Minnesota’s famed Mall of America is also a wine destination, thanks to Cedar+Stone, Urban Table. The restaurant features a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence–winning list of 260 wines to complement the regional American cuisine. Partnering with farms within a 200-mile radius, chef Frank Gort crafts comfort food such as pan-roasted chicken with truffle jus, braised short rib and house-made ricotta cavatelli. The hearty dishes call for a focus on bold, New World wines, but there are also plenty of Old World classics to satisfy the particularly diverse clientele. This impressive breadth and diversity includes unusual options like orange wines and two Minnesota labels.
Though the list is moderately priced, some bottlings are worth stretching your budget for, especially in the program’s strongest regions of California and France. There are Champagnes from Ruinart and Krug, four vintages of Opus One Napa Valley and, if you really want to go big, a Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 2013. Or opt for one of the restaurant’s 27 wines by the glass, plus another six reserve pours available by the glass or in 2-ounce tastes. Education is a top priority for sommelier Greg Carlstrom, who conducts daily staff-training sessions on beverage pairings in addition to regular tastings. A true wine hub, the restaurant also hosts a group of staff members studying for the Court of Master Sommeliers introductory exam.