10 Great Family-Owned Restaurants with a Tradition of Wine

At these spots, wine and dining are close to home

10 Great Family-Owned Restaurants with a Tradition of Wine
"Does a wine program this big make sense for a small family restaurant? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. But we love wine." —Diane Fiorentino, co-owner with husband, Marcello, of Marcello's La Sirena (Amy Mikler)
Mar 15, 2023

For many, food and wine mean family time, whether that's preparing a meal together in the kitchen, dining out for a special occasion, treasuring a recipe passed down through generations or enjoying a glass at the end of the day. But for restaurants that are also family-owned businesses, that connection takes on an even deeper meaning. Here are 10 dining destinations that are the life's work and pride of a family, be it husband and wife, brother and sister, one generation or multiple.

This is only a partial guide to family-owned restaurants. Others with great lists have appeared in past restaurant guides, including Grand Award winners Acquerello in San Francisco, Bern's Steak House in Tampa, Fla., Bleu Provence in Naples, Fla., Canlis in Seattle, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas and Houston, and Commander's Palace in New Orleans.

To check out more great wine-and-dining spots across the globe, explore the many other Wine Spectator 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..

Marcello’s La Sirena

6316 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Telephone (561) 585-3128
Website www.lasirenaonline.com
Grand Award

 A table set in a wood-lined room with shelves of wine bottles
Dine in the wine cellar at Marcello’s La Sirena, surrounded by some of its massive wine inventory. (Andrew Meade)

In 1996, following his father’s death, Marcello Fiorentino was helping out in the dining room of his parents' Italian restaurant in West Palm Beach when he realized the wine program’s growth potential. At that time, the wine list he inherited offered just 12 reds and 12 whites; today, the list at Marcello’s La Sirena has 1,175 selections, including 50 choices under $50. While Fiorentino captains the cellar and kitchen, his wife, Diane, is the general manager. The two co-own the Florida institution, which earned its first Restaurant Award in 1999 and a Grand Award in 2015. Marcello’s La Sirena’s particular wine strengths include Italy, especially Tuscany, as well as California and Bordeaux.

Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur

37 Prince Arthur Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Telephone (416) 921-3105
Website www.opusrestaurant.com
Grand Award

 The dining room at Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur, with dark wood accents, leather chairs and flower centerpieces on tables
At Opus Restaurant, a Grand Award–winning wine list complements a European-cuisine menu. (Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur)

Brothers Tony and Mario Amaro opened Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur in Toronto’s upscale Yorkville neighborhood in 1992, with the goal of making it a destination for wine lovers. It’s safe to say they achieved their vision. With an ambitious wine list from the start, the restaurant earned its first Best of Award of Excellence in 1996 and its first Grand Award in 2002. To pair with chef Jason Cox’s continental cuisine, diners can choose from 2,100 wine selections backed by an inventory of 52,000 bottles, overseen by Tony (Opus’ wine director). The list offers many impressive selections from major regions, including Australia, Burgundy, Bordeaux, California, Piedmont, the Rhône, Spain and Tuscany, as well as a nice collection of Port, Sauternes and Canadian ice wines.

Brix Napa Valley

7377 St. Helena Highway, Napa, Calif.
Telephone (707) 944-2749
Website www.brix.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The dining room at Brix Napa Valley, with rattan chairs, wooden tables, gray benches, a white wooden ceiling and stone walls
Brix Napa Valley offers a welcoming setting for an acclaimed wine program and menu. (Bob McClenahan)

With stunning views of the Mayacamas Mountains in Yountville, Calif., Brix offers a distinctively Napa Valley experience. In fact, the restaurant’s proprietors, the Kelleher family, are part of the local winemaking scene as owners of Kelleher Family Vineyard and Brix Vineyard. At the Kellehers’ Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant, guests enjoy a menu of American cuisine from chef Cary Delbridge, including dishes such as fried chicken with Cheddar biscuits, fire-roasted cauliflower puree with brown butter, caramelized scallops and cheese burgers with Parmesan fries. Wine director and general manager Jamie Jamison complements these plates with a 450-selection wine list focused on regional wines, from Rombauer Zinfandel to Corison Cabernet Sauvignon to Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc. The list also features about 20 large-format bottles, including older vintages of the Kellehers’ own wine. Be sure to take in the local scenery and enjoy your meal outside on Brix’s patio.

Columbia Restaurant

2117 E. 7th Ave., Tampa, Fla.
Telephone (813) 248-4961
Website www.columbiarestaurant.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Richard Gonzmart and daughter Andrea Gonzmart Williams at their family-owned Columbia Restaurant
Richard Gonzmart and his daughter Andrea Gonzmart Williams represent the fourth and fifth generations to own Columbia Restaurant. (Columbia Restaurant)

Since opening in 1905, Columbia Restaurant has grown from a modest café serving Cuban sandwiches and coffee to an enterprise spanning an entire city block in Tampa, Fla., with sibling locations sprinkled throughout the Sunshine State. Today, Richard Gonzmart and his daughter Andrea Gonzmart Williams are, respectively, the fourth and fifth generations to operate the restaurant. Diners still enjoy the classic Cuban sandwich, made from the restaurant's original recipe, alongside other Cuban and Spanish dishes from chef Geraldo Bayona, such as ropa vieja served with plantains and white rice and a paella composed of shrimp, chicken and other ingredients. Jim Garris manages the Best of Award of Excellence–winning list of 1,000 wines, including an extensive collection of Spanish bottles and standout picks from California.

The Hobbit

2932 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, Calif.
Telephone (714) 997-1972
Website www.hobbitrestaurant.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The dining room at the Hobbit, with leopard-print chairs and a stone fireplace
Owned by husband-and-wife team Michael and Debra Philippi, the Hobbit is a historic destination in Orange, Calif. (Courtesy of the Hobbit)

A restored, three-story home in Orange, Calif., serves as the backdrop for a unique dining experience at the Hobbit. The evening takes place in three "acts" at $124 per person. The French cuisine is prepared by chef Michael Philippi, who bought the restaurant from his parents in the 1970s and now owns it with his wife, Debra. All the action starts in the wine cellar, where guests enjoy small bites and a glass of Champagne. Act II consists of two courses in the dining room followed by a brief intermission, during which guests are invited to roam the property before returning for the finale. Act III begins with a palate cleanser of sorbet, then transitions to main entrées and dessert. For an additional $65, pairings are available from wine director Matthew McKinney's list, which is strongest in Bordeaux, Burgundy, California, Germany and Italy.

Knife and Fork Inn

3600 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City, N.J.
Telephone (609) 344-1133
Website www.knifeandforkinn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The dining room at Knife and Fork Inn, with tables with white tablecloths and a glass-covered wall of wine bottles
Knife and Fork Inn has been an Atlantic City wine destination for decades. (Knife and Fork Inn)

In 1912, then-Atlantic City mayor William Riddle and his friends opened Knife and Fork, which was at the time a drinking and dining club for men. After federal agents raided the club for openly serving alcohol during Prohibition, it was sold to locals Milton and Evelyn Latz, who converted the space into the Knife and Fork Inn. Family-owned for nearly a century, the restaurant was sold by the Latzes in 2005 to fellow family members and restaurateurs Frank and Maureen Dougherty. Today, it features a 780-selection, Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list managed by wine director Ryan Bray, joined by a menu of steak house and seafood classics from chef Jim Huntzinger. Among the restaurant’s 5,100-plus bottles, guests will find plenty of outstanding labels from California, France and Italy.

The Pointe Restaurant

Wickaninnish Inn, 500 Osprey Lane, Chesterman Beach, Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
Telephone (250) 725-3106
Website www.wickinn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Wickaninnish Inn proprietors Charles and Bruce McDiarmid in the wine cellar at the British Columbia establishment
Charles and Bruce McDiarmid are part of the family who's owned the Wickaninnish Inn since 1996. (Kyler Vos)

Inspired by the rugged natural beauty of Tofino—a small district on the tip of a Vancouver Island peninsula, featuring sandy beaches, lakes and a wild rainforest—Howard McDiarmid helped establish the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in 1971. With its opening, the original Wickaninnish Inn was converted into the park’s marine interpretive center, sparking McDiarmid’s vision of building a modern hotel at the site. In 1996, the McDiarmid family helped bring his dream to reality, opening the Wickaninnish Inn and the Pointe Restaurant. These days, guests enjoy chef Carmen Ingham’s Canadian cuisine while taking in sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. The Pointe Restaurant has earned Restaurant Awards every year since 2002 and a Best of Award of Excellence since 2007. Sommelier Ike Seaman’s nearly 850-selection list continues the McDiarmid legacy of championing local producers, shining a spotlight on Canadian wines as well as impressive bottles from California, France and Italy.

The Red Lion Inn

30 Main St., Stockbridge, Mass.
Telephone (413) 298-5545
Website www.redlioninn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The Fitzpatrick family at the Red Lion Inn, an establishment they own in Massachusetts
The Fitzpatrick family has owned and operated the Red Lion Inn for five decades. (Courtesy of the Red Lion Inn)

The Red Lion Inn has been a landmark in Stockbridge, Mass., for two centuries. Its most recent stewards, the Fitzpatrick family, have owned the destination since 1968, cultivating not only the charming atmosphere of the inn but also a fine dining experience. Now led by Nancy Fitzpatrick and her daughter Sarah Eustis, the restaurant, with a rich history dating to the 18th century, boasts a wine list of more than 200 selections. Cultivated by wine director Timothy Eustis, who’s also Sarah’s spouse, the Best of Award of Excellence–winning list offers a solid selection of wines from California, France and Italy. Chef Jon Sterrett’s menu features contemporary American cuisine inspired by the inn’s history. Focusing on local, seasonal ingredients, the inn’s dishes include classics such as New England clam chowder and roasted prime rib with rosemary popovers.

Osteria Mamma

5732 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
Telephone (323) 284-7060
Website www.osteriamamma.com
Award of Excellence

 Black-and-white photographs on the wall of Osteria Mamma, featuring people in Italy in the middle of the 20th century
At Osteria Mamma, co-owners Filippo Cortivo and Cristina Cortivo celebrate Italian culture and the legacy of their late mother. (Courtesy of Osteria Mamma)

“Mamma” is a fitting name for this Hollywood osteria. An Award of Excellence winner, Osteria Mamma is all about tradition, which comes across loud and clear in chef Matteo Di Nicola’s menu of Italian classics, such as grilled octopus, mussels cooked in white wine, chicken Milanese and branzino, along with pastas and pizzas galore. This theme carries over into the restaurant’s design, with walls lined with old photographs from Italy, and its vino list from wine director Filippo Cortivo, who co-owns the restaurant with his sister, Cristina Cortivo, and Larry Fabrizi. (The restaurant is named for Loredana Cecchinato, the Cortivos’ late mother, who opened the establishment herself in 2010.) Italy forms most of the 350-label list, with selections from up and down the boot. You’ll also find picks from farther abroad, including the restaurant’s namesake house white from California. The list is especially notable for its wide range of values, with many wines priced less than $60 per bottle.


11633 San Vicente Blvd., #100, Los Angeles
Telephone (310) 820-2448
Website www.toscanabrentwood.com
Award of Excellence

 People enjoying red wine and eating pasta and other dishes at Toscana in Los Angeles
Toscana is a California trattoria known for northern Italian cuisine. (Rob Stark Photography)

In the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood, Award of Excellence winner Toscana takes pride in treating each guest like family. Owned by husband-and-wife team Michael and Kathie Gordon, this hot spot combines Tuscan influences with a California setting, serving trattoria classics such as tagliatelle Bolognese, pollo al mattone (chicken under a brick) and bistecca con fagioli (steak with beans). Wine director Roberto Facciolla’s 340-selection list shares this dual emphasis, highlighting gems from both Italy and California.

Edited by Collin Dreizen, Emma Grant, Julia Larson and Megan Tkacy

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