12 Historic Wine Destinations Still Going Strong

These Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners stand the test of time

12 Historic Wine Destinations Still Going Strong
Musso & Frank Grill isn't just a leading dining destination in Hollywood, Calif., but also one of Los Angeles' oldest restaurants. (Tina Whatcott-Echeverria)
Mar 30, 2023

Longevity is hard to come by, especially for restaurants. In this notoriously fickle industry, the places that persist are truly something special. These 12 Restaurant Award winners, which have all been open for 80 years or more, are no exception. With rich histories and close community ties, they’ve remained among the top wine restaurants in the world for decades. Today, they’re more than dining destinations—they’re landmarks.

To check out more great wine-and-dining spots across the globe, explore the many other Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning destinations, including our Grand Award recipients.

Do you have a favorite place 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..

Commander’s Palace

1403 Washington Ave., New Orleans
Telephone (504) 899-8221
Website www.commanderspalace.com
Grand Award

 The blue, Victorian-style Commander’s Palace building.
Open for more than a century, Commander’s Palace offers guests great food and wine, live jazz and more. (Courtesy of Commander’s Palace)

Refined, Southern hospitality is at the core of Commander's Palace, a cornerstone of the New Orleans restaurant scene since 1893. Slightly off the tourist beaten path in the charming Garden District, the Grand Award winner serves classic Creole fare from chef Meg Bickford, with dishes such as turtle soup, crawfish strudel, bread pudding souffle and a signature creole gumbo. The iconic eatery is known as a celebration destination, thanks to its extensive collection of Champagne and large-format bottles as well as its rousing live jazz performances during brunch. Wine director Dan Davis oversees the roughly 2,400-selection wine list, which prominently features France’s Burgundy, Rhône, Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon regions. Guests will find selections from California, Italy, Spain, Germany and Austria as well. The restaurant’s status as a culinary landmark is largely thanks to late owner Ella Brennan, who died in May of 2018 at 92; her family—including daughter Ti Adelaide Martin and niece Lally Brennan—continues to run the restaurant today.

Berta’s Chateau

7 Grove St., Wanaque, N.J.
Telephone (973) 835-0992
Website www.bertaschateau.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The dining room and main bar at Berta’s Chateau, with white tablecloths and wood furnishings
For nearly a century, Berta’s Chateau has been serving up delicious northern Italian classics. (Courtesy of Berta’s Chateau)

In 1925, Santina and Pietro Berta purchased the property that would become Berta's Chateau two years later. The restaurant is now owned by their grandson, Peter Bernstein, who runs both the kitchen and the wine program. The long-standing family business has grown a loyal following for its menu of Italian specialties and Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list of more than 1,000 selections, with a particular focus on Northern Italy. Piedmont labels make up a majority of the list, which shows additional strengths in Tuscany and France's Champagne. Noteworthy verticals include eight vintages each of Luciano Sandrone's Barolo Cannubi Boschis and Barolo Le Vigne, as well as 19 vintages from Domenico Clerico.

The Dining Room at Castle Hill

Castle Hill Inn, 590 Ocean Drive, Newport, R.I.
Telephone (888) 466-1355
Website www.castlehillinn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A sommelier showing a bottle of wine to two people at the Dining Room at Castle Hill, with a wall of windows in the background and more wine bottles in the foreground
Castle Hill Inn mixes great wine with stunning views of the Atlantic coast. (Courtesy of Castle Hill Inn)

Castle Hill Inn embodies the signature charm of Newport, R.I., with an extra layer of luxury. Originally established in 1875 as a summer home for Harvard University marine biologist and naturalist Alexander Agassiz, the property is now part of the luxury Relais & Châteaux hotel brand, which represents independently owned properties that offer exquisite cuisine and one-of-a-kind accommodations. Historically, the Inn has drawn big-name guests, such as author Thornton Wilder and actor Grace Kelly, who preferred the privacy of the estate’s harbor houses. Wine director Spencer Chaffey oversees a wine list of more than 800 labels at Castle Hill’s Dining Room; the program has held a Restaurant Award since 1996 and became a Best of Award of Excellence winner in 2004. The wine list showcases well-known bottlings from California, Italy and France—especially Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne—to complement chef Louis Rossi’s regional cuisine. And for $95, diners can add wine pairings to the six-course tasting menu, which the restaurant calls “a curated culinary adventure.”

Knife and Fork Inn

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

 Lobster, fish and carrots on a table at Kinfe and Fork Inn next to glasses of red and white wine
Knife and Fork Inn has been an Atlantic City wine destination for decades. (Knife and Fork Inn)

This restaurant's origins can be traced to 1912, when Atlantic City’s then-mayor opened a private men’s club with his friends. Federal agents raided the club for openly serving alcohol during Prohibition and, in 1927, it was sold to Milton and Evelyn Latz. They transformed the club into a restaurant, which was later sold again to local couple Frank and Maureen Dougherty, who still own Knife and Fork Inn today. Chef Nick Devine’s seafood and steak-house specialties are a nostalgic nod to the restaurant’s storied past. The dishes, which include lobster thermidor and steaks ranging from 8 to 22 ounces, are enhanced by standout labels across the 780-selection wine program. The list is strongest in California, France and Italy, with an abundance of Old World stars such as Armand Rousseau and Gaja, but you’ll also find standouts from Oregon, Washington and beyond.

The Polo Lounge

The Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif.
Telephone (310) 887-2777
Website www.beverlyhillshotel.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Green benches, green walls, a green-and-white ceiling and mirrors in the dining room at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge
Wine and dine at this Best of Award of Excellence winner once frequented by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the rest of the Rat Pack. (Courtesy of Beverly Hills Hotel)

The Beverly Hills Hotel has been in business for more than a century, and its iconic Polo Lounge restaurant has been open since 1941. Once known as “Hollywood's commissary,” the venue has attracted actor Charlie Chaplin, crooner Frank Sinatra and many other stars over the years. Wine director Kaitlyn Demasi keeps the wine list fresh with a mix of benchmarks and up-and-comers. California regions shine, as do Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne, but the list also highlights lesser-known areas in countries such as Lebanon. Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, the venue invites guests to eat in its main dining room, with an eclectic, old Hollywood vibe, or in its sun-soaked garden. Standouts on the menu include ahi tartare, a Wagyu burger and the restaurant’s famous McCarthy salad—the latter of which can be dressed up with lobster, caviar and 24-karat gold flakes for $1,912.

The Red Lion Inn

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

 The dining room of the Red Lion Inn—a space divided by a wood-and-glass wall with green accents—with set tables, wooden chairs and a red carpet
Situated in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Red Lion Inn is a storied establishment known for modern American fare. (Courtesy of the Red Lion Inn)

The Red Lion Inn started as a small tavern in Stockbridge, Mass., in 1773, undergoing several reinventions and ownership changes thereafter. In 1968, the Berkshires property was purchased by locals Jack and Jane Fitzpatrick and it’s stayed in the Fitzpatrick family ever since. Now run by second- and third-generation family members, the inn comprises four guest houses, including a converted 1950s firehouse. The main dining room features a 220-selection wine list, which first earned an Award of Excellence in 1999 before being promoted to Best of Award of Excellence in 2015. Managed by wine director Timothy Eustis, the list stuns with picks from California, France and Italy. In the kitchen, chef Jon Sterrett serves up comforting American classics, including clam chowder, eggs benedict and braised pork.

The Village

71 W. Monroe St., Chicago, Ill.
Telephone (312) 332-7005
Website www.italianvillage-chicago.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 People eat in the dining room of the Village, with lights hanging from above, blue walls and a wall designed to look like the exterior of a traditional house in Italy
The Village offers Chicagoans and tourists alike a lively culinary experience with classic Italian fare. (Churchill and Klehr)

A single building in the heart of Chicago is home to a trio of restaurants owned by three generations of the Capitanini family. They all hold Best of Awards of Excellence: La Cantina Enoteca; Vivere; and the oldest concept, the Village. The Village has been serving authentic Italian cuisine since 1927 and a Restaurant Award–winning wine list since 1984 . Since joining the team in 2016, wine director Jared Gelband has reorganized the list to make it more guest-friendly and complementary to chef Tony Rodriguez’s cuisine. Central and Northern Italy are showcased on the wine list, with particular strengths in Tuscany and Piedmont, but there’s also a healthy collection of bottlings from all across the boot.

Green Gables Restaurant

Huddleson Court, 7712 Somerset Pike, Jennerstown, Pa.
Telephone (814) 629-9201
Website www.greengablespa.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A stream cuts through a forest outside the Green Gables Restaurant, where patrons eat in a dining space surrounded by green windows
Enchanting woods add to the enticing setting of Pennsylvania’s Green Gables Restaurant. (Courtesy of Green Gables Restaurant)

The story of Green Gables Restaurant begins in 1927, when siblings James Stoughton and Louise Maust opened a roadside sandwich shop in rural Pennsylvania. This humble effort eventually evolved into a fine-dining restaurant that’s now owned and operated by Stoughton’s daughters Teresa (general manager) and Mary Louise (wine director). Chef Michael Lukatch crafts farm-fresh American food, such as creamy asparagus bisque, arugula salad adorned with candied squash, and a chargrilled filet mignon, complete with bacon-flecked Brussels sprouts. Managed by Mary Louise, the 375-selection wine list is strongest in France, California and Italy. The wine program is particularly value-driven, with many bottles under $100.

The Griswold Inn Wine Bar

36 Main St., Essex, Conn.
Telephone (860) 767-1776
Website www.griswoldinn.com
Award of Excellence

 The dining room at the Griswold Inn Wine Bar, with red walls, wooden design elements, wooden tables and striped chairs, as well as a painting of a steamship on the wall
One of the oldest continuously operated hotels in the U.S., the Griswold Inn offers classic New England charm with fresh flair. (Courtesy of the Griswold Inn Wine Bar)

During the American Revolution, Essex, Conn.—then known as Saybrook—became one of the East Coast’s most important and celebrated towns for shipbuilding. This attracted a large contingent of hungry shipbuilders and workers, many of whom found respite at Essex’s Griswold Inn (aka “the Gris”). Much more recently, the inn’s wine bar has earned an Award of Excellence since 2009, with a California-focused list of about 120 selections (35 available by the glass ) overseen by wine director Alan Barone. These join an eclectic, predominantly American menu of small plates from chef Shaheed Toppin, including puff pastry–wrapped sausages, boneless short ribs with whipped potatoes, thin-crust pizzas and seared salmon with a tomato-shallot compote. Special menus are also available seasonally across the inn’s four historic dining rooms: the Essex (aka “Ward”) Room, the Library, the Gun Room and the Covered Bridge.

The Musso & Frank Grill

6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, Calif.
Telephone (323) 467-7788
Website www.mussoandfrank.com
Award of Excellence

 People eating in the dining room at the Musso & Frank Grill, sitting in red booths in a room with wood-paneled walls
A Hollywood staple, the Musso & Frank Grill is more than 100 years old. (Tina Whatcott Echeverria)

An entrepreneur, a restaurateur and a French chef teamed up in 1919 to create the Musso & Frank Grill, which soon became a Hollywood hot spot. In the century since, not much has changed on the extensive American-Italian menu, now in the hands of chef JP Amateau. While there are the expected salads, sandwiches and soups on the menu, it also features standouts like a seafood-and-mushroom omelet and an 18-ounce prime rib roast with baked potatoes. Wine director Andrea Scuto kept the cuisine’s diversity in mind when building the moderately priced, 280-selection wine list, which emphasizes California and France. The by-the-glass list is particularly diverse, with Old World and New World producers represented among the more than 30 options.

Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
Telephone (202) 347-4800
Website www.ebbitt.com
Award of Excellence

 The woden bar at Old Ebbit Grill, with a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, animal trophies on the wall and a mirrored wall behind the bar
Old Ebbitt Grill’s bar is a charming spot to enjoy seafood and an award-winning wine list. (Courtesy of Old Ebbitt Grill)

While there’s no shortage of historic dining destinations in Washington, D.C., you’d be remiss if you didn’t visit Award of Excellence winner Old Ebbitt Grill, which boasts views of the White House, Lafayette Square and a slew of monuments and famed sites. Founded in 1856 by innkeeper William E. Ebbitt, the grill is one of D.C.’s oldest operating restaurants (though it’s now in a different location) and has hosted a staggering number of presidents and other well-known figures. These days, the menu showcases a range of American classics from chef Jay Allen, including meatloaf glazed with bacon and horseradish, pan-seared salmon, mussels dressed in white wine, 8-ounce cuts of filet mignon and an expansive raw bar of oysters and shellfish. Wine director John Filkins complements the food with a wine list of about 130 selections primarily sourced from California, with showings from France, Argentina and Spain as well.

The Red Fox Inn & Tavern

2 E. Washington St., Middleburg, Va.
Telephone (540) 687-6301
Website www.redfox.com
Award of Excellence

 A wooden bar and wooden chairs and tables at the Red Fox Inn & Tavern, with glasses hanging from a wood-beam ceiling and bottles of wine in the background
Established in the 1700s, this classic Virginia tavern nods to the past with its wooden bar and vintage details. (Courtesy of the Red Fox Inn & Tavern)

The Red Fox Inn & Tavern has served the community of Middleburg, Va., since 1728, occupying a place in stories from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War and beyond. The inn’s restaurant has served hungry guests for nearly 300 years and has held an Award of Excellence since 2018. Chef Ryan Ross’ four-course prix-fixe menu celebrates regional, seasonal cuisine with the likes of shrimp and grits, butternut squash and apple bisque, seared duck breast and dark chocolate cheesecake. There are suggested wine pairings throughout the menu, drawn from wine director Katrina Ayala’s list of more than 100 labels. Offering 17 wines by the glass, the program is predominantly formed by California and France, with local picks from Virginia wineries such as Boxwood Estate and Pollak. Guests can also enjoy drinks and pub fare at the inn’s adjoining Night Fox Pub.

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

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