10 Seafood Restaurants to Catch Great Wine

Set your course for these spots to sample the finest from the sea and cellar

10 Seafood Restaurants to Catch Great Wine
Topper's at the Wauwinet has plenty of Champagne to pair with cuisine from the sea. (Courtesy of Topper's at the Wauwinet)
Sep 8, 2015

Updated: Nov. 5, 2020

Meat with red wine, fish with white. The age-old adage may give you pairing confidence in a pinch, but when frequenting these wine-centric seafood spots, you can let the experts take the reins. Americans have learned to love the bounty of the sea, and fresh, creative fish dishes always brighten any lunch or dinner out. Fish houses, French, Italian and Mediterranean restaurants are all serving exceptional seafood, and many of the best have wine lists to match.

We’ve picked 10 restaurants open for indoor dining, outdoor dining or both across the United States where the chefs and sommeliers know how to pair and showcase the best from the sea and the cellar. The Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning seafood destinations listed below each offer well-chosen, quality wine lists that display vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions. For more options, see Wine Spectator’s nearly 3,800 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including 306 Restaurant Award–winning seafood restaurants and the 100 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.


Bleu Provence

1234 Eighth St. S., Naples, Fla.
Telephone (239) 261-8239
Website www.bleuprovencenaples.com
Grand Award

The exterior and sidewalk seating at Bleu Provence
Light-blue hues tie into the aquatic theme at Grand Award–winning seafood spot Bleu Provence. (Andrew Meade)

In the 20-plus years since Jacques Cariot and his wife, Lysielle, opened Bleu Provence, the wine program has grown to more than 4,200 selections and 42,000 bottles of inventory. The couple's passion for wine, as well as the quality of their food and service, has raised the standard in this sunny small town on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The food has French roots, and the menu offers a wealth of seafood dishes, including Provençal fish soup, pan-grilled mussels, and loup de mer (Mediterranean sea bass). When it comes to French wines, the Grand Award–winning list is an embarrassment of riches—especially from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Champagne, Provence, Languedoc and Roussillon. Italy and California are strongly represented as well. When reserving a table, guests can choose from specific seating spaces like indoor, outdoor patio or outdoor sidewalk.


Topper’s at the Wauwinet

The Wauwinet Inn, 120 Wauwinet Road, Nantucket, Mass.
Telephone (508) 228-8768
Website www.wauwinet.com/dining
Grand Award

A table for two with seafood, salad and white wine at Topper’s at the Wauwinet
Topper’s at the Wauwinet takes advantage of New England ingredients on its seafood menu. (Courtesy of Topper’s at the Wauwinet)

The Wauwinet has been hosting parties on the eastern shore of Nantucket since the elegant Victorian inn opened in 1875. Today, though the groups are smaller, Topper’s continues to draw guests for outdoor dining on its waterfront patio. The dishes, such as yellowtail crudo and Atlantic halibut, are based on local products but also include more worldly flavors. Chef Kyle Zachary strikes a delicate balance of satisfying guests who expect classic New England fare as well as those looking for something new. The 2,100-selection wine list functions similarly: Wine director Jason Irving’s program has an abundance of classics from California, Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône and Italy alongside offerings from up-and-coming regions around the world.


Angler

8500 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (424) 332-4082
Website www.anglerrestaurants.com/losangeles
Best of Award of Excellence

Spot prawns at Angler
Angler’s Los Angeles location is all about ingredients from the sea, like spot prawns. (Bonjwing Lee)

Angler has two Best of Award of Excellence–winning locations: The original outpost in the restaurant group’s home base of San Francisco, and another that opened in Los Angeles in the summer of 2019. Both feature a more relaxed feel than chef Joshua Skenes’ powerhouse Grand Award winner Saison, with à-la-carte options rather than a tasting menu. The L.A. Angler has a distinct seafood focus, with a menu that changes frequently based on what’s fresh from the local bounty. Those carefully sourced ingredients are showcased through both raw and wood-fired preparations, on a menu rounded out by a selection of salads and meat dishes as well. Wine director Peter Carrillo runs the program of more than 1,300 wine selections including stellar picks from benchmark regions. The offerings excel in Burgundy, California, Bordeaux, Beaujolais, the Rhône and Champagne, backed by an inventory of nearly 6,000 bottles. Angler is open for indoor dining, but guests can also book spots on the outdoor patio.


Catch

Aria Resort & Casino, 3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, Nev.
Telephone (702) 590-5757
Website www.aria.com/en/restaurants/catch.html
Best of Award of Excellence

An overhead view of a spread of dishes at Catch
The range of items on the menu at Catch include shareable large plates as well as smaller bites. (Courtesy of Catch)

Catch has a handful of outposts across the country including two Restaurant Award–winning locations in New York City and Las Vegas. The latter is a Best of Award of Excellence winner, with a more extensive wine list of 350 selections managed by sommelier Robert Gamble. California and France are the program’s strongest regions, and while the list can get pricey, there’s a solid array of wines by the glass. The brand is known for drawing celebrities and serving as a buzzy late-night destination, but there’s plenty to be enjoyed during dinnertime too. Chef Andrew Carroll’s menu incorporates inspiration from Asian cuisine, with innovative sushi rolls using ingredients like pear, miso-honey and balsamic. In addition to a collection of smaller bites, there are also entrées like scallop and cauliflower with tamarind brown butter and filet mignon with tempura nori flakes.


Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House

MGM Grand Hotel, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, Nev.
Telephone (702) 891-7374
Website www.emerilsrestaurants.com/emerils-new-orleans-fish-house
Best of Award of Excellence

Chef Emeril Lagasse in front of a wine cellar
Emeril Lagasse brings his Creole-inspired seafood and love of wine to Las Vegas at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House. (Steven Freeman)

Emeril Lagasse is a serious wine buff. Eight of the restaurants in his culinary empire hold Restaurant Awards, including his homage to seafood, Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House. Now open for indoor dining, the Vegas destination brings a taste of New Orleans to the Strip, with chef Ken Lum’s Creole-inspired dishes such as shrimp and andouille pork sausage gumbo and jambalaya. The coastal cuisine is accompanied by a 1,300-plus-selection wine list, with particular focus on California, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Italy and Germany.


Fiola Mare

3050 K St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
Telephone (202) 525-1402
Website www.fiolamaredc.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Tables set in front of an art piece featuring a mermaid at Fiola Mare
Chef Fabio Trabocci's Fiola Mare serves seafood with a decidedly Italian slant. (Greg Powers)

Washington, D.C.–based Fabio Trabocchi, a native of Italy’s Marche region, owns four Restaurant Award winners—Fiola Mare, Del Mar and two locations of Fiola, in D.C. and in Miami—each of which demonstrates his longstanding commitment to the culinary heritage of Italy. At Trabocchi’s seafood restaurant, Fiola Mare, diners experience traditional coastal Italian dining along the banks of the Potomac River. The dedication to authenticity is also evident in wine director Casper Rice’s Italy-focused list, which features more than 1,500 selections, with strengths in Tuscany, Piedmont, California and Burgundy. The restaurant is open for indoor dining, or outdoor dining at umbrella-shaded tables with views of the river.


Le Bernardin

155 W. 51st St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 554-1515
Website www.le-bernardin.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Chef Eric Ripert in the dining room at Le Bernardin
Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin wrote the book on seafood in fine dining. (Ball & Albanese)

Over the past few decades, chef Eric Ripert has maintained Le Bernardin as, arguably, the best fish restaurant in New York, if not the world. The restaurant’s recent reopening for indoor dining marked a significant step forward for the city’s fine-dining scene. The menu boasts a vast selection of expertly prepared fish—Dover sole, monkfish and striped bass, to name a few—and other sea-inspired dishes like tuna tartare–sea urchin toast and thinly pounded tuna with foie gras, grouped in categories ranging from “almost raw” to “lightly cooked.” A generous bowl of fresh and smoked salmon rillettes greets every diner at Le Bernardin, all the better to try as you sip one of the dozens of luxury Champagnes on the restaurant’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list. The 1,000-selection list indulges Ripert’s Bordeaux obsession, but wine director Aldo Sohm has also added strong labels from Burgundy, Germany, Austria, California and Champagne.


Ray’s Boathouse

6049 Seaview Ave. N.W., Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 789-3770
Website www.rays.com/boathouse
Best of Award of Excellence

A table for four with a waterfront view and a bottle of wine at Ray’s Boathouse
Dine with a view of the Puget Sound at Ray's Boathouse. (Courtesy of Ray’s Boathouse)

Featuring sweeping views of the Puget Sound, Ray's Boathouse has close ties to the water. The restaurant started as a coffee shop in a boat rental and bait house, and today it’s a Seattle dining destination. Chef Paul Duncan honors its origins by serving fresh seafood sourced through personal relationships with nearby fishermen. Wine director Chip Croteau manages the wine list of more than 500 selections with strengths in Washington, Oregon and California. To enjoy the view in a more casual setting, check out the onsite café that offers plenty of local wines. There’s indoor dining, with expansive windows framing views of the water, as well as an outdoor deck.


The Sardine Factory

701 Wave St., Monterey, Calif.
Telephone (831) 373-3775
Website www.sardinefactory.com
Best of Award of Excellence

The wine room at the Sardine Factory
Opened more than 50 years ago, the Sardine Factory offers a lengthy and impressive wine list. (Courtesy of the Sardine Factory)

If you’re looking for a time-honored fish restaurant, head to Monterey, Calif. There you’ll find the Sardine Factory, a Central Coast mainstay that has been serving seafood to the stars since 1968. Of the restaurant’s many claims to fame—including the appearance of its abalone bisque at President Ronald Reagan’s inaugural dinners—wine lovers will be most excited by the extensive cellar, managed by wine director Stephen Caldwell. It boasts 2,000 labels from California, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Italy and beyond. The restaurant now features outdoor dining under a pavilion, lit and decorated to mimic the feel of the dining room.


Vernick Fish

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center, 1 N. 19th St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Telephone (215) 419-5000
Website www.vernickfish.com
Award of Excellence

Headshot of chef Greg Vernick
Chef Greg Vernick has made a name for himself as a leader in Philadelphia’s restaurant scene. (Ted Nghiem)

Philadelphia chef Greg Vernick has a serious passion for every aspect of seafood, from sourcing to sustainability to butchering, all of which are on display at Vernick Fish, his upscale yet approachable seafood spot in the Four Seasons. Wine director Jill Davis also oversees the program at the hotel’s Restaurant Award–winning Jean-Georges venue. Vernick Fish’s 120 wine selections shine brightest when it comes to French picks, but manages to represent a range of domestic and international regions. While the restaurant recently introduced a takeaway program, Vernick Fish is once again open for indoor dining.


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.

Dining Out Restaurant Awards Seafood Restaurants

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