12 Latest and Greatest Wine Restaurants

These impressive dining destinations are new to their communities and to the Restaurant Awards program

12 Latest and Greatest Wine Restaurants
Acclaimed chef Michael Mina opened Bungalow Kitchen in Long Beach, Calif., in 2021, offering locally sourced cuisine and an impressive 320-label wine program. (Photo by Avablu Photography)
Jun 30, 2022

If you’ve been slow to return to dining out regularly after the peaks of the coronavirus pandemic, you’ll find a lot has changed in the U.S. dining scene, but there's no shortage of places with exceptional wine programs, superior food and top-notch hospitality. So, where to start catching up? Try a restaurant that’s certain to offer a memorable experience, like the 12 recently opened destinations here. All earned their first Wine Spectator Restaurant Award when the 2022 winners were announced this week.

Some are backed by big-name chefs or veteran wine directors; others are smaller family operations. Some mingle international influences; others update traditional New England, Southern or Western cuisine. There's an ode to supper clubs, a restaurant in a museum, another in an old church. Creative wine program offerings range from a list featuring only wines made by women to half-off happy-hour bottles to a blind-tasting flight that can earn you free drinks.

This is just a small sampling of standout wine spots. For more wine-and-food destinations around the world, search all of Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, including all our Grand Award recipients.

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!

Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations.


The Betty

374 East Paces Ferry Rd NE, Atlanta
Telephone (877) 984-6548
Website www.thebettyatl.com
Award of Excellence

 The dining room at the Betty
The Betty's team aims to capture the charm of a classic supper club. (Cris Molina)

Located on the ground floor of the Sylvan Kimpton Hotel in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, the Betty opened in 2021 as an ode to the classic American supper club. Creating a distinctive guest experience, the restaurant joins classic Continental cuisine with Southern hospitality and modern culinary influences. Prepared by chef de cuisine Thomas Davis, the Betty’s menu offers everything from roasted lobster and prime ribeye steak to contemporary plates like celery ceviche and steak tartare in a yuzu kosho vinaigrette. These dishes are enjoyed alongside 140 wine selections carefully curated by manager and sommelier Joe Billesbach, whose three-part list encourages guests to explore wines from up-and-coming producers. There are plenty of well-known labels to enjoy from France and California as well, including Château Pontet-Canet and Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon.


Brigade

233 E Main St Suite 201, Bozeman, Mont.
Telephone (406) 624-6161
Website www.brigadebzn.com
Award of Excellence

 The dining room at Brigade
Large windows provide plenty of light for Brigade’s bricklined dining room. (Courtesy of Brigade)

Montana offers a bounty of ingredients for the passionate chef. These are distilled into an elevated, contemporary experience at Bozeman restaurant Brigade, which opened its doors in 2021. Using local ingredients, executive chef Josh Spisak prepares a regional menu of dishes such as leeks in Dijon vinaigrette, cauliflower steak with cashew and herb gremolata, northern walleye with olive relish and braised lentils, duck confit, bison short ribs and 100-layer lasagna. This hearty fare joins wine director Tim Zapanta’s 130-label program, which is packed with plenty from France and the U.S. West Coast—including Champagne, Burgundy, Sonoma and Oregon Pinot Noir and Napa Valley Cabernet—with more offbeat choices like Txakolina and Frappato mixed in. The guest experience at Brigade is enhanced by windows stretching along the dining room, which open the restaurant up to downtown Bozeman.


Bungalow Kitchen – Belmont Shore

6400 Pacific Coast Hwy Suite 200, Long Beach, Calif.
Telephone (562) 719-9400
Website www.bungalowkitchen.com
Award of Excellence

 The dining room at Bungalow Kitchen Belmont Shore
Bungalow Kitchen mixes a clubhouse atmosphere with top-notch hospitality for an intimate dining experience. (Photo by Avablu Photography)

As the chef behind Restaurant Award–winning brands like Bourbon Steak and Stripsteak, Michael Mina has become a well-known name not just in California’s dining scene but across the country. The addition of Bungalow Kitchen Belmont Shore, opened with entrepreneur Brent Bolthouse, only furthers Mina’s reputation as a savvy restaurateur. Set in a space that combines American Craftsman architecture with industrial elements, with plenty of outdoor seating, the restaurant offers a seafood-focused menu from executive chef Elliot Drew. This includes dishes like ahi tuna tartare, truffle-yellowtail sashimi, Pacific oysters, phyllo-crusted petrale sole with Meyer lemon–caviar sauce and Mina’s signature lobster pot pie. Wine director Ryan Kraemer offers a program of about 320 selections, many from California and France. There’s plenty of Champagne and other sparkling wine to choose from, as well as Burgundies, Napa Valley Cabernets, Sonoma Chardonnays, classic Italian reds, seafood-friendly Sauvignon Blancs and more.


Cafe Mamo

Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Telephone (616) 350-3430
Website www.cafemamo.com
Award of Excellence

 The dining room at Cafe Mamo
With wine as a central focus, Cafe Mamo hosts its own wine club. (Courtesy of Cafe Mamo)

Grand Rapids, Mich., is affectionately known as Beer City. But Cafe Mamo is on a mission to elevate its wine culture. Husband-and-wife team Michael Goessman (chef) and Summer Knoop (wine director) opened the 30-seat, open-kitchen space in 2021, in a 1920s building that originally housed a gas station. The compact menu changes constantly based on the freshest meat and produce Goessman, who personally sources his ingredients from western Michigan farms, can find. Starters include summer crudités with goat cheese dip and fresh ricotta with honeycomb, lemon and focaccia. Entrées evolve based on what produce is available each day, making for dishes like spinach fettuccine, trout Milanese and farmer’s cut steak. Knoop’s wine list leans Italian, though there are growing selections from California and elsewhere. In keeping with her goal of having a bottle of wine on every table during dinner service, Knoop offers bottles half off, up to $60, during daily happy hour. Periodically, guests can also enjoy special pairings of half-bottles with dishes such as côte de boeuf.


Iris Restaurant

1740 Broadway, New York
Telephone (212) 970-1740
Website www.irisrestaurant.nyc
Award of Excellence

 A bottle of white wine and glasses of white wine at Iris, along with pieces of pita bread, cheese and other foods
Guests can enjoy Mediterranean classics and new favorites at Iris. (Courtesy of Iris Restaurant)

Iris is a beacon of Mediterranean and Aegean cuisine in New York, conceived by John Fraser, the well-known chef and restaurateur behind Best of Award of Excellence–winner 701West. Overseen by JF Restaurants beverage director Amy Racine, Iris’ wine list is expectedly focused on regions around the Mediterranean Sea. Greece, Turkey and France form a significant portion of the 165-label program, along with selections from Italy, Spain and farther abroad. (New World fans will find Oregon reds in the mix too.) These are fitting pairings for Fraser’s similarly focused menu, which is influenced by Turkish cuisine and the chef’s Greek background. Prepared by executive chef Andrew Minitelli, dishes include seasonal variations on tzatziki, roasted eggplant, salmon tartare with labne, sweetbread kokoretsi and swordfish kebab. Locally sourced ingredients are fundamental to the menu, as are vegetables, Fraser’s specialty. This was the second restaurant Fraser opened during the COVID-19 pandemic, following his revival of North Fork Table & Inn on Long Island.


Jaleo by José Andrés Chicago

500 N Clark St #465, Chicago, Ill.
Telephone (312) 820-7771
Website www.jaleo.com
Award of Excellence

 A plate of paella at Jaleo Chicago
There are several paellas to discover at Jaleo Chicago. (Regan Baroni)

Chef and humanitarian José Andrés opened his fifth Jaleo location in Chicago in 2021, joining Restaurant Award–winning sibling restaurants in Disney Springs, Fla., Las Vegas and Washington D.C. As with these other locations, the Chicago restaurant’s wine program focuses exclusively on Spain. Jaleo head sommelier Jordi Paronella and Jaleo Chicago wine director Kimberly Klinger have assembled 105 selections that spotlight the country’s many regions, from Rioja and Monterrei to Priorat and Bierzo. There are plenty of Sherry options as well. Selections are listed by structure and body, with a key to help diners find the best wines for their palates, and much of the list is also offered by the glass. These wines complement executive chef Ramon Martinez’s menu of Spanish classics and contemporary dishes, including poached octopus with potatoes, carne asada, grilled pork sausage with white beans, seared piquillo peppers and diverse paellas. Curious guests can also venture to Jaleo’s basement to enjoy a drink at Pigtail, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar.


Leku

Rubell Museum, 1100 NW 23rd Street, Miami, Fl.
Telephone (786) 464-0615
Website www.lekumiami.com
Award of Excellence

 The dining room at Leku
Located at the new Rubell Museum, Leku focuses on the food of Spain’s Côte Basque region. (Courtesy of Leku)

Located within Miami’s celebrated new Rubell Museum, Leku offers an elegant take on traditional Basque cuisine in the heart of the diverse Allapattah neighborhood. Art carries into the restaurant, where a Guernica-inspired mural by Allison Zuckerman centers the dining room. Guests can also dine outdoors in the Rubell courtyard or the museum’s garden, which at night becomes an intimate lounge area. General manager and wine director Alex Perez oversees a list of 245 selections focused on Spanish gems, with additional offerings from France, Italy, California and beyond, as well as innovative cocktails and a selection of Basque ciders. Many of the items on chef Mikel Goikolea’s menu will be familiar to lovers of Spanish cuisine, and the Basque twists keep things interesting. At this time, guests can begin their meal with a Spanish sausage empanada and a cider shot, the proceeds from which will be donated to World Central Kitchen’s relief efforts in Ukraine. From there, elevated tapas options, arroz dishes and wood-fired meats and seafood, such as braised Wagyu veal cheeks and a whole branzino, are sure to delight. Leku also offers an 11-course tasting menu for $125, with wine pairings for an additional $75.


Little Saint

25 North St, Healdsburg, Calif.
Telephone (707) 433-8207
Website www.littlesainthealdsburg.com
Award of Excellence

 Tomatoes, spreads and other foods at Little Saint
Locally sourced vegetables and fruits form the core of Little Saint’s diverse cuisine. (Courtesy of Little Saint)

Located in the middle of California wine country, Little Saint is a new collaboration from the owners of DuMol Winery, Jeff and Laurie Ubben, and the proprietors of Grand Award winner SingleThread Farms, Kyle and Katina Connaughton. Chef Bryan Oliver offers a plant-based menu (the restaurant fittingly opened on Earth Day) that uses ingredients from Little Saint’s farm, SingleThread’s farm and other regional producers. The aim is to show how restaurants can help create a healthy ecosystem for great produce, resulting in dishes like potato-green garlic soup, cauliflower biryani with basmati rice and carrot cake with walnuts. These join a 310-selection wine program from wine director Alex Sarovich, a SingleThread alum, which highlights wineries using sustainable practices. France and California are the stars of the show, with particular emphasis on local Sonoma wineries. Guests will also find wines from Mendocino, Central Coast and Napa Valley. The 10,000-square-foot Little Saint space houses a café, a grocery and a wine shop as well, and hosts events such as wine tastings, book signings and live music.


Punch Bowl Brookline

700 Brookline Ave, Brookline, Mass.
Telephone (617) 487-8581
Website www.punchbowlbrookline.com
Award of Excellence

 Jen Ziskin with a bottle of sparkling wine
Co-owner Jen Ziskin oversees Punch Bowl's 150-label wine program. (Topher Cox)

When Jen and Josh Ziskin—wine director and chef, respectively—opened Punch Bowl in Brookline, Mass., in 2021, they hoped to continue the tradition of the historic local tavern after which it was named. Sitting on what was once an 18th-century coach road into Boston, the restaurant offers new interpretations of classic New England fare, resulting in dishes such as the swordfish Reuben sandwich or the surf-and-turf pizza. Locally made cheeses and mezze are also available, along with a wide range of small plates. For wine, Jen Ziskin pays homage to Brookline’s history of female tavern keepers with her 150-selection list, which prominently features women winemakers and vintners. These include the likes of Zenato’s Nadia Zenato, Pedroncelli’s Julie Pedroncelli and Catena Zapata’s Laura Catena. In addition to the dining room, Punch Bowl also offers diners a patio on which to enjoy their meals.


Rose Mary

932 W Fulton St, Chicago, Ill.
Telephone (872) 260-3921
Website www.rosemarychicago.com
Award of Excellence

 The dining room and bar at Rose Mary
Rose Mary is the first restaurant from chef Joe Flamm. (Courtesy of Rose Mary)

As the 2018 winner of Bravo’s Top Chef and a former chef at celebrated Chicago restaurant Spiaggia (closed in 2021), Joe Flamm has built an impressive resume. Last year, he opened the first restaurant of his own, Rose Mary, in Chicago’s Fulton Market, working with the owners of Award of Excellence winner BLVD Steakhouse Chicago. The restaurant is inspired by Flamm’s Italian background and his trips along Croatia’s Adriatic Coast (its name references the herb rosemary and Flamm’s grandmothers, both named Mary). This influence can be seen throughout wine director Leigh Ervine’s 200-label list, which offers plenty from Italy, Croatia and Slovenia, as well as bottles from California, France, Spain, Germany and Austria, among others. Italy is the main focus of Flamm’s menu, which takes full advantage of the restaurant’s 8-foot charcoal hearth. Dishes include the likes of zucchini fritters, duck sausage with polenta and giardiniera, beef burek and lamb shoulder with blitva (a Croatian side of Swiss chard and potatoes), along with a range of pasta and risotto options. Reserve a seat at the chef’s counter facing the open kitchen for a hyper-seasonal tasting menu. Keen-eyed guests will notice Croatian influences in Rose Mary’s dining room, which is decorated with red clay and blue tile, and patio seating enhances the Mediterranean vibe.


Supperland

1212 The Plaza, Charlotte, N.C.
Telephone (704) 817-7514
Website www.supper.land
Award of Excellence

 The dining room at Supperland
Both Supperland’s cuisine and design are celebrations of Southern culture. (Courtesy of Supperland)

If you’re in Charlotte, N.C., don’t miss Supperland, a dining destination in the trendy Plaza Midwood neighborhood that describes itself as “Southern steakhouse meets church potluck.” The restaurant, opened in 2021, inhabits a restored mid-century church, where diners can enjoy inspired, locally sourced takes on Southern cooking (think miso mac and cheese or Wagyu beef franks and beans) in a charming atmosphere. Wine director Michael Klinger curates the 255-selection list, which has strengths in California and France. The program complement chef Chris Rogienski’s dining room and bar menus, both of which take advantage of Supperland’s 14-foot wood-fired grill. Standout dishes include prime beef ribs, can-can Cheshire pork belly and loin and a spatchcocked branzino with vegetable escabeche. Diners looking for an over-the-top experience can add lump crab poached in miso butter to any dish, and Osetra caviar is also available—sustainably farmed in North Carolina. In addition to the bar and main dining room, Supperland boasts a reservation-only “speakeasy” with a themed progression of cocktails paired with small plates.


Temperance Wine Bar

40 Carmine St, New York
Telephone (646) 438-9334
Website www.temperancenyc.com
Award of Excellence

 The dining room at Temperance Wine Bar
Temperance Wine Bar offers a casual and modern introduction to many wine styles and regions. (Courtesy of Temperance Wine Bar)

In New York City’s West Village, Temperance Wine Bar spices up the scene with a thoughtful list of more than 100 wines, all offered by the glass and accompanied by a range of snacks and small plates. Taking over from founding wine director A.J. Ojeda-Pons (formerly of Lambs Club), new wine director Vergel San Miguel oversees a program packed with overlooked grape varieties, wine regions and styles, including Sherry and Madeira. He is looking to continue the extensive by-the-glass program while expanding in new directions, including monthly wine themes and options for half-glasses. Likewise, incoming chef Jean Nihoul plans to add to the current menu, which features an eclectic range of wine-friendly snacks and larger plates, such as cured anchovy and pepper crostini, cheesy broccoli Gruyère balls and a Lebanese lamb burger. Temperance also offers blind-tasting flights of four wines—the flight is free if you guess all four grapes correctly—and “Red-Eye” flights, featuring a single variety made in different styles from around the world.

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