The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants with interesting wine lists, whose selections match the menu, and that appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. The wine list itself must include vintages and appellations for everything – including wine by the glass. Spelling, correct producer names, and appearance of the list are also included in the judging. There are three award levels:
The Cincinnati area did quite well, with several restaurants receiving awards of varying levels. There are some pleasant surprises and some expected winners. Absent from the list are places like Red, Pho Paris, Jeff Ruby”s, and The Napa Grille. However, it should be noted that, like with so many awards, restaurants must submit themselves and pay a $250 fee.
Cincinnati-area restaurants on the Award of Excellence list include: South Beach Grill (Covington), Zebo’s Bistro (Covington), Carlo & Johnny, Jag’s Steak & Seafood (West Chester), Jimmy D’s Steakhouse, Mesh (West Chester), Morton’s Steakhouse, One Restaurant & Lounge (Mason), Orchid’s at Palm Court, Palace Restaurant, Parker’s Blue Ash Grill, The Restaurant at the Phoenix, and Teller’s of Hyde Park. Sturkey’s also made the list, but it no longer exists.
Two stand-outs received the Best Award of Excellence: Jean-Robert at Pigall’s and, happily, the Dilly Deli in Mariemont.
Louisville and Lexington dominated the Kentucky list, whereas Dayton and Columbus had impressive turnouts for Ohio.
The list is fun to look through, especially if, like us, you travel frequently. I enjoyed finding places in Las Vegas, Aruba, Chicago, and Florida where we’ve dined – and where I want to dine in the future. The full list is in the August 31 issue of Wine Spectator, available now, but you can also view it online as part of the free Wine Spectator Content. The online list is fully searchable and even works well on a mobile.
Congratulations to all the local restaurants, and especially to the Dilly Deli! Cheers!
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