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13 Restaurants for Top-Notch Champagne

At these dining destinations, sparkling superstars from the quintessential region reign supreme
Effervescence is a bubbly-focused wine bar in New Orleans with a menu of small plates that encourages sharing.
Photo by: Denny Culbert
Effervescence is a bubbly-focused wine bar in New Orleans with a menu of small plates that encourages sharing.

Posted: December 1, 2015

Updated: Dec. 6, 2018

Think festive drinking, and there’s one word that comes to mind: Champagne. Paired with Chinese, Creole or classic French, the timeless bubbly offers a vibrant complement to countless cuisines. And whether you’re toasting beachside on vacation or warming up from the cold before a holiday meal, this French darling is a favorite for commemorating special moments.

More and more, however, wine lovers are finding reason to pop sparklers for any occasion—or none at all. We’ve selected 13 restaurants from around the country whose Champagne-centric wine lists deserve a toast year-round. Still, these restaurants offer wine lists with excellent breadth and depth across many regions, styles and vintages. For more options, see our more than 3,700 Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, including our 91 Grand Award recipients.

This is only a partial guide to restaurants for great Champagne. Other spots strong in sparklers have appeared in past Restaurant Guides, including Les Amis in Singapore, Tour d’Argent in Paris and Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky in the Maldives.

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!


Addison

Fairmont Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, Calif.
Telephone (858) 314-1900
Website www.addisondelmar.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
Grand Award

Addison
At the Fairmont Grand Del Mar resort in Southern California, Rafael Sanchez oversees Addison's list of 3,200 selections.

In San Diego, Grand Award–winning Addison at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar resort, tucked in the hills near the Pacific Ocean, certainly sets the mood for Champagne. Chef William Bradley’s courses change with the seasons, emphasizing local ingredients with French flair for a combination that begs for bubbly. Of the restaurant’s 3,200 wine selections, choose from dozens of Champagnes, including more than 20 in half-bottle and a handful by the glass. Krug partisans will be especially pleased to find a vertical dating back to the 1970s.


Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
Telephone (914) 366-9600
Website www.bluehillfarm.com
Open Dinner, Wednesday to Sunday
Grand Award

Evan Sung
Blue Hill at Stone Barns is known for its intensive farm-to-table philosophy.

If you’re looking to escape New York City for an evening, head to Tarrytown, up the Hudson River. There, Grand Award winner Blue Hill at Stone Barns offers a culinary retreat on the vanguard of farm-to-table innovation, with many ingredients grown on the property farm and cuisine by acclaimed chef Dan Barber highlighting local and sustainable foods. Its wine list is no exception to the philosophy, as wine director William Carroll strongly champions New York offerings. When it comes to Champagne, Blue Hill offers outstanding vintage depth in its selections and also provides disgorgement dates for a substantial number of non-vintage bottles. Boutique favorites like Marie-Courtin, Agrapart & Fils and Jacques Selosse reign, but if you prefer to drink local bubbly, there’s also a selection of New York sparkling wines.


Canlis

2576 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 283-3313
Website www.canlis.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Grand Award

Brian Canlis
Beyond bubbly: At Canlis, wine director Nelson Daquip's list offers strengths in Burgundy, California, Bordeaux and more.

Canlis, the Seattle institution specializing in Pacific Northwestern cuisine it dubs “comfort geek,” has been a recipient of the Grand Award since 1997. Dishes as diverse as poached oysters, pasta with white truffle, pork with smoked pears and apple confit could all find a friendly pairing on the restaurant’s 80-page wine list, curated by wine director Nelson Daquip. Dom Pérignon takes seven spots alone, with bottles dating to the 1980s, and there are numerous Krugs here, including a vertical of the rare Clos du Mesnil. Cult darlings like Jacques Selosse abound as well.


HMF at the Breakers

The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach, Fla.
Telephone (561) 659-8480
Website www.thebreakers.com
Open Dinner, daily
Grand Award

HMF at the Breakers
HMF at the Breakers is a historic restaurant housing 50,000 bottles.

A stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, the restaurant now called HMF at the Breakers has earned a Grand Award since 1981, serving international cuisine under its vaulted ceilings and chandeliers that evoke old-school Palm Beach. The glamor is enhanced by HMF’s massive and meticulously organized wine list, overseen by wine director Virginia Philip. The well-organized Champagne section includes over 100 selections, several priced under $100. For the indecisive (or adventurous) imbiber, some by-the-glass bubblies are available in both 3- and 6-ounce pours.


The Plumed Horse

14555 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, Calif.
Telephone (408) 867-4711
Website www.plumedhorse.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Grand Award

Alanna Hale
The Plumed Horse is a major destination for upscale, modern Californian cuisine.

Selecting a bottle for your Champagne toast could prove difficult at the Plumed Horse. With nearly 150 bottles, the Grand Award–winning restaurant’s Champagne list is among the most extensive in our Restaurant Awards program, showing diversity not only in producers but also vintage depth—grower-producers share space with grandes marques in vintages back to the 1960s. Once you’ve got your glass in hand, pair it with contemporary California favorites like West Coast oysters, beet-cured salmon and local duck breast from executive chef Peter Armellino.


Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

431 W. 37th St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (718) 243-0050
Website www.brooklynfare.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare features a seasonal tasting menu with communal dining.

At Best of Award of Excellence winner Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, chef César Ramirez engineers the two-and-a-half-hour tasting menu, which aims to preserve the essence of each ingredient and concentrates on seafood. Champagne reigns in the cellar, with 100 offerings out of the restaurant’s 650 total wine selections, pairing naturally with the menu’s French and Japanese influences. The list emphasizes both small-production and high-roller bottles, including a vertical of Salon back to the 1990s.


Cherry Circle Room

Chicago Athletic Association, 12 S. Michigan Ave., Second Floor, Chicago, Ill.
Telephone (312) 792-3515
Website www.cherrycircleroom.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Clayton Hauck
Cherry Circle Room majorly boosted its wine program in 2017 with nearly 800 new selections.

Overlooking Millennium Park in the Chicago Loop at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cherry Circle Room is a cozy retreat from the city’s energy. In plush leather booths or at the expansive bar, browse chef Peter Coenen’s menu of house specialties such as cavatelli with beef tongue, dry-aged lacquered duck and skate with delicata squash. With an abundance of sparkling options, including more than 80 grower Champagnes and more than 20 grande marque Champagnes, the list is well-suited for festivities. The 1,300-selection list also offers depth in Burgundy, California, Italy, Germany, the Loire and Oregon.


La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

249 Centre St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 343-3660
Website www.compagnienyc.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Evan Sung
La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels is the New York City outpost of a beloved Parisian wine bar.

A hub for New York wine lovers, La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels serves French small plates by chef Eric Bolyard and a lengthy, Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list. The program is strongest in French regions, with over 100 Champagnes and additional strengths in Burgundy and the Rhône. Overwhelmed by the 1,000 selections? Turn to the in-house experts, like co-owner, general manager and wine director Caleb Ganzer. If you’re already an expert yourself, take a guess at one of the “mystery wines” by the glass—correctly identify the wine to win the bottle.


The NoMad

The NoMad Hotel, 1170 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 796-1500
Website www.thenomadhotel.com
Open Dinner and lunch, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

The NoMad
Just north of Madison Square Park, the NoMad's Champagne pours range from by-the-glass to jeroboam.

The NoMad Hotel’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant is all New York elegance, with rich wood, plush carpets, spiral staircases and a sleek glass atrium. Chef Daniel Humm assembles the contemporary American menu, which includes favorites like a whole roasted chicken for two with foie gras, black truffle and brioche. Among the restaurant’s 1,900 wine selections overseen by wine director Thomas Pastuszak, Champagne is a focus, with compelling depth in small grower-producers like Pierre Péters, Vouette & Sorbée and Vilmart.


Pix Pâtisserie and Bar Vivant

2225 E. Burnside St., Portland, Ore.
Telephone (971) 271-7166
Website www.pixpatisserie.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Dina Avila
At Pix Pâtisserie & Bar Vivant, a standout bubbly selection meets a French-Spanish menu.

With two dozen half-bottle offerings and nearly 50 large-format bottles, Pix Pâtisserie and Bar Vivant has your Champagne needs covered, whether you’re hosting a large table or enjoying light bites for two. Also notable is that the overwhelming majority of bottles are from small houses: Vilmart, Pierre Péters, Gaston Chiquet, Ulysse Collin and other hard-to-find producers are all within reach here. The Best of Award of Excellence winner offers Spanish tapas and rich pastries to pair with their 1,200-selection wine list, managed by Cheryl Wakerhauser, the restaurant’s owner, head chef and wine director. Pix also has strengths in Spanish wines and Sherries, as well as local Oregon wines.


Restaurant R’evolution

Royal Sonesta Hotel, 777 Bienville St., New Orleans, La.
Telephone (504) 553-2277
Website www.revolutionnola.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Restaurant R’evolution
Champagne shines on Restaurant R’evolution’s well-rounded wine list.

In the French Quarter of New Orleans, Restaurant R’evolution is a major player in modern Cajun and Creole gastronomy. There, chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto cook up local favorites such as Gulf shrimp, andouille sausage, catfish and bouillabaisse, spotlighting local ingredients like alligator, frog, kumquats and sassafras. The restaurant’s 2,000-selection, Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list also pays homage to Creole history, with extensive selections in wines from France and Germany. For a prime accompaniment to the spice and sauce, choose from the bounty of Champagne offerings, including several verticals and blue-chip prestige cuvées, with many options in magnum.


Sushi Nakazawa

23 Commerce St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 924-2212
Website www.sushinakazawa.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Sushi Nakazawa
Sushi Nakazawa serves an acclaimed tasting menu and exceptional Champagnes.

At Sushi Nakazawa, celebrated sushi chef Daisuke Nakazawa showcases his skills through a 20-course omakase menu, complemented by wine director Dean Fuerth’s 440-selection wine list. The Best of Award of Excellence–winning program excels in Germany and Austria, but France is the biggest strength, especially when it comes to Champagne and Burgundy. There are six pages of bubblies, with prices ranging from less than $100 to more than $1,000. Standout picks include Jacques Selosse vintage grands crus and Dom Pérignon going back to the 1970s. Guests have the option to either dine in the main room for $120 or, for an additional $30, sit at the sushi bar for a first-hand view of the action.


Effervescence

1036 N. Rampart St., New Orleans, La.
Telephone (504) 509-7644
Website www.nolabubbles.com
Open Dinner, Wednesday to Sunday
Award of Excellence

Patrick Lorenz
Effervescence is a wine bar that's all about bubbly.

Bubbly-focused wine bar and Award of Excellence winner Effervescence offers over 100 Champagnes by the bottle, including dozens of grower Champagnes. Peruse the list’s 285 selections to pair with small plates from chefs Brenna Sanders and Evan Ingram, such as crab salad with sweet onion vinaigrette, crispy Brussels sprouts and dry-aged local beef. Fitting for its location in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the restaurant stays open past midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, with an abbreviated “late-night bites” menu. Guests seeking bubbles with an extra kick can choose from a variety of cocktails made with international sparkling wines.


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.

James Mobbley
San Diego, Ca —  December 6, 2015 4:30pm ET
Just a correction on the Addison photo caption, the current Wine Director at the Addison is Melanie Kaman, and has been for a few months now. Thanks for the article! I need to place these restaurants on my restaurant bucket list!

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