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11 Latest and Greatest Wine Restaurants

These first-time Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners are exciting new projects from big-league leaders
Photo by: Boulud Sud Miami
Chef Daniel Boulud opened a fresh Mediterranean concept in Miami in February 2018.

Posted: August 30, 2018

These 11 restaurants are relatively new to the wine and dining scene, but they’ve already made a serious splash with exceptional wine programs and superior culinary experiences. Backed by star chefs, big-name hospitality groups or strong family heritage, these hot spots earned their first Restaurant Awards in 2018. They hit the ground running, and the future looks bright for these ambitious wine restaurants.

To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s more than 3,700 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 91 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!


American Cut by LDV Hospitality
The American Cut Steakhouse in Tribeca is one of three Restaurant Award–winning locations.

AMERICAN CUT STEAKHOUSE TRIBECA
The New York flagship of a Marc Forgione–backed restaurant
363 Greenwich St., New York, N.Y.
(212) 226-4736
www.americancutsteakhouse.com
Open for dinner, Monday to Saturday

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 475
Inventory 2,475
High-standard steakhouses The Midtown Manhattan location of American Cut Steakhouse holds a Best of Award of Excellence, and the outpost in Atlanta holds an Award of Excellence. The steak houses are a partnership between onetime Iron Chef America star Marc Forgione of Best of Award of Excellence winner Restaurant Marc Forgione, and LDV Hospitality, which also includes Award of Excellence winner Scarpetta in New York City.
Wine strengths California is the standout region on wine director Mariette Bolitiski’s list. The program also excels in France and Italy, with producers like Château Pape Clément and Romano Dal Forno.
Cuisine Chef Greg Rubin executes Forgione’s upscale steak-house cuisine featuring tableside preparations. Classic appetizers get a new-age twist, like a seafood tower featuring kampachi tartare and a warm octopus dish with celery salsa verde. Steak options range from traditional filet mignon and New York strip to wagyu beef and kosher cuts.
Next-level labels While the restaurant provides a number of values under $100, a reserve list is available for bigger spenders. There you’ll find heavy-hitters from Napa Valley and France, such as Harlan Estate and Château Lafite Rothschild.


Boulud Sud Miami
Chef Daniel Boulud brought his Mediterranean concept to Miami’s Brickell neighborhood earlier this year.

BOULUD SUD MIAMI
A celebration of Mediterranean flavors in Miami
JW Marriott Marquis Miami, 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, Fla.
(305) 421-8800
www.bouludsud.com/miami
Open for lunch and dinner, daily

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 530
Inventory 3,500
Out with the old The restaurant opened in February 2018 in the former space of another concept from chef Daniel Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne Miami, which closed several months before. The switch from a French focus to a more inclusive Mediterranean theme allows the wine program to cover a wider variety of regions.
Wine strengths Wine director Daniel Johnnes’ program highlights the diversity of wine regions along the Mediterranean Sea, including picks from Turkey, Lebanon and Greece. Yet the list’s biggest strengths are Old World selections from France and Italy, particularly Burgundy.
Cuisine The menu items read like a culinary tour around the Mediterranean: Andalusian gazpacho, Lebanese kale fattoush, Greek salad, and Tunisian beef tartare are among the options.
Small-bite specials Boulud Sud hosts a weekly “Tapas Tuesday” featuring live music, rosé and a menu of tapas items available for $5 each.


American Express
New York’s famed Eleven Madison Park now has a summer outpost in the Hamptons and a winter one in Aspen, Colo.

EMP SUMMER/WINTER HOUSE
A seasonal pop-up project from a New York fine-dining icon
341 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, N.Y.
(212) 689-8203
www.empsummerhouse.com
Summer House, open for lunch, Friday to Sunday and dinner, Wednesday to Sunday through Sept. 22, 2018; Winter House, open for lunch and dinner starting December 2018

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 330
Inventory 2,000
Aspen twin The restaurant was initially planned as a one-time pop-up to provide jobs for staff while Grand Award winner Eleven Madison Park in New York City underwent a major renovation in 2017. But after last year’s success, EMP Summer House returned this season. Owners Will Guidara and Daniel Humm will also debut EMP Winter House in December, at a yet-to-be determined location in Aspen, Colo.
Wine strengths Wine director Cedric Nicaise operates the wine program at the same high standards of the original Grand Award–winning restaurant. The list is much more concise but excels in France, with standouts in Burgundy, as well as California.
Cuisine Chefs Andy Quinn and Richard Lee deliver Eleven Madison Park’s upscale culinary approach, adapted for the vacation town. They work with local farms to create coastal dishes like fluke ceviche with cucumber and lime, and striped bass with zucchini and green curry, plus pastas, meat mains and more.
Accessible luxury The Hamptons outpost aims for a more casual feel than the Manhattan flagship. The space has a homey aesthetic, dishes are available à la carte rather than through a tasting menu, and guests will find plenty of value bottles under $100.


Adrian Gaut
The Grill is part of three Major Food Group concepts in the historic Seagram Building.

THE GRILL
A modern overhaul of a historic space
99 E. 52nd St., New York, N.Y.
(212) 375-9001
www.thegrillnewyork.com
Open for lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 2,600
Inventory 25,000
New age of power dining Partners Jeff Zalaznick, Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone worked with developer Aby Rosen for Major Food Group’s culinary takeover of the Seagram Building, which once housed the historic Four Seasons restaurant (the "original" Four Seasons Restaurant recently reopened in a new location). The hospitality group now has three concepts that share the Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list: The Grill, seafood restaurant the Pool and Japanese concept the Lobster Club.
Wine strengths Managed by wine director John Slover, the program focuses on French selections and excels in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne and the Rhône. There are also standout picks from California and Italy.
Cuisine The wines complement chef Carbone’s refined American dishes that go beyond what you’d find at a traditional steak house. The classics are there, but the signature dish is the Grill’s pasta à la presse made with pressed poultry juices. Chef Carbone’s namesake restaurant has three Restaurant Award–winning locations in New York, Las Vegas and Hong Kong.
Celebration destination With its grandiose dining room and formal feel, the Grill is a go-to for special occasions. The wine list features more than 150 large-format bottles, including about 20 Champagnes.


Jean-Georges Beverly Hills
Jean-Georges Beverly Hills serves Asian-influenced French cuisine in a bright, modern space.

JEAN-GEORGES BEVERLY HILLS
The star chef’s only California concept
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, 9850 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif.
(310) 860-6666
www.waldorfastoriabeverlyhills.com
Open for lunch and dinner, daily

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 480
Inventory 2,600
Opulent atmosphere In June 2017, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten made his Golden State debut with all the glamour his global brand is known for. Inside the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, the space is drenched in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows, with accents of gold and greenery.
Cuisine The kitchen serves favorites from Vongerichten’s Grand Award–winning flagship in New York alongside California-inspired dishes. Local ingredients are the stars of dishes like Santa Barbara sea urchin on black bread crostini, local striped bass, and steaks from California farms.
Wine strengths Wine director Jordan Nova works directly with châteaus, maisons and wineries to source bottles in the best condition possible. The selections excel in France, especially Bordeaux, as well as California and Italy. After guests finish a bottle of wine, a staff member will remove the label and affix it to a Waldorf Astoria postcard presented at the end of the meal as a memento.
International empire Vongerichten has restaurants all over the world, including the New York City Grand Award winner, four Best of Award of Excellence winners and one Award of Excellence winner.


Evan Sung
La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels delivers a world-class wine experience in an approachable setting.

LA COMPAGNIE DES VINS SURNATURELS
A laid-back wine bar with a top-tier list
249 Centre St., Ground Floor, New York, N.Y.
(212) 343-3600
www.compagnienyc.com
Open for dinner, daily

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 1,000
Inventory 4,800
Wine strengths Owner and wine director Caleb Ganzer worked with the wine lists at Grand Award winners Daniel and Eleven Madison Park before inheriting the program at La Compagnie des Vins, an offshoot of a wine bar by the same name in Paris. He’s since significantly grown the program, establishing strengths in France, especially Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhône. There are also substantial offerings in New World regions, with California and New York well represented.
Cuisine Chef Eric Bolyard’s French menu is divided into snacks and larger entrées, so guests can grab a quick bite with a glass of wine or come in for a full dinner. Items include a buttermilk crêpe with corn and crab, beef tartare, and confit rabbit with summer squash and saffron.
Fun features La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels features “mystery wines” by the glass: Opt for either a red or a white, and if you’re able to correctly identify the wine, you win the bottle. There’s also a “Sommakase” program that the restaurant describes as “basically a bespoke wine tasting on the spot,” available at $30, $60 or $90 a person.
Extraordinary meets everyday The concept has a relaxed, neighborhood bar–type feel, yet maintains key elements of traditional wine service. Port tongs are used tableside to open any bottle 18 years or older, and the knowledgeable, attentive the staff consists of nearly 10 sommeliers.


Mastro’s Restaurants
Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak Hotel is housed in the high-end Houston property that opened this year.

MASTRO’S STEAKHOUSE AT THE POST OAK HOTEL
A serious wine program at a steak-house staple
Post Oak Hotel, 1650 West Loop S., Houston, Texas
(713) 993-2500
www.mastrosrestaurants.com/locations/tx/houston
Open for dinner, daily

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 3,100
Inventory 27,500
Premier property The restaurant is part of the Post Oak Hotel, an upscale development from Landry’s, Inc., which owns dozens of Restaurant Award winners across several brands including 15 Mastro's locations. Opened in March 2018, the property boasts over-the-top features like a three-story lobby with a chandelier inspired by the one at the Dubai Opera House and art pieces from Landry’s CEO Tilman Fertitta’s private collection.
Wine strengths Managed by wine director Shaun Prevatt, the list is the largest—by far—of all Restaurant Award–winning Mastro’s restaurants. France is the list’s biggest strength, especially Burgundy and Bordeaux, with bottles going back to the 1820s. You’ll also find deep verticals of benchmark California producers and impressive offerings from Italy, especially Tuscany.
Cuisine Helmed by chef Michael Colbert, the kitchen serves traditional steak-house fare with sides like lobster mashed potatoes, and crab and black truffle gnocchi, plus sushi items.
Shared cellar The selections from Mastro’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list are available through room service and by request throughout all of the hotel’s restaurants, including an Award of Excellence–winning Willie G's Seafood.


Benoit Linero
A New York–based brand, NoMad opened on the West Coast in January.

NOMAD
A New York hotel-restaurant roams to L.A.
NoMad Los Angeles, 649 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, Calif.
(213) 358-0000
www.thenomadhotel.com/losangeles
Open for lunch and dinner, daily

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 1,700
Inventory 9,000
Star-studded team Restaurateurs Will Guidara and Daniel Humm opened the hotel-restaurant in January as their first West Coast project. Guidara and Humm’s Make It Nice hospitality group includes the Best of Award of Excellence–winning New York outpost of the NoMad, as well as Grand Award winner Eleven Madison Park and the restaurant’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning seasonal pop-up, EMP Summer/Winter House.
Wine strengths France shines on the wine list managed by wine director Ryan Bailey. The program is particularly impressive in Burgundy, with grands crus from producers like Billaud-Simon and Louis Michel & Fils. Even before the NoMad’s opening, the space struck Bailey as a place for Champagne drinking, so there are also more than 80 labels of bubbly.
Room for growth While the NoMad’s wine list is still slightly smaller than its New York sibling, the program has substantially expanded since opening. It has already grown by more than 1,000 selections, and since the hotel cellars have the capacity to hold approximately 18,000 bottles, expect to see the list get even longer.
Cuisine Chef Humm’s American-European menu gets a touch of local flair in Los Angeles. Some dishes are new, while others are signature NoMad items tweaked for the West Coast, like the roast chicken for two stuffed with black truffle and brioche and served with baby turnips and sesame.


Wine Dive + Kitchen
Wine Dive + Kitchen offers regional American fare and a 400-label wine list.

WINE DIVE + KITCHEN
Two brothers are behind this local wine destination
121 S. Fourth St., Manhattan, Kan.
(785) 712-2413
www.winedivekitchen.com
Open for dinner, daily

Best of Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 400
Inventory 2,500
Coveted cellar When owners Brad and Brent Steven opened Wine Dive + Kitchen in Manhattan, Kan., in September 2017, they took over the space and the inventory of former Restaurant Award winner 4 Olives Wine Bar. The cellar contained some rare selections and great depth in Burgundy and Bordeaux, including wines that the brothers say can't be found on any other wine lists in the state.
Cuisine Chef Mike Luftman serves signature plates from Wine Dive’s original Best of Award of Excellence–winning location in Wichita, Kan., like “drunken bread” and rib-eye steak, plus new items like coq au vin, and lobster, shrimp and crab mac and cheese.
Wine strengths Bolstering his picks with gems from 4 Olives’ cellar, wine director Brad Steven built a list of impressive labels from California, France and Italy. Bottles are available at all price points, from the $30 range to selections from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti that go into the thousands of dollars.
User-friendly format Every page of the wine list is filled with informative tidbits on each style and variety, making it easier to navigate the selections and educating guests in the process. Symbols indicate biodynamic and organic labels that are peppered throughout the list.


City Vineyard at Pier 26
At City Vineyard at Pier 26, gaze out at the Hudson River while enjoying exclusive wines on tap.

CITY VINEYARD AT PIER 26
A riverside restaurant and tasting room
233 West St., New York, N.Y.
(646) 677-8350
www.cityvineyardnyc.com
Open for lunch and dinner, daily

Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 330
Inventory 3,240
City Winery’s sibling Open for just over two years, the restaurant is the sister establishment of City Winery, which has five Restaurant Award–winning locations in New York, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta and Boston.
Wine strengths Overseen by beverage manager Justin Seitzler, the program excels in California, France, Italy and Spain. The global list is accented by City Winery’s proprietary handpicked, single-vineyard wines on tap, alongside a rotating guest tap.
Cuisine Chef David Hartmann serves American dishes designed for exploring wine pairings, like a charcuterie and cheese plate, mussels in a broth made with City Winery Sauvignon Blanc, and wild mushroom risotto.
Hudson River hot spot City Vineyard encompasses much more than a dining room. There’s also a wine garden adorned with grapevines and sweeping views of the river, plus a roof deck with drinks and a raw bar. Frequent events like wine tastings and Monday Movie Night make it a multi-purpose destination.


Gabriele Stabile
The Momofuku brand brought its sleek style and Asian cuisine to D.C. in 2015.

MOMOFUKU CCDC
Chef David Chang’s D.C. project
1090 I St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
(202) 602-1832
ccdc.momofuku.com
Open for lunch and dinner, daily

Award of Excellence
Wine list selections 110
Inventory 875
Wine strengths The concise but solid selections are strongest in California and Champagne. Wine director Ryan Ward champions New World producers and top labels from neighboring Virginia, and mostly offers bottles under $100.
Cuisine Chef Tae Strain adds Asian influence to seasonal American dishes. Plates range from small bites to sharable entrées like spicy ginger scallion branzino and soy-marinated steak ssäm.
Backyard boil To further showcase mid-Atlantic seafood, Momofuku CCDC hosts a seafood boil on its outdoor patio every Saturday and Sunday during summer from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can order seafood by the pound with their choice of chef Strain’s signature sauces: lemon and Old Bay, Sichuan chili butter, lemongrass curry, and one “extremely spicy” option.
Cross-country company Chef David Chang’s Momofuku Restaurant Group has concepts in the United States, Australia and Canada. The group owns four other Award of Excellence winners: Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Majordōmo, Momofuku Las Vegas and Momofuku Nishi, plus Best of Award of Excellence winner Momofuku Ko in New York.


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