Wine Spectator Announces 2018 Restaurant Award Winners

It's that time of year again...when Wine Spectator magazine clues us in on the best restaurants to dine at if you want to enjoy some wine with your meal.

The 2018 Restaurant Award winners include places in all 50 states and in 75 countries - 3,759 restaurants in all. Among those winners are 84 in and around the Windy City. Such Chicago spots as City Winery, Chicago Chop House, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Formento's, Kinzie Chop House, Maple & Ash, Prime & Provisions, RPM Italian and Spiaggia are among winners.

The Best of Award of Excellence, granted to 1,215 restaurants in 2018, honors wine programs that take their commitment a step further; it recognizes lists that display excellent breadth across multiple regions and/or significant vertical depth of top wines, along with superior presentation.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Ranging in size from 90 selections to several hundred, these lists are well-focused and tend to emphasize discovery. This year, 2,453 restaurants achieved the Award of Excellence.

The Grand Award, the program’s highest honor, is the ultimate recognition for restaurants with world-class wine programs. This sought-after award is presented to restaurants that show uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine program. These wine lists, which typically have 1,000 or more selections, deliver serious breadth of top producers and outstanding depth in mature vintages, in addition to selections of large-format bottles. Along with superior presentation of the wine list and its excellent harmony with the menu, these restaurants offer the highest level of wine service. Wine Spectator inspects all candidates for the Grand Award to evaluate the overall dining experience and cellar.
Seven restaurants have earned Wine Spectator’s Grand Award for the first time in 2018. The new winners join an exclusive group that now totals 91 Grand Award winners located throughout the world. These 2018 Grand Award winners are: Ai Fiori in New York City; Barolo Grill in Denver; Le Coureur des Bois in Beloeil, Qu├ębec; Madera in Menlo Park, Calif.; Metropolitan Grill in Seattle; Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria, South Africa; and Sistina in New York City. Read full profiles of them at or in the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator, available on newsstands July 17.