Blue Bridge Hospitality's newest concept, Little Frenchie, brings Parisian–inspired bistro dining to Coronado, Calif. The restaurant debuted late last month, serving French classics like steak tartare, croque monsieur and cassoulet by executive chef Matt Sramek. The group also includes Coronado Restaurant Award winners Stake Chophouse & Bar and Maretalia.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Blue Bridge Hospitality
Overseen by Blue Bridge director of operations Nicholas Gochenour-Dubois, the wine list focuses on France and California, and encourages guests to venture outside their comfort zone. The more than 40 selections are all available by the glass or bottle, and around half cost under $50. The food menu features color-coded numbers that cross-reference the wine list, indicating suggested wine pairings for each dish.
"With things that are paired on the menu for [guests], I've seen the impact of people ordering fun wines that maybe they're not as familiar with," Gochenour-Dubois told Wine Spectator.—J.H.
Gemelle, a new restaurant from chef Tim Love, is now open in Fort Worth, Texas. It's the first Italian-leaning restaurant for Love, who's known for regional American cuisine at places like the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, which has three Restaurant Award–winning locations.
"Gemelle will be a gathering spot for the whole family," Love said in a statement shared with Wine Spectator. "A real neighborhood restaurant."
The menu offers distinctive approaches to familiar dishes, like a pizza topped with asparagus, spring onions, goat cheese and lemon zest, and a take on Caesar salad with escarole and bok choy. Many of the 65 selections on the wine list are Italian, with an emphasis on Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, but France and California are also well-represented. There are 21 wines available by the glass, and a handful are available in large formats.—J.H.
On May 26, after four years of operation, Cibo Wine Bar closed its Best of Award of Excellence–winning South Beach location due to a rent agreement not being reached with the building's landlord, among other troubles. "This was sudden and unexpected," Nick Di Donato, CEO of Liberty Entertainment Group, which owns Cibo, said in a press release. "With all of the restrictions we faced in the South of Fifth neighborhood, including limited activity on the rooftop terrace and music restrictions on the patio, having a profitable and successful restaurant in Miami Beach was no longer [possible]."
Four locations of the same concept—one in Coral Gables, Fla., and three in Toronto—continue to operate. All offer 150- to 230-selection wine lists with strengths in Italy and California, and southern Italian fare.—B.G.
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 on Instagram at wsrestaurantawards.