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Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2006 Restaurant Awards

Judging something as subjective, and often protean, as culinary greatness is never an easy task, especially in this day when so many restaurateurs, sommeliers and even diners are branching off into exciting, eclectic and disparate directions with their food and wine choices. What constitutes an excellent menu? How does one find what can be considered the very best in a wine list?

In Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Restaurant Awards’ third year, our panel agreed: greatness is a composite of excellence in many areas, but the unifying factor? Vision. An exemplary wine program is about depth, breadth and quality, but also about soul. It’s about offering the top tier of wines from the greatest wine regions of the world, making accessible the most prized vintages, and pairing dishes creatively with wines of all price points. But it’s also about taking chances, exercising poetic license, boldly introducing consumers to gems of all prices they may never have known, and doing so in a friendly, informed manner.

All of our applicants exhibited wine programs that were a cut above the norm, displaying creativity, knowledge and care in their offerings. But our top winners took that love one step further by not only nailing the list, but expertly guiding consumers through it. Following are profiles of the Award of Ultimate Distinction winners, and a complete listing of all honorees nationwide.

Congratulations to all! Click here for our fully searchable database of America’s Best Wine-Driven Restaurants of 2006.

All of the following restaurants received the Award of Ultimate Distinction. Click on the restaurant’s name for the full review.

Award of Ultimate Distinction Winners

 Alto  Excelsior  Smith & Wollensky Chicago
 Aureole Las Vegas  Grill 23 & Bar  Smith & Wollensky Columbus, OH
 Bern’s Steak House  The Herbfarm  Sona
 Cascadia Restaurant  The Kitchen  Swingos on the Lake
 Charlie Trotter’s  The Lark  La Toque
 Columbia Restaurant  Mr Stox  Trattoria Nostrani
 Commander’s Palace  Napa Rose  Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse
 Courtright’s Restaurant  NoMi  Vivere in the Italian Village
 Crabtree’s Kittle House  Pluckemin Inn  Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant and Satay Bar
 Elizabeth’s Café  Smith & Wollensky Boston

Click here for our fully searchable database of America’s Best Wine-Driven Restaurants of 2006.

Award of Unique Distinction Winners

1550 Hyde Cafe and Wine Bar Diva At The Met Pierpont’s At Union Station
1789 Restaurant Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro Pinot Brasserie
22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille The Drae Restaurant & Lounge Port Land Grille
30 Degree Blue The Elbow Room Press
Adele’s Eno Pulcinella Ristorante And Ciao Bar
American Seasons Enotria Cafe & Wine Bar Quality Meats
Ana Mandara Equus Restaurant The Quiet Woman
Angelo’s 677 Prime Fair Hill Inn Ranch Steakhouse
Angus Barn, The Fiamma Osteria Ray’s Boathouse
Atlanta Grill Fiamma Trattoria Restaurant 213
Atria Restaurant & Bar The Firehouse Restaurant The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
Avalon First Crush Restaurant Restaurant O
Bacchus Fleur De Sel Ristorante Panorama
Barbetta Greens Restaurant Rose Pistola
Barking Frog Harvest Sale e Pepe Restaurant
Barolo Grill Havana Salish Lodge and Spa
The Bay House Hawthorne Lane Salpicon
Bella Italia Highlands Dining Room at the Mountain
Top Inn & Resort
Billy’s At The Beach Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar
Birchfield Manor Country Inn The Homestead Restaurant Sidebern’s
Bistro Bethem Hush Restaurant The Signature Room
Bistro Henry Il Terrazzo Ristorante Smith & Wollensky
Bleu Provence Jay’s Bistro Smith & Wollensky
BLT Fish Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse Smith & Wollensky
BLT Prime Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House Smith & Wollensky
BLT Steak Julia’s Kitchen Smith & Wollensky
Blue Fin Kelly Liken Smith & Wollensky
The Blue Star La Sirena Restaurant Smith & Wollensky
Blue Water Grill Larkspur Restaurant Soby’s New South Cuisine
Bon Caldo Ristorante And Bar Le Lan Stage Left
Bosc-Kitchen and Wine Bar Le Titi De Paris Swan Terrace
Bottega Del Vino The Left Bank Tamarine
Brook’s Steakhouse Les Nomades The Tavern
Butch’s Restaurant Longhi’s Wailea Thalassa Restaurant
Cafe Boulud Lucky Palace The Grill at The Ritz Carlton, Palm Beach
Cafe Di Scala The Majestic Steakhouse Todd Jurich’s Bistro
Cafe Esin Maloney & Porcelli Tomasso Trattoria
Cafe Kandahar McCrady’s Tournedos Steakhouse
California Grill Meritage Philadelphia The Triple Door
Castle Hill Inn & Resort Michael’s at the Inn Trotters
Cetrella The Milton Inn Truffles
Chef’s Table Mockingbird Bistro Tundra Restaurant
The Chef’s Table At The Elbow Room Monarch Restaurant And Wine Bar Twenty-Eight Atlantic at the Wequassett Inn
Chez Francois Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, The Uncle Yu’s – Lafayette
Chicago Chop House Nice Matin Uncle Yu’s – San Ramon
Churrascaria Plataforma Niche Restaurant Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard
Churrascaria Riodizio Tribeca Nobhill @ MGM Grand Casino V.Mertz
Cinco The Norton’s Restaurant Ventana Room At Loes Canyon Resort
The Cliff House Restaurant The Oakroom Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse
Cole’s Chop House The Old Ebbitt Grill Vidalia Restaurant
Copper Beech Inn One Sixtyblue Vines Wine Bar And Tapas
Crow’s Nest Restaurant, The Onotria Wine Country Cuisine Vue Restaurant
Davidburke & Donatella Papa Joe’s White Orchid at Peppermill Hotel and Casino
Della Notte Ristorante Parson’s Table, The The Wine Cellar
The Dining Room at Woodlands Picholine Winfield’s Bistro

Click here for our fully searchable database of America’s Best Wine-Driven Restaurants of 2006.

 Award of Distinction Winners

1515 Restaurant Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: Park Avenue Cafe
21 Main Woodmere, OH Park Place on Main
21 Oceanfront Restaurant Nashville, TN The Park Steakhouse
33 Restaurant & Lounge Memphis, TN Parkside Rotisserie & Bar
360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower Tampa, FL Patsel’s
801 Steak & Chop House Austin, TX Pazzaluna
82 Queen Inc Las Vegas, NV Pazzo Italian Cafe
Adair’s Tulsa, OK Philander’s of Oak Park
Adelmo’s Ristorante Baltimore, MD Pigalle
Agrario Akron, OH Pisces Rising
Aida Bistro & Wine Bar Lincolnshire, IL Pomp At The Resort At
AJ Maxwell’s Steakhouse Englewood, CO Paws Up
Aleo Restaurant Houston, TX Poppy’s Seafood Factory
Allegro Ristorante North Scottsdale, AZ The Post House
Anderson’s Cajun’s Wharf Knoxville, TN Prego
Andiamo! Sarasota, FL The Prime Rib
Annie Gunn’s Hendersonville, NC The Prospect Restaurant
Ascots Restaurant Monroe Township, NJ The Rancher’s Club of New Mexico
Ashiana San Antonio, TX Redfish Blufish
Asia De Cuba San Francisco Appleton, WI Restaurant 301 at the Hotel Carter
Asia SF Oshkosh, WI Rickshaw Far East Bistro & Bambu Lounge
Asiatique Restaurant New York, NY Rio Grill
Assaggio Ristorante New York, NY Riodizio Churrascaria
The Asylum Galena, IL Riverstone Restaurant & Tavern
Austin’s Steakhouse Flight Rock Center Cafe
Bacaro Forsgate Country Club Roppongi
Backstreet Cafe Francesca’s At Sunset Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion:
The Barona Oaks Steakhouse Fratellos Riverfront Restaurant Bonita Springs, FL
Bijou Cafe Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant Philadelphia, PA
Bistro 1888 French Roast, New York, NY Rancho Mirage, CA
Bistro 1896 French Roast, New York, NY Plano, TX
Bistro 6301 Fried Green Tomatoes Austin, TX
Bistro At Crowne Pointe Gallery On Oak Creek, The San Francisco, CA
Bistro Zin Gamble Mill Restaurant, The Newport Beach,           CA
Bloom Gerard’s Woodland Hills, CA
Bloom The Girl And The Fig Naples, CA
Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge Green Room At Hotel Du Pont Tampa, FL
Bouchon Santa Barbara The Grille Ruth’s Chris Steak House:
Brandy Library Loung LLC Guinness & Porcellis Wailea, HI
Brett’s Waterway Café Harry’s Cafe & Steak Atlanta, GA
Brigitte’s Restaurant Harry’s Continental Kitchens Scottsdale, AZ
Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse Harry’s Savoy Gril Austin, TX
By Word of Mouth Restaurant and Catering Harry’s Seafood Grill Atlanta GA
Cafe d’Alsace The Heartline Cafe Bellevue, WA
Cafe Lurcat Hereford House Portland, OR
Cafe Lurcat/Bar Lurcat The Herr Tavern & Publick House Atlanta, GA
Cafe Margaux Hugo’s Del Mar, CA
Cafe On The Green Huntington’s Grille Seattle, WA
Capsoluto Freres Il Fornaio Salty’s On Alki Beach
Carlton, The Indigo Restaurant Salty’s On The Columbia
Carmelo’s Ristorante, Houston Inn At Manitou Sam’s On The Waterfront
Carmelo’s Ristorante, Austin Ivy Restaurant Savage River Lodge
Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House Jackson & Wheeler Savannah’s Restaurant
Casa Havana Jeffrey’s of the Westfield Scotch ‘N Sirloin, Dewitt, NY
Catal Restaurant & Uva Bar Jesse’s Restaurant Scotch ‘N Sirloin, Rochester, NY
Cazwellas JFR Barn The Sea Grill
Celadon Jiko – The Cooking Place Seablue
Celebrations Restaurant & Bar Jimmy’s Seasons Of Durango
Charley’s Steak House Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern
Chillingsworth Joseph’s Table Serafina
Chimney Park Bistro Kinzie Chop House Shadowbrook Restaurant
Chops City Grill, Naples Kitchen Bar Shaw’s Restaurant & Inn
Chops City Grill, Bonita Springs Koberl At Blue Ships Inn
Ciao Pizzeria And Wine Bar La Bergerie Sidney’s Grille
Ciola’s Italian-American Restaurant La Campania Silver Thatch Inn Restaurant
Cite Grill The Lafayette Inn Smash Wine Bar and Bistro
CK’s Steakhouse Lake Street Cafe Spencer’s for Steaks & Chops


Clyde’s Of Georgetown

Lasalle Grill Splash Seafood Bar & Grill


Clyde’s Restaurant Of Tysons Corner

Lava Bistro And Bar St. Louis Fish Market
Cortez Restaurant & Bar Lawry’s The Prime Rib The Stained Glass
Cosimo’s On Union Le Monde Stardust Restaurant and Lounge
Counter L’Express The Steakhouse
Cowboy Club L’Heritage Restaurant Francais STK