Each month, the venerable wine publications like Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast publish articles and information about restaurants around the nation with premium wine lists. There are actually quite a few Detroit area establishments that are reviewed and rated by these magazines, but they don’t always make the cover story (That could change very soon with all the great new spots opening around town). So, we thought we would do some promotion of our own and begin periodic reviews of area restaurant wine lists. After all, what better way to try a new wine than with a fabulous meal cooked by someone else?
Since many of the region’s top establishments have already been reviewed and evaluated by the likes of Wine Spectator (WS) and Wine Enthusiast (WE), we’ll start by over viewing what they’ve said about some of our favorites and, in later editions, do some reviews of our own. Obviously, we’re not reviewing everything here and right now we’re focusing on those that have already been reviewed by the major magazines, so keep that in mind. If you have a restaurant you think we should check out for a future edition, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sweet Georgia Brown: The July 2004 issue of WE includes Sweet Georgia Brown and Small Plates in it’s list of “Recommended Without Reservations” restaurants around the country. Serving American cuisine with a Southern Drawl on the edge of Greektown, the place is always packed with Detroit movers and shakers. WS awarded Sweet Georgia Brown an Award of Excellence for it’s wine list with over 105 selections and an inventory of 1,000 bottles. 1045 Brush Street, Detroit; 313-965-1245.
- Small Plates: Another of WE’s recommended establishments, Small Plates serves tapas style dishes across from the Detroit Opera House. With 19 widely varying wines by the glass, Small Plates offers amble opportunity to sample. Kimberly Hartnet of Small Plates served as a judge for the DWO’s 2004 competition. 1521 Broadway, Detroit; 313-963-0497.
- Opus One: Serving American continental style food and with a wine list of over 225 selections and an inventory of 2,000 bottles, Opus One is well-deserving of WS’s Award of Excellence. Darrel Finken of Opus One served as a judge for the DWO 2004 competition. 565 Larned, Detroit; 313-961-7766.
- Giovannis Ristorante: A warm, friendly, fabulous Italian restaurant with a wine list featuring 225 selections, an inventory of 3,500 bottles and a WS Award of Excellence, Giovannis is a Detroit tradition. Movers and shakers from throughout the region can be caught eating here regularly, testament to the great food and wine selections. 330 S. Oakwood Blvd, Detroit; 313-841-0122.
- Rattlesnake Club: Another WS Award of Excellence Winner, this Detroit landmark has one of the most extensive wine lists in the region and frequently hosts events to celebrate wine. Featuring contemporary American cuisine in a beautiful setting, if you’ve never eaten at the Rattlesnake Club, find an occasion to go. 300 River Place, Detroit; 313-567-4400.
- Tribute: No Detroit area restaurant review is complete without a mention of one of our most famous establishments, Tribute. Winner of WS’s Best of Award of Excellence, Tribute’s 1,000 selection wine list and 8,900 bottle inventory can be overwhelming to some, but it will be a long while before you’ll run out of choices here. 31425 W. 12 Mile Rd, Farmington Hills; 248-848-9393.
- The Lark: Another WS Best of Award of Excellence winner, The Lark features French cuisine, a wine list with over 1,000 selections and an inventory of over 13,000 bottles! 6430 Farmington Rd, West Bloomfield; 248-661-4466.
- Sweet Lorraine’s Cafe and Bar: Serving international cuisine in a fun, eclectic setting, Sweet Lorraine’s recently opened a new location in Downtown Detroit. Winner of WS’s Award of Excellence. 29101 Greenfield, Southfield; 248-559-5985.
- Morels and Shiraz: Two of Unique Restaurant Corporation’s fine dining establishments located right next door to each other, Morels and Shiraz not only feature some of the regions best wine lists and WS Awards of Excellence, they also boast one of the best sommelier staffs around, including Madeline Triffon and Rick Rubel, two of our 2004 competition judges. 30100 Telegraph, Bingham Farms; 248-642-1094 – Morels; 248-645-5289 – Shiraz.
- Mon Jin Lau: Asian cuisine with a fine dining flair, a WS Award of Excellence, and a wine list of nearly 200 selections, Mon Jin Lau has become one of the region’s best “nights out”. Marshall Chin of Mon Jin Lau served as a DWO competition judge this year. 1515 E. Maple, Troy; 248-689-2332.
- La Bistecca Italian Grille:La Bistecca’s 350 selection wine lists rivals the best and the food is fabulous. A WS Award of Excellence winner. 39405 Plymouth Rd, Plymouth; 734-254-0400.