10 Latest and Greatest Wine Restaurants

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

10 Latest and Greatest Wine Restaurants
At Peak in New York City, chef Chris Cryer sources seasonal ingredients from local suppliers for the menu, offered alongside a top-notch wine list and impeccable Manhattan views. (Courtesy of Peak)
Jul 1, 2021

The past year has been pretty dispiriting for dining enthusiasts, with the coronavirus pandemic causing everyone to coop up in their homes and forcing restaurants to shut their doors. Now that the United States is reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, guests have been quickly returning, eager for the hospitality experience and to support an industry that continues to face substantial challenges in light of the crisis.

The best way to celebrate the end of a dining dry spell? Head to spots that go above and beyond on both their wine lists and their menus, like the 10 new destinations below. All opened within the past 18 months, and all earned their first Wine Spectator Restaurant Award when the 2021 winners were announced this week.

This is just a small sampling of standout wine spots. To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s more than 2,900 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 97 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

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.


Carbone

49 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla.
Website www.carbonemiami.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Pasta next to a glass and bottle of red wine at Carbone
Major Food Group’s Carbone has gained international recognition for its Italian fare, especially its pastas. (Courtesy of Carbone)

Earlier this year, chef Mario Carbone brought his signature Italian restaurant to Miami Beach. Now a Best of Award of Excellence winner, Carbone joins sibling locations in New York, Las Vegas and Hong Kong. All are part of Major Food Group, which also includes Grand Award winner the Grill in New York. In addition to Carbone classics like spicy rigatoni in vodka sauce and a Caesar salad prepared tableside, guests can pick from a range of steak and seafood options on executive chef Jonah Resnick’s menu. This includes lobster ravioli, Dover sole piccata and scampi with jumbo shrimp. Wine director John Slover’s 600-label wine list is, of course, heavy on Italian options, many from Tuscany and Piedmont. Several notable estates are highlighted, such as Gaja, Antinori and Valdicava. Labels from Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux add another dimension to the restaurant’s 6,200-bottle inventory.


Dear Restaurant & Butchery

2710 Erie Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio
Telephone (513) 321-2710
Website www.dear-restaurant.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A glass-enclosed wine display at Dear Restaurant & Butchery
A glass-enclosed display at Dear Restaurant & Butchery shows off some of the restaurant's 1,300-plus bottles. (Courtesy of Dear Restaurant & Butchery)

Opened in Aug. 2020, Cincinnati's Dear Restaurant & Butchery is a Best of Award of Excellence winner that does, indeed, have a butchery (as well as a market) on site. Executive chef Brian Young is a trained butcher himself, experience he brings to dishes like Wagyu beef–tartare and his "butcher’s cut plate" of grilled endive and bone marrow–potato confit. Charcuterie options, gnocchi with lamb sugo and Rohan duck keep the meaty plates going. These dishes are accompanied by wine director Austin Heidt’s 370-label list, where France, California and Italy are the stars. A diverse by-the-glass selection leads into an impressive array of Champagnes and Burgundies, and there’s no small amount of Nebbiolo, Syrah and Cabernet for fans of meat-friendly reds.


Granita

51 Railroad St., Keene, N.H.
Telephone (603) 355-5242
Website www.granitakeene.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Steak with mashed potatoes and a glass of red wine at Granita
At Granita, choose from steaks like filet mignon or sirloin and sides like creamy mashed potatoes. (David Hoffman)

Locally sourced ingredients have been the name of the game at New Hampshire’s Granita since opening in summer 2020. The restaurant sources much of its produce from Seward Mountain Farm, just 10 miles away, and it works with other local producers for its mushrooms, eggs and more. This forms the base for chef Anthony Dispensa’s Italian-influenced menu. Dishes range from lighter fare like seared octopus and slow-roasted salmon to heartier mains like pappardelle with short rib, braised lamb shank and several steaks. These are joined by wine director Sarah Trubnick’s 2,000-label list of bottlings from France, California and Italy, with particular focus on Burgundy, Bordeaux and Piedmont. The Best of Award of Excellence–winning selection comprises plenty of California Cabernets, Barbarescos and Barolos, as well as alternative options like orange wines and Sherries.


March

1624 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas
Telephone (832) 380-2481
Website www.marchrestaurant.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The wine cellar with a tasting table in the center at March
March’s robust wine list is backed by an inventory of 8,500 bottles. (Julie Soefer)

Houston restaurant March isn’t named for its opening month (it premiered March 2021 following the debut of the lounge portion a few months before). Rather, it’s titled after the borderland frontiers that dot regions around Europe. The cuisine at this Best of Award of Excellence winner is even more specific, focusing on Mediterranean flavors. These are spotlighted in two tasting menus from chef-partner Felipe Riccio. Dishes include couscous with sea urchin, goat cheese mousseline with lavash bread, snapper crudo, lamb consommé and turmeric-honey gelato. These plates are served alongside French, Italian and Californian wines from wine director Mark Sayre’s 1,400-label list. Bottles from Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux, Piedmont and Tuscany form the core, featuring noted estates like Krug, Ramey and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Guests can also expect wines from Spain, Portugal, Australia, Lebanon and farther abroad.


Peak

500 W. 33rd St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (332) 204-8509
Website www.peaknyc.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The dining room with a view at Peak
The aptly named Peak shows off sweeping city views through tall, wraparound windows. (Charissa Fay)

New York’s Hudson Yards is one of the city’s exciting new complexes for sightseeing and dining. One of the draws is Best of Award of Excellence winner Peak, which boasts stellar views of Manhattan, more than 100 floors above the ground. Wine director Zachary Kameron’s 1,050-label list ups the stakes with varied bottles from France, Italy and California, with Burgundy and Bordeaux taking starring roles. There’s also a hefty by-the-glass selection and a vast array of Champagnes and international sparklers. These are followed by many Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Cabernets, Sangioveses and more from important estates and lesser-known wineries alike. Diners can match these with chef Chris Cryer’s diverse menu of dishes like squid-ink chitarra with littleneck clams, spring pea soup with pancetta, heritage-carrots with ricotta, Maine lobster and white asparagus with duck egg and morels.


The Grill

99 Market Square S.W., Washington, D.C.
Telephone (202) 916-5996
Website www.thegrilldc.com
Best of Award of Excellence

The Grill debuted in Washington, D.C's waterfront complex, the Wharf, in early 2020. A substantial selection of steaks anchors chef Roberto Santibañez's menu, crafted in an open kitchen, but there's also numerous alternative entrées including some vegetarian options. That's in addition to small bites like stuffed dates and deviled eggs, dips such as a three-cheese fondue with crab and appetizers like crispy calamari and a chopped salad. For the Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list, wine director Darlin Kulla presents 360 labels from around the globe. The program excels in California and France and highlights an array of pét-nats and skin-contact wines. The group behind the Grill, Knead Hospitality + Design, also includes D.C. Award of Excellence winner Succotash Restaurant.


The Wardroom

103 N. Washington St., Easton, Md.
Telephone (410) 826-5489
Website www.thewardroom.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A table set in the wine room at the Wardroom
The Wardroom has a special space for enjoying its 800-selection wine program. (Melanie Dunea)

Opened in September 2020, the Wardroom is a dynamic destination with an outstanding collection of wines in Easton, Md. By day, it's a retail market for curated ingredients and house-made provisions with a lunch menu of sandwiches. By night, it's an elegant dinner spot serving gnocchis, pasta and charcuterie. Chef Harley Peet runs the kitchen, while wine director Natalie Tapken manages the Best of Award of Excellence–winning program. France shines among the 800 wine selections, particularly Burgundy. California and Italy are well-represented too, covering a mix of labels from major producers and smaller, rarer picks. The group that owns the restaurant, Bluepoint Hospitality, is also behind Best of Award of Excellence winner Bas Rouge and Award of Excellence winner the Stewart.


Yolan

The Joseph Nashville, 403 Fourth Ave S., Nashville, Tenn.
Telephone (615) 231-0405
Website www.yolannashville.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Tony and Cathy Mantuano in the kitchen; a fish entrée next to a glass of white wine at Yolan
Simple Italian dishes from high-quality ingredients is the focus at Yolan, a restaurant from Tony and Cathy Mantuano. (Haas & Haas Photography)

Chef Tony Mantuano and his wife, Cathy, are the duo behind longtime Best of Award of Excellence winner Spiaggia in Chicago. In late 2019, they took a step back from the restaurant to tackle their next venture in Nashville, Tenn. Yolan opened in August 2020, one of three concepts led by the husband-and-wife team in the new Joseph hotel. Mantuano refers to the pasta-focused menu as "a love letter to Rome," and the Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine program is similarly Italian-heavy. Cathy runs the wine program along with wine director Jon Kearns, offering 600 selections excelling in Franciacorta, Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria and Sicily. The list's strengths extend outside the boot, though, with standout collections from Champagne, Burgundy, the Loire, Bordeaux, the Rhône and California.


Isabelle’s Osteria

245 Park Ave. S., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 388-1145
Website www.isabellesnyc.com
Award of Excellence

A more casual concept from the group behind several Restaurant Award winners including Grand Award winner Nice Matin, Isabelle's Osteria debuted in New York's Gramercy Park neighborhood in December 2020. Whether at outside tables or inside the restaurant's airy, chandelier-lit dining room, guests can take their pick from the many Italian wines on the Award of Excellence–winning list. Wine director Aviram Turgeman manages the 130-label program, which sources whites, reds and sparklers from Sicily up through Piedmont, including Etna and Chianti Classico options. That's rounded out by Napa Cabernet and Bordeaux bottles, all available to pair with James Tracey’s menu of meatballs, burrata, gazpacho, mushroom lasagna and much more.


The Hope Farm

915 Nichols Ave., Fairhope, Ala.
Telephone (251) 340-3276
Website www.thehopefarm.com
Award of Excellence

 View of the sign and exterior of the Hope Farm
Farmhouse style is the clear inspiration for the facade of the Hope Farm, a charming Alabama restaurant. (Elizabeth Gelineau)

The Hope Farm is set in Fairhope, Ala., a coastal town on the southern end of the state that's home to owners Robert and Bentley Evans. The father-and-son team opened the restaurant in spring 2020 as an ode to their community, as well as their passions for agriculture and wine. Overseen by wine director Will Jones, the Award of Excellence–winning program features more than 200 thoughtfully chosen and sourced selections. As a statement on the opening page puts it, "each and every bottle represented here has a unique story to tell." California and France are the best-represented regions on the list, which calls out a few staff favorites and features tasting flights for guests to explore the collection. Guests can pair their beverage picks with the menu highlighting local ingredients from the on-site farm. Dishes on this season's menu include mushroom toast, curried clams and mussels, beef Wellington and whole-roasted gulf fish.


Keep up with the latest restaurant news from our award winners: Subscribe to our free Private Guide to Dining newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at @WSRestoAwards and Instagram at @WSRestaurantAwards.

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