Where to Go in 2020

Our guide to what's going on across the United States

Where to Go in 2020
Hudson Yards is fast becoming one of New York's top dining draws. (Prisma by Dukas Presseagentur GmbH/Alamy)
Dec 31, 2019

NORTHEAST

NEW YORK CITY
Hudson Yards (hudsonyardsnewyork.com) opened on the west side of Manhattan in March. The sprawling complex encompasses many new restaurants from Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning chefs, such as Thomas Keller’s TAK Room, David Chang’s Momofuku Kāwi, Michael Lomonaco’s Hudson Yards Grill and José Andrés’ Mercado Little Spain, a Spanish market with several restaurants and food kiosks.

Pastis (pastisnyc.com), Keith McNally’s Meatpacking District bistro established in 1999, reopened in June after a five-year closure. The revival, a few doors down from the original spot, is a collaboration with Stephen Starr, who has 13 Restaurant Award winners on the East Coast. French classics like steak frites are paired with a 160-selection wine list entirely from France.

NANTUCKET—Wine Spectator Grand Award Winner The Wauwinet (wauwinet.com) on Massachusetts’ easternmost island completed a multimillion-dollar renovation in April, updating its communal areas and 32 rooms and cottages. The luxury resort’s restaurant, Topper’s, has held the Grand Award since 1996. Rooms start at $225 a night.

PHILADELPHIA—Jean-Georges Vongerichten, chef of five Restaurant Award winners, opened Jean-Georges Philadelphia and JG SkyHigh Lounge this August on the 59th and 60th floors, respectively, of the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia (fourseasons.com/philadelphia). The fine-dining Jean-Georges Philadelphia, which has gorgeous views of the city, serves Vongerichten’s signature French cuisine alongside a 300-plus-selection wine list.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Dupont Circle (doylecollection.com/hotels/the-dupont-circle-hotel) unveiled an extensive renovation this February. The hotel opened a new bar, Doyle, and hired chef Harper McClure, formerly of Best of Award of Excellence winner Le Diplomate, as the new executive chef of the group’s Pembroke restaurant. Rooms start at $269 a night.

CALIFORNIA

NAPA & SONOMA
1881 Napa (1881napa.com) is the valley’s first museum dedicated to wine, which opened this summer in a Victorian home in Oakville. It exhibits wine artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries and covers the rich history of winemaking in the area.

In early 2020, chef Michael Mina will open his first restaurant in wine country: a new location of Wit & Wisdom (michaelmina.net/restaurants/san-francisco-bay-area/wit-wisdom), his now-closed Baltimore restaurant. The chef has nine Restaurant Award winners. Located at the Lodge at Sonoma, Wit & Wisdom will focus on locally sourced food and wine.

Flowers (flowerswinery.com) unveiled a new tasting experience in Healdsburg in July to highlight its Sonoma Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. It includes a “hospitality house,” gardens, indoor and outdoor seating, and a culinary pairing program. Walk-ins are accepted but limited; reserve for the full experience, which is $55 a person.

Duckhorn (duckhorn.com) will open a new tasting room in 2020 for its Migration brand in Carneros, which will offer by-appointment tastings, tasting-room exclusives and food pairings.

SAN FRANCISCO & SILICON VALLEY

Selby’s (selbysrestaurant.com) is the lavish new restaurant in Redwood City from the team behind Spruce and the Village Pub, both Grand Award winners. Selby’s has a 2,500-selection list that emphasizes wines that pair well with its steak house fare, mostly from blue-chip regions such as California, Italy, Bordeaux and Burgundy.

One65 (one65sf.com) is a new France-centric culinary complex in San Francisco helmed by the triple–Restaurant Award–winning Alexander’s Steakhouse group and chef-partner Claude Le Tohic. Restaurants include Bistro at One65; Elements, a bar and lounge; and the fine-dining O’ by Claude Le Tohic.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Wine Spectator Grand Award Winner San Ysidro Ranch (sanysidroranch.com/santa-barbara-restaurants) in Santa Barbara reopened in April after a 15-month closure due to mudslide damage. The resort’s Grand Award–winning restaurant, the Stonehouse, got a redesigned cellar in the renovation.

Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence Winner Ojai Valley Inn (ojaivalleyinn.com) underwent a renovation this year, unveiling a new culinary center and bringing on chef Nancy Silverton as its culinary ambassador to present various dinner series. The resort’s restaurant, Olivella, holds a Best of Award of Excellence.

SOUTH & SOUTHWEST

HOUSTON
Two restaurants in this Texas city earned Grand Awards in 2019.

Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak Hotel (thepostoakhotel.com/restaurants/mastros-steakhouse) is owned by Tilman Fertitta’s restaurant empire, Landry’s, and has a 3,500-selection wine list. The restaurant also recently completed a new private-dining wine cellar and is offering a number of premium wine packages. Pappas Bros Steakhouse Downtown (pappasbros.com/location/houston-downtown), another high-end steak house, with a wine list of 3,700 selections, is the third Pappas Bros. restaurant to earn a Grand Award.

COLORADO—Telluride Reserve Mountain Village Food & Wine Celebration (telluridereserve.com) returns Aug. 13–16 for a second year. At about 100 guests, it’s unusually intimate. The venue, Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, has a Best of Award of Excellence winner, Allred’s.

GEORGIA—The Peach State has had a boom in new hotels, and the Candler (curiocollection3.hilton.com) in Atlanta, which opened in October, is the latest to offer serious dining. The hotel’s fine restaurant, By George, is helmed by noted southern chef Hugh Acheson. Rooms start at $268 a night.

MISSISSIPPI—Saint Leo (eatsaintleo.com) in Oxford, which opened in 2016, is the latest restaurant to add excitement to the charming college town’s dining scene. It serves refined Italian cuisine and an eclectic wine and cocktail program in a bustling, casual setting. In 2019, it opened the adjacent Saint Leo Lounge, with an expanded drinks list.

TENNESSEE—Blackberry Farm, the luxury resort in the Great Smoky Mountains that holds a Grand Award for its restaurant, opened an exciting property this year. Blackberry Mountain (blackberrymountain.com) is focused on wellness but delivers the same caliber of wine and culinary offerings as the original through three venues: Whippoorwill Lounge, the casual Firetower and the fine-dining Three Sisters, which offers a condensed version of the Blackberry Farm wine list.

MIDWEST

MINNEAPOLIS
In what has traditionally been a beer town, Terzo (terzompls.com) became the latest to earn a Restaurant Award in 2019 for its all-Italian wine list, proving that Minneapolis’ wine scene is burgeoning. Spoon and Stable (spoonandstable.com) has long been a fine-dining leader in the Twin Cities and has an extensive wine list; its chef-owner, Gavin Kaysen, opened the tasting menu–only Demi (demimpls.com) this year. The Bachelor Farmer (thebachelorfarmer.com) has a novel approach to encouraging guests to try different wines: The team will let you buy any wine by the half-bottle and will sell the rest by the glass from a chalkboard.

CHICAGO—Boka Restaurant Group, which has five Restaurant Awards, opened three venues in the Hoxton Hotel (thehoxton.com) in April. Cira, a Mediterranean spot with a 100-selection wine list, is on the ground floor. Cabra, on the 12th-floor rooftop, is a partnership with chef Stephanie Izard. Lazy Bird is a 65-seat bar.

HAWAII

Four Seasons Maui at Wailea (fourseasons.com/maui) launched a new package this year, Fire & Wine, offered exclusively to resort guests. It includes a helicopter ride to the historic Haiku House, where guests will enjoy various outdoor activities, an open-flame dinner and high-end wine tastings and pairings. The adventure costs $23,500 for up to six people; rooms start at $549 a night.

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