one word that comes to mind: Champagne. Paired with Chinese, Creole or classic French, the timeless bubbly offers a vibrant complement to countless cuisines. And whether you’re toasting beachside on vacation or warming up from the cold before a holiday meal, this French darling is a favorite for commemorating special moments.

More and more, however, wine lovers are finding occasion to pop sparklers for any occasion—or none at all. So we’ve selected 13 restaurants from around the country whose Champagne-centric wine lists deserve a toast year-round. Still, these restaurants offer wine lists with excellent breadth and depth across many regions, styles and vintages. For more options, see our more than 3,500 Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, including our 87 Grand Award recipients.

This is only a partial guide to restaurants for great Champagne. Other spots strong in sparklers have appeared in past Restaurant Guides, including Marta in Manhattan, Les Amis in Singapore, Tour D’Argent in Paris and Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky in the Maldives.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!


Addison

The Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, Calif., 92130
Telephone (858) 314-1900
Website www.addisondelmar.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
Grand Award

At the Grand Del Mar resort in Southern California, Melanie Kaman oversees Addison's list of over 3,000 selections.

In San Diego, Grand Award–winning Addison at the Grand Del Mar resort, tucked in the hills near the Pacific Ocean, certainly sets the mood for Champagne. Chef William Bradley’s courses change with the seasons, emphasizing local ingredients with French flair for a combination that begs for bubbly. Of the restaurant’s 3,200 wine selections, choose from dozens of Champagnes, including 18 in half-bottle and a handful by the glass. Krug partisans will be especially pleased to find a vertical dating back to the 1970s.


Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, N.Y., 10591
Telephone (914) 366-9600
Website www.bluehillfarm.com
Open Dinner, Wednesday to Sunday
Grand Award

Courtesy of Blue Hill at Stone Barns
"New York is setting a high bar with what’s produced in this state," notes wine director Charles Puglia of Blue Hill at Stone Barns; his list totals nearly 2,000 selections.

If you’re looking to escape New York City for an evening, head to Tarrytown, up the Hudson River. There, Grand Award winner Blue Hill at Stone Barns offers a culinary retreat on the vanguard of farm-to-table innovation, with many ingredients grown on the property farm and cuisine by acclaimed chef Dan Barber highlighting local and sustainable foods. Its wine list is no exception to the philosophy: Wine director Charles Puglia emphasizes the importance of championing New York offerings. When it comes to Champagne, Blue Hill offers outstanding vintage depth in its selections and also provides disgorgement dates for a substantial number of non-vintage bottles. Boutique favorites like Marie-Courtin, Agrapart & Fils and Jacques Selosse reign, but if you prefer to drink local bubbly, there’s also a selection of New York sparkling wines.


Canlis

2576 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle, Wash., 98109
Telephone (206) 283-3313
Website www.canlis.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Grand Award

Brian Canlis
Beyond bubbly: At Canlis, wine director Nelson Daquip's list offers strengths in California, France, Washington and Italy.

Canlis, the Seattle institution specializing in Pacific Northwestern cuisine it dubs “comfort geek,” has been a recipient of the Grand Award since 1997. Dishes as diverse as spot prawn with vermouth and chive, dry-aged duck with butternut squash, and banana mousse with chocolate ganache, peanut and miso could all find a friendly pairing on the restaurant’s nearly 90-page wine list, curated by wine director Nelson Daquip. Dom Pérignon takes seven spots alone, with bottles dating back to 1982, and there are 15 Krugs here, including a vertical of the rare Clos du Mesnil back to 1986. Cult darlings like Jacques Selosse abound as well.


HMF at the Breakers

The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach, Fla., 33480
Telephone (561) 659-8480
Website www.thebreakers.com
Open Dinner, daily
Grand Award

Lila Photo
Two master sommeliers, Virginia Philip and Juan Gomez, guide the wine program at HMF at the Breakers.

A stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, the restaurant now called HMF at the Breakers has earned a Grand Award since 1981, serving international cuisine under its vaulted ceilings and chandeliers that evoke old-school Palm Beach. The glamor is enhanced by HMF’s massive and meticulously organized wine list, overseen by wine director and master sommelier Virginia Philip. The well-organized Champagne section includes over 120 selections, several priced under $100. For the indecisive (or adventurous) imbiber, some by-the-glass bubblies are available in both 3- and 6-ounce pours.


The Plumed Horse

14555 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, Calif., 95070
Telephone (408) 867-4711
Website www.plumedhorse.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Grand Award

Selecting a bottle for your Champagne toast could prove difficult at the Plumed Horse. With over 160 bottles, the Grand Award–winning restaurant’s Champagne list is among the most extensive in our Restaurant Awards program, showing diversity not only in producers but also vintage depth—grower-producers share space with grandes marques in vintages back to the 1960s. Once you’ve got your glass in hand, pair it with contemporary California favorites like West Coast oysters, local lamb loin and Sterling California caviar from executive chef and owner Peter Armellino.


Cherry Circle Room

12 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd Floor, Chicago, Ill., 60603
Telephone (312) 792-3515
Website www.cherrycircleroom.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Overlooking Millennium Park in the Chicago Loop at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cherry Circle Room is a cozy retreat from the city’s energy. Take your pick of a seat, from the plush leather booths to the expansive bar, and browse chef Peter Coenen’s menu of house specialties such as roasted branzino, kabocha squash ravioli and pan-seared farm chicken with goat cheese gnocchi. With an abundance of sparkling options, including nearly three dozen grower Champagnes and nine grande marque Champagnes, wine director Andrew Algren’s list is well-suited for festivities. The 385-selection list also offers depth in Sherry, Burgundy, Italy and California, earning it a Best of Award of Excellence in 2016.


Hakkasan Miami

Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla., 33140
Telephone (786) 276-1388
Website www.fontainebleau.com
Open Dinner, daily; lunch, Saturday and Sunday
Best of Award of Excellence

Just off Miami Beach, Hakkasan at the Fontainebleu resort channels its ocean setting in its grand main dining room.

With three Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning locations, Hakkasan has shown that pairing Asian fare—like its Cantonese cuisine—with wine pays off. If the ocean view isn’t enough motivation to pop open a bottle of bubbly, let the list at the Miami Beach location in the famed Fontainebleau hotel convince you. The Best of Award of Excellence winner offers 430 wine selections, several dozen of which are Champagne. There are some choice late-disgorged bottles among the range of producers here.


Michael Mina

252 California St., San Francisco, Calif., 94111
Telephone (415) 397-9222
Website www.michaelmina.net
Open Dinner, daily; lunch, Monday to Friday
Best of Award of Excellence

Courtesy of Mina Group
Caviar connoisseurs, take heart: At Michael Mina, pair Imperial Kaluga, Caspian Sea Osetra or California Reserve with a glass of bubbly.

At Best of Award of Excellence winner Michael Mina in San Francisco, executive chef Raj Dixit draws on Japanese and French influences to craft his contemporary global cuisine. Guests may choose between a three-course prix fixe menu and a seasonal tasting menu, or opt for a pared-down à la carte menu at the bar. Wine director Rajat Parr oversees the 820-selection wine list, which offers a substantial selection of grower Champagnes, meticulously organized by subregion where applicable (Montagne de Reims, Aube, etc.)—unusual for a wine style that many houses blend from sites all over Champagne.


Pix Pâtisserie and Bar Vivant

2225 E. Burnside St., Portland, Ore., 97214
Telephone (971) 271-7166
Website www.pixpatisserie.com
Open Dinner, Wednesday to Sunday; lunch, Saturday and Sunday
Best of Award of Excellence

With two dozen half-bottle offerings and nearly 50 large-format bottles, Pix Pâtisserie and Bar Vivant has your Champagne needs covered, whether you’re hosting a large table or enjoying light bites for two. Also notable is that the overwhelming majority of bottles are from small houses: Vilmart & Cie, Pierre Péters, Gaston Chiquet, Ulysse Collin and other hard-to-find producers are all within reach here. The Best of Award of Excellence winner in Portland, Ore., offers Spanish tapas and rich pastries to pair with their 930-selection wine list, managed by Cheryl Wakerhauser, the restaurant’s owner, head chef and wine director. Pix also has strengths in Spanish wines and Sherries, as well as a variety of local Oregon wines.


Restaurant R’evolution

Royal Sonesta Hotel, 777 Bienville St., New Orleans, La., 70130
Telephone (504) 553-2277
Website www.revolutionnola.com
Open Dinner, daily; lunch, seasonal (call ahead for hours); brunch, Sunday
Best of Award of Excellence

In the French Quarter of New Orleans, Restaurant R’evolution is a major player in modern Cajun and Creole gastronomy. There, chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto cook up local favorites such as Gulf shrimp, andouille sausage, catfish and bouillabaisse, spotlighting local ingredients like alligator, frog, kumquats and sassafras. The restaurant’s 1,500-selection, Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list also pays homage to Creole history, with extensive selections in wines from France and Germany. For a prime accompaniment to the spice and sauce, choose from the bounty of Champagne offerings, including several verticals (Ulysse Collin, Delamotte back to 1970) and blue-chip prestige cuvées, with many options in magnum.


Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

431 W. 37th St., New York, N.Y., 10018
Telephone (718) 243-0050
Website www.brooklynfare.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

At Best of Award of Excellence winner Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, chef César Ramirez engineers the two-and-a-half-hour tasting menu, which aims to preserve the essence of each ingredient and concentrates on seafood. Champagne reigns in the cellar, with over five dozen offerings out of the restaurant’s 400 total wine selections, pairing naturally with the menu’s French and Japanese influences. The list emphasizes both small-production and high-roller bottles, including a vertical of Salon back to the 1970s.


The NoMad

The NoMad Hotel, 1170 Broadway, New York, N.Y., 10001
Telephone (212) 796-1500
Website www.thenomadhotel.com
Open Dinner and lunch, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Just north of Madison Square Park, the NoMad's Champagne pours range from by-the-glass to jeroboam.

The NoMad Hotel’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant is all New York elegance, with rich wood, plush carpets, spiral staircases and a sleek glass atrium. Chef Daniel Humm assembles the contemporary American menu, which includes favorites like a whole roasted chicken for two with foie gras, black truffle and brioche. Among the restaurant’s 1,400 wine selections, Champagne is a focus, with compelling depth in small grower-producers like Pierre Péters, Vouette & Sorbée and Vilmart & Cie.


1760

1760 Polk St., San Francisco, Calif., 94109
Telephone (415) 359-1212
Website www.1760sf.com
Open Dinner and lunch, daily
Award of Excellence

From Gianpaolo Paterlini, also the wine director of Grand Award winner Acquerello, comes 1760, a more casual approach to contemporary dining alongside an Award of Excellence–winning list of wines. Located in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood, the restaurant offers a menu of dishes meant for sharing, such as pappardelle with black trumpet mushrooms, grilled pork ribs with hoisin barbecue sauce and peanuts, and seared scallops with parsnip puree. The wine list focuses on bottles from Champagne, Italy and California, with over 20 Champagnes under $100 and a reserve Champagne list of over seven dozen offerings; on Mondays, the restaurant’s Champagnes are all 20 percent off.

James Mobbley
San Diego, Ca —  December 6, 2015 4:30pm ET
Just a correction on the Addison photo caption, the current Wine Director at the Addison is Melanie Kaman, and has been for a few months now. Thanks for the article! I need to place these restaurants on my restaurant bucket list!

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