Across the world, people are looking to bring more balance to their lives, incorporating "self-care" rituals into their daily routines, planning "wellness" getaways and thinking more holistically about their buying decisions. For wine and food lovers, that means looking for dining options that can be part of a sustainable, health-focused lifestyle. From restaurants that offer plant-based dining to groups that provide menus with calorie counts and allergen information, from spa retreats with extensive wine programs to spaces designed to be comfortable for those with sensory sensitivities, these Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners are enhancing how we enjoy fine dining and wine with a more mindful approach.
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 our Grand Award recipients.
For more on wine and health, check out Wine Spectator’s April 30, 2023, issue, and stay up to date with our latest health news and Q&As!
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Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations..
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 889-0905
Enjoy superior food and wine at Grand Award winner Eleven Madison Park, a globally renowned dining destination in the heart of Manhattan. Since 2021, chef Daniel Humm’s contemporary seasonal tasting menu has been exclusively plant-based, a move meant to increase the restaurant’s sustainability and better its relationship with regional farmers. The menu spotlights a wide range of fungi, legumes, fruits and, of course, vegetables, with dishes such as sweet pepper with Swiss chard. A shorter version of the ever-changing menu is also available at the restaurant’s bar, along with snacks. Wine director Gabriel Di Bella complements Humm’s cuisine with a 5,000-selection wine list that shows particular excellence in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, the Rhône, California, Italy, Germany and Austria. Service is equally exceptional: Wines are served in variety-specific Riedel glasses, and bottles are carefully decanted at the sommelier's or guest's discretion. With huge windows looking out onto Madison Square Park and a stunning setting in the historic art deco Metropolitan Life Building, Eleven Madison Park encapsulates New York elegance.
25 North St., Healdsburg, Calif.
Telephone (707) 433-8207
Award of Excellence
In Healdsburg, Calif., in the heart of Sonoma wine country, is Best of Award of Excellence winner Little Saint, a restaurant, café, wine lounge and marketplace founded by the husband-and-wife team of Jeff and Laurie Ubben. Prepared by chef Bryan Oliver, the menu is 100-percent plant-based, featuring dishes such as pumpkin seed dip, rosemary spaetzle with maitake mushrooms and spring asparagus with nori-walnut pesto. Many of the ingredients come from Little Saint’s five-acre farm located just 5 miles from the restaurant. In keeping with the philosophy behind the food, Little Saint wine director Alex Sarovich focuses the list of about 425 wines on producers dedicated to low-impact agriculture, whether they use modern solutions or old-school methods to ensure environmentally friendliness. Stylistically, the list shows particular strength in French wine and, of course, California bottlings from nearby wineries.
National Restaurant Groups Offering Calorie- and Allergy-Conscious Menus
Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant
Locations across the U.S., including at 58 E. Oak St., Chicago, Ill.
Telephone (312) 736-9999
Best of Award of Excellence
Tim McEnery founded Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants in 2005 to celebrate how people come together through wine and food. Nearly two decades later, the Chicago location, one of 55 locations throughout the U.S., offers guests a Best of Award of Excellence–winning experience. Wine director and Master Sommelier Martin Beally oversees a 1,600-label list of wines from around the world. California, France and Italy are the main strengths, along with Cooper’s Hawk wines sourced from regions across the West Coast and farther abroad. The program also features special wine flights, cocktails, sangrias and non-alcoholic drinks. Joined by menus from guest chefs such as Tom Colicchio and, currently, Brooke Williamson, chef Matt McMillin’s American-cuisine menu is similarly wide-ranging, with options like ahi tuna tartare, Maine lobster rolls and short-rib risotto. Vegetarian options (and dishes that can be adapted to be vegetarian) are clearly marked, and there is a substantial menu of gluten-free dishes, like roasted Loch Duart salmon and chicken piccata.
Throughout its other restaurants, Cooper’s Hawk is committed to offering gluten-free menus and options for diners with other food allergies and sensitivities. (Detailed allergen information for each dish is available online.) In addition, its menus at other locations include a “Life Balance” section of about 10 to 12 dishes that are all 600 calories or less.
Locations across the U.S.
Award of Excellence
With 43 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning locations across the U.S., Seasons 52 is a leader in calorie-conscious dining among wine-focused restaurants. (It’s also part of the acclaimed Darden Restaurant group, which includes award-winning concepts the Capital Grille and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.) At each Seasons 52 location, guests can indulge in any of about 90 wine selections, with picks from California—particularly Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Cabernets—forming the core of the program. True to the restaurant’s name, 52 of these wines are served by the glass; a rotation of wine flights adds even more options. Alongside these wines is a seasonal, American-cuisine menu that changes four times each year. All menu items come in under 595 calories, including the likes of wood-grilled shrimp and grits, rotisserie chicken, rainbow trout, filet mignon and a wide range of flatbreads, salads and soups. Seasons 52 also provides menus for diners who are gluten-sensitive, lactose/dairy-sensitive, vegetarian or vegan. More detailed nutritional information and allergen information for each dish is available online.
Restaurants at Wellness Spas
Burg Vital Resort, Oberlech 568, Lech am Arlberg, Austria
Telephone (43) 5583-3140
Looking for a relaxing retreat filled with skiing, hiking, mountain biking, spa time, spätlese and other world-class recreation? Then book a trip to the family-run Burg Vital Resort in the mountain village of Lech, Austria, also home to Grand Award winner Griggeler Stuba. Before enjoying the restaurant’s expansive wine offerings (the cellar holds more than 45,000 bottles), spend the day in the resort’s expansive VitalSPA (managed by Karina Lucian), offering saunas, steam baths, beauty treatments, ayurvedic massages, reflexology, physiotherapy and more. At Griggeler Stuba, just one of the resort's dining options, the prix-fixe menu highlights local, Austrian and seasonal ingredients. Wine director Maximilian Lucian’s extensive program shows strengths across the board, most notably in Austria, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Italy, Spain, Germany and Champagne. Highlights of the Austrian collection include more than 150 large-format options, seven vintages of Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Trocken Wachau Spitzer Singerriedel and a vertical of a Johanneshof Reinisch Pinot Noir going back to the 1990s.
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Mirbeau Inn & Spa – Skaneateles, 851 W. Genesee St., Skaneateles, N.Y.
Telephone (315) 685-5006
Award of Excellence
Located on the northern tip of Skaneateles Lake in New York's Finger Lakes region, Mirbeau Inn & Spa offers guests a host of health- and wellness-focused activities: fitness classes, biking journeys, massages, detoxifying body treatments and much more. One of three spa resorts in the growing Mirbeau group, this 34-room retreat is also home to a Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Here, chef Christian Alindato prepares French- and Italian-inspired delights like boeuf Bourguignon, pan-seared cod with caponata and vegan butternut risotto. On the 175-label wine list curated by wine director Errol A. Joseph, California makes up much of the program—including Cabernet Sauvignons and Zinfandels from leading wineries like Turley and Ridge—but there are also plenty of local Finger Lakes picks.
112 E. 11th St., New York New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 888-1093
Best of Award of Excellence
Cathédrale’s high, vaulted ceilings and garden-like space create an enchanting atmosphere that makes this a must-visit East Village spot for great food and wine. Chef Jason Hall’s French- and Mediterranean-inspired menu features dishes such as hamachi crudo with blood orange and Mediterranean branzino with lemon confit. For the a Best of Award of Excellence–winning list, wine director Nikki McCutcheon has curated more than 380 wine selections, with a strong focus on California and France (particularly Burgundy and Bordeaux). But there’s more to a restaurant than just food and wine. As a Tao Group Hospitality restaurant, Cathédrale partners with KultureCity, a leading nonprofit organization creating inclusive spaces for people with sensory-processing issues related to autism, dementia, Parkinson's disease, PTSD and numerous other conditions. (This partnership extends to many of Tao’s restaurants around the globe, including five in New York City.) This ensures the restaurant is comfortable and open to those with sensory needs. “Staff members at each venue completed a training program regarding how to welcome and host guests with sensory needs,” Tao manager of community affairs and engagement Charles Lerner explained. “Additionally, each [Tao] venue will have sensory inclusion packs … for families to borrow while they are dining.” In April, the restaurant offers special dishes from which a percentage of proceeds will go to support autism awareness and inclusion.
1503 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (404) 975-3692
Award of Excellence
Lazy Betty isn’t just an Award of Excellence–winning dining destination serving up chefs Ron Hsu and Aaron Philips’ takes on seasonal American cuisine. Since 2022, it has also been a pioneer for sensory inclusion in Atlanta, providing an inviting space for those with sensory-processing needs. Lazy Betty’s team worked with nonprofit organization KultureCity to learn more about sensory awareness and behavior. The restaurant also provides “sensory bags” containing items like “fidgets” and headphones to help reduce sensory overload. Diners can choose from menus of seven or 10 courses starting at $135, with optional wine pairings. Recent dishes have included caramelized sunchoke tortellini and poached Savannah tilefish with herbed mousseline and Delta asparagus. Wine director and general manager Marvella Castaneda has assembled a 200-selection wine list with impressive diversity for its size. Though significant space is devoted to France and California, represented regions include Greece, New Zealand, India, Mexico and Lebanon.
Edited by Collin Dreizen, Emma Grant and Julia Larson
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