Boulud Sud, a Daniel Boulud concept with a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence–winning location in New York, opened its second outpost in Miami last month. The Mediterranean restaurant replaced Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne Miami, which closed in September.
Boulud Sud Miami's wine list features more than 350 selections, offering some of the French inventory from the previous restaurant, with an added emphasis on coastal Mediterranean regions to echo the menu. Sommelier Haunah Klein said this shift from DB Bistro Moderne's French cuisine to this other regional focus creates opportunities to expand the wine program.
"We're really excited to have a fresh take on the wine list and be able to explore regions that we really weren't [before]," she told Wine Spectator. She highlights a staff favorite that has been very successful by the glass: the 2015 Ànima Negra Quíbia Falanis from Mallorca, Spain, a white that has the salinity, body and fruit-forward flavors that pair particularly well with the cuisine.
Klein also expanded the rosé section to gear the list toward the Miami market, but with regions like Germany, Greece and Lebanon.—J.H.
Chef José Andrés is opening a second location of his mezze restaurant, Zaytinya, in Dallas Feb. 5. The 250-seat restaurant will be located at the Star in Frisco, a 91-acre campus home to the NFL's Dallas Cowboys franchise.
The original Zaytinya in Washington, D.C., holds an Award of Excellence for its 125-selection wine list, which has an almost exclusive focus on Mediterranean wines, with a particular strength in Greece.
The Dallas wine list will include many of the same Greek, Lebanese and Turkish wines. ThinkFoodGroup wine director Andy Myers spent months working with Greek importers and Texas distributors to bring these wines to the Dallas market. "I'm thrilled to bring these wines to Texas and introduce them to people. I think they're some of the great wines of the world that don't get the recognition that they certainly deserve," he said.
He plans to open with 125 to 150 selections by the bottle and around 20 by the glass, with some additional offerings from Burgundy, Champagne and California, and a handful of other French and Spanish wines.—J.H.
Grand Award winner the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va., is marking its 40th anniversary with a series of culinary celebrations.
Three public events will be held in 2018: a garden party at George Washington's Mount Vernon June 16, a Woodstock-themed culinary festival at the estate Sept. 2, and a dinner party in a 17th-century château Sept. 30 outside of Paris.
"This celebration is the culmination of 40 years of chef [Patrick] O'Connell's passion, commitment and vision," wine director Bill Harris told Wine Spectator via email. "It's a remarkable milestone and shows what someone who dedicates their life to their chosen métier can accomplish."
In 1972, O'Connell bought a farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. What started as a catering business turned into an inn and restaurant in 1978, pioneering the local hospitality industry and revitalizing the community. Once O'Connell helped end the town's dry status, the restaurant's wine program took off and eventually earned a Grand Award in 1995.
The Inn at Little Washington now offers a 2,000-selection wine list, overseen by Harris but in which O'Connell remains very involved, with strengths in Bordeaux, Burgundy, California, Rhône, Spain, Italy, Champagne and Germany. But the team is not resting on its laurels. "There is no such thing as standing still," O'Connell told Wine Spectator in an email. "In the next few years we have plans to construct a gorgeous new cellar that guests can visit and where we can hold tastings and wine-related events."—J.H.
Hell's Kitchen, the Fox network reality TV show featuring chef Gordon Ramsay, is now open to the public as a real-life restaurant where guests can experience the heat up close. Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen is located in the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, marking the celebrity chef's fifth restaurant in Sin City, including Best of Award of Excellence winner Gordon Ramsay Steak.
The 300-seat restaurant boasts "red" and "blue" kitchens, mirroring Hell's Kitchen's two competing teams, which turn out signature dishes inspired by the show. The wine list has selections from California, France, Italy, New Zealand and Argentina. Wines offered by the glass include the Orin Swift Abstract California 2015, a Grenache-Syrah-Petite Sirah blend, and the Patz & Hall Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2015.—V.S.
In December, Houston Rockets owner and CEO of Landry's Tilman Fertitta opened a Mastro's Steakhouse in the Post Oak Hotel in uptown Houston. He has since closed an outpost of his other restaurant, Willie G's Seafood & Steak, and opened a new one in the same hotel under the Willie G's Seafood banner.
"The new location will elevate the dining experience with a new, modern-industrial design and offer an innovative and fresh take on Willie G's classic menu," said Fertitta in a press release. His company owns dozens of Restaurant Award winners, including 13 locations of different Mastro's concepts, as well as 70 Morton's, The Steakhouse restaurants, among other chains.
The new Willie G's outpost will share the Cellar at the Post Oak with Mastro's Steakhouse, the hotel's cellar that holds 20,000 bottles from 25 countries.—V.S.
Fabio Trabocchi's flagship Washington, D.C., restaurant, Fiola, has a new executive chef. John Melfi, an alum of Trabocchi's Restaurant Award winner Fiola Mare, stepped into the new role at the Italian eatery in January. Wine director Casper Rice continues to oversee Fiola's 1,400-selection wine program, with strengths in Piedmont, Tuscany, Burgundy, Bordeaux, California and Champagne.—L.W.
If you're looking for fine dining in the Sierras, Erna's Elderberry House at the Chateau du Sureau hotel in Oakhurst, Calif., just minutes from Yosemite National Park, is a must-visit. Founded 30 years ago by Austria-born hotelier and restaurateur Erna Kubin-Clanin, the restaurant has been a Restaurant Award winner since 1991, and now holds a Best of Award of Excellence for its 800-selection wine list with strengths in Burgundy and California.
But Kubin-Clanin recently sold the 10-room auberge and restaurant to Los Angeles–based investor Bernard Rosenson, who currently owns the Sky Room in Long Beach and the Mirabelle Inn and Restaurant in Solvang, both in California, as well as Coquelicot winery in Santa Barbara. Kubin-Clanin's daughter, Renée-Nicole Kubin, formerly a sommelier at Charlie Trotter's, will stay on as general manager.—L.A.