They say life is too short to drink bad wine, so here’s a time-saving guide to establishments where the superb food is accompanied by a sublime wine list.
By Rebecca Cahilly
Red, The Steakhouse
High-end steakhouses are known to feature equally qualified wine lists, and Red, The Steakhouse, is no exception. Known for its USDA certified Angus Prime, expansive selection of high-quality meat, seafood and pasta, along with house-made sauces and garnishes, Red ensures each dish is complemented by five-star service and an appropriate beverage pairing. With locations in Ohio and Florida, and named one of the Top 10 steakhouses in the country, Red offers a selection of over 500 wines, including a signature blend produced by Girard Winery in Sonoma. This Private Reserve is a special cuvée that possesses a wonderful combination of depth and finesse and lends itself perfectly to Red’s steaks or chops.
1901 N. Military Trail
Master Sommelier George Miliotes is responsible for the award-winning, 350-bottle wine list at Capital Grille. One of only a handful of Master Sommeliers in the world, Miliotes has a passion for the creation and selection of wine. Wines from the United States are featured by grape type, while those from France are listed by regional variety. Not sure what will pair best? Each server at the Capital Grille is trained to match each dish with your wine preference and wine experience. Capital Grille also offers seasonal menus and pairing events to ensure wine lovers are continuously entertained.
Locations nationwide, including Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach Gardens, see thecapitalgrille.com
The Flagler Steakhouse
at The Breakers
Fresh from a full-scale renovation, Palm Beach’s “best-kept-secret” has re-ignited the social club scene with its high-end steaks and seafood paired with an exceptional wine offering. Sourced from The Breakers’ 28,000-bottle collection curated by Master Sommeliers Virginia Philip and Juan Gomez, the wine selections at The Flagler Steakhouse are designed to perfectly complement each dish. Flagler’s own sommelier Greg Rivera is on hand with informed recommendations.
The Ocean Clubhouse at The Breakers,
2 S. County Road, Palm Beach
Café Boulud Palm Beach
A fine French restaurant that is the namesake of one of the most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs in the industry would not be complete without an equally noteworthy selection of fine wine. Master sommelier candidate Mariya Kovacheva manages Café Boulud’s 500+-bottle wine cellar and its award-winning wine list that spans classic French varietals to unique finds from up-and-coming vineyards. While Mariya admits a preference for French offerings from the Northern Rhône, Burgundy and Champagne regions, she is most passionate about collaborating with Café Boulud’s chefs to create pairing profiles for each menu item. Mariya also oversees educational classes and hosts regular tasting events at Café Boulud’s Palm Beach location.
Café Boulud Palm Beach
301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach
With a reputation — and new locations — quickly expanding throughout South Florida, the original Casa D’Angelo Ristorante in Fort Lauderdale continues to offer exceptional classic Tuscan cuisine and spectacular wine pairings that has delighted oenophiles for years. Recognized annually with an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, Casa D’Angelo’s notable wine list features the best in wines from Tuscany to Napa. Sommelier Koen Kersemans prides himself on guiding each customer through the 20,000-bottle inventory on an adventure of pairing. Koen also creates and oversees the wine programs at Chef Elia’s other locations and hosts regular wine dinners and tastings.
Locations in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, see casa-d-angelo.com
When in Hollywood, a visit to Hollywood Prime at the exquisite Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is a must. Sommelier Laura Romano has carefully crafted the 600-bottle wine list to ensure that each menu item can be accompanied with a fine selection to suit every palate. As South Florida’s longest certified AAA Four Diamond-rated steakhouse, Hollywood Prime concentrates on meat and seafood that is unparalleled in caliber. Romano prides herself in what she calls “unprecedented pairings,” such as a Ruinart NV Blanc de Blanc with west coast oysters; and a Far Niente Dolce Late Harvest paired with locally farmed Kobe-style Delmonico ribeye. Her latest favorite match isn’t of the wine variety, but will impress nonetheless, she says: house-made Tahitian vanilla crème brûlée with Balvenie 15 Single Barrel scotch.
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa,
3555 S. Ocean Drive,
We can’t get enough of 3030 Ocean’s new executive chef Paula DaSilva, her ever-changing farm-to-table menu and the sit-back-and-be-wowed-with-flavor experience that comes with the chef’s tasting menu. If you’re after a particular bottle, you’ll likely not be disappointed by 3030’s award-winning list. But if you’re ready to discover a new varietal or perhaps be coaxed back to a grape or region you had written off years ago, let your taste buds be wowed by the seasonal menu and your server’s expert pairing suggestions.
Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa
3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale
Ironwood /iClub Piano Bar
Located at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Ironwood Steak & Seafood not only offers an award-winning wine list, but a selection of wines produced by such great PGA tour legends as Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and Luke Donald, as well as its own private label chardonnay, cabernet and merlot. Boutique labels feature prominently on the list that showcases 19 growing regions in six countries and is updated frequently. Dinner reservations are not necessary to enjoy this list Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, however, as the resort’s newly opened iClub Piano Bar offers the same exceptional wine selection accompanied with world-class entertainment reminiscent of the early piano bars.
400 Avenue of the Champions
Palm Beach Gardens
561-627-2000 (iClub Piano Bar)
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse
The Fort Lauderdale location of Chima Brazilian Steakhouse has long enjoyed a stellar reputation for its outstanding rodizio, salad bar and desserts. Its wine list has shared in equal accolades, having been recognized with a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Featuring a wide selection of varietals from around the world, Chima’s 225-bottle wine list notably emphasizes South American and Brazilian wines and completes the restaurant’s “one-of-a-kind experience.”
2400 E. Las Olas Blvd.
Caffe Luna Rosa
Who says you can’t have a great on-the-beach location and equally stunning food, attentive service and unrivaled wine list? At Caffe Luna Rosa in Delray Beach you can have it all — and it is worth the wait as this beachfront and A1A restaurant typically has a line out the door. Co-owner Nikola Stljak has crafted the award-winning wine list, which categorizes varietals from each region of Italy and around the world. A welcome change for both wine enthusiasts and novices eager to discover new wines and pairings, the list gives a brief description to the distinctive elements of each wine and region, which is often accompanied by recommendations from the servers or Nikola himself.
34 S. Ocean Blvd.
15th Street Fisheries
Great seafood deserves an equally great wine pairing, and the landmark waterfront dining room at 15th Street Fisheries delivers a wine selection that is as well rounded as the menu. Known for years as one of the best seafood restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, 15th Street Fisheries offers an extensive selection of California wines along with labels from Australia, Italy, France and elsewhere. After dinner, take your glass and enjoy al fresco entertainment at the Dockside Bar downstairs.
1900 SE 15th St.
We can’t seem to escape mentioning Palm Beach’s hot spot būccan, which appears in this month’s feature thanks to its educational winemaker series and “Wine On Mondays” specials, wherein featured bottles from its somewhat eclectic wine list are half price and paired with select menu items. būccan’s community table tastings draw oenophiles and novices alike for the monthly winemaker series, which will feature wines from Adobe Road Winery on Feb. 24 and Chalk Hill Winery on March 10.
350 S. County Road
Over 900 selections from Italy, California and beyond, carefully curated over the past two-and-a-half decades, mark the wine list at La Sirena in Palm Beach. Sommelier Aaron Smith oversees this award-winning list, which includes a “50 under $50” section of high quality value wines. In 2012 the Italian restaurant partnered with Marchesi de’Cordano of Abruzzo, Italy, to create signature blends of Pecorino/Pino Grigio and Montepulciano/Cabernet carrying the “delle Sirene” name.
6316 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach