Creating a Restaurant Award–winning wine list is an accomplishment for a single restaurant, but offering high quality wine experiences at dozens of locations around the world presents exceptional challenges. We tip our hat to these nine restaurant groups that have put together impressive wine lists in many cities across the U.S. and beyond; both the well-traveled wine lover and the small-town enophile can be assured that when it comes to wine, they're in good hands with these upscale chains.
To check out more great restaurants for food and wine from around the world, see our more than 3,500 Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, including our 87 Grand Award recipients.
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54 Restaurant Award–winning locations across the U.S.
Best of Award of Excellence (20 locations), Award of Excellence (34 locations)
With more than 50 Restaurant Award winners around the country, including locations on the Las Vegas Strip, in Manhattan’s Chrysler Building, Seattle’s historic 1910 Cobb Building and Union Station in Providence, R.I., the Capital Grille is known for its ability to pair steak and wine. Darden Restaurants’ Brian Philips manages the moderately priced lists, which all feature quality bottles from California, rounded out by selections from France, Italy and around the world. In addition to the restaurants’ signature steaks, which are dry-aged in house for more than 18 days, choose from a vast array of seafood options accompanied by hearty chophouse sides like roasted fingerling potatoes, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and creamed spinach with béchamel.
50 Restaurant Award–winning locations across the U.S.
Website www.delfriscos.com, www.delfriscosgrille.com, www.sullivanssteakhouse.com
Best of Award of Excellence (14 locations), Award of Excellence (36 locations)
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group has become a national fine-wine powerhouse in recent years, with 20 Restaurant Award–winning locations of Del Frisco’s Grille, 12 Best of Award of Excellence–winning locations of its Double Eagle Steakhouse, and 18 celebrated Sullivan’s Steakhouses. The Double Eagles’ lists are the most extensive, all exceeding 1,100 selections and spotlighting California, France and Italy alongside a range of wines from other countries, while Sullivan’s Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille offer more compact lists with a focus on California bottles. National beverage director Jessica Norris oversees all 50 lists, which feature big-name California Cabernets, boutique California wines that vary by location and other wines from around the world singled out by local wine directors. All three outlets serve a variety of prime steaks and seafood alongside rich chophouse side dishes, though each offers its own twist on the experience: Sullivan’s tips its hat to the 1940s, with nostalgic decor and live jazz music; the Grilles offer a more casual spin on the steak house, with twists on classic comfort dishes; and the Double Eagles, with their vast wine lists and elegant interiors, are perfect for a special-occasion dinner.
66 Restaurant Award–winning locations across the U.S.
Award of Excellence (66 locations)
The first location of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar opened nearly two decades ago in Newport Beach, Calif.; today, there are restaurants around the country, with 66 winning an Award of Excellence in 2016. An ideal choice for value-seekers, the chain boasts a reputation for moderately priced bottles from California, and its Fleming’s 100 program offers 100 wines by the glass from regions around the world to satisfy all wallets. The 21-day-aged beef steaks are a fixture of the menu and can be customized with additions like truffle-poached lobster, jumbo lump crabmeat, diablo shrimp with spicy barbecue butter sauce, and porcini mushrooms with gorgonzola cream.
41 Restaurant Award–winning locations across the U.S. and Brazil
Award of Excellence (41 locations)
What started in the 1970s as a single restaurant in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has become one of the most popular churrascaria chains in the world: Fogo de Chão now boasts 41 Restaurant Award winners in the U.S. and Brazil. Slow-cooked, fire-roasted meats like filet mignon, ancho beef rib eye, lamb and pork ribs are carved tableside, while seafood dishes and an extensive salad bar are available for those who crave lighter options. Wine director Melissa Kelley curates the moderately priced wine lists, which focus on bottles from South America.
83 Restaurant Award–winning locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore and China
Website www.mortons.com, www.mastrosrestaurants.com
Best of Award of Excellence (eight locations), Award of Excellence (76 locations)
Focusing on steaks, seafood and fine wines, Landry's Inc.'s Morton’s, the Steakhouse and Mastro’s restaurants have a lot in common. At Morton’s, choose from a variety of classic appetizers, prime beef cuts, seafood dishes and classic sides, while the more upscale Mastro’s restaurants feature live entertainment and encompass both the Steakhouse locations and Ocean Clubs, which offer a more substantial array of seafood and sushi. Tylor Field manages the lists at all Morton’s locations, which range in size from 225 to 750 selections and focus on bottles from California and Italy.
11 Restaurant Award–winning locations across the U.S.
Award of Excellence (11 locations)
Seafood is the name of the game at Ocean Prime—and with 11 Award of Excellence–winning locations, the restaurant has proved itself a go-to choice for diners looking to pair seafood and wine in cities around the country. Wine director Ryan Valentine’s lists focus on California bottles, with a selection of choice Coravin pours for those who want to try something extra special. Pair your wine with dishes like Chilean sea bass, blackened snapper, sea scallops with parmesan risotto and bone-in prime beef fillet, or choose from the bounty of sushi and raw-bar options.
22 Restaurant Award–winning locations in the U.S. and Mexico
Best of Award of Excellence (two locations), Award of Excellence (20 locations)
The original Palm restaurant opened in 1926 in New York City as an Italian restaurant, and steaks weren’t on the menu. That changed when customers’ requests for steaks made beef a fixture on the table, and the restaurant began to build its reputation as one of the city’s classic steak houses. Today, the Palm has grown to include locations across the U.S. and in Mexico, counting 22 Restaurant Award winners in 2017. National director of wine and spirits Angelica Sbai manages the beverage lists, which emphasize reds from California and Italy, as well as a selection of classic cocktails.
106 Restaurant Award–winning locations across the U.S. and Canada
Best of Award of Excellence (three locations), Award of Excellence (103 locations)
With 106 Restaurant Award–winning locations in 2016—more than any other group in the program—you’re never too far from a Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Over the years, the chain has become a standby for great steak and wine with its upscale neighborhood atmosphere and moderately priced, California-focused lists. When it comes to chops, each restaurant uses USDA prime beef that can be enhanced with additions like lobster tail, blue cheese crust or black truffle butter. Rounding out the menu are dishes like Chilean sea bass with sweet potato hash, chicken breast stuffed with garlic herb cheese and veal osso buco ravioli.
40 Restaurant Award–winning locations across the U.S.
Award of Excellence (40 locations)
With a focus on seasonal ingredients, Seasons 52's menu changes regularly, so there’s always something new to try. Current winter favorites are maple-glazed chicken, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese en brodo, Portuguese kale and chorizo soup and blackened steak and blue cheese flatbread with crimini mushrooms. The restaurant takes its name from the 52 wines that are offered by the glass at each location, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a smaller sample. Forty locations now hold an Award of Excellence; each inexpensively priced list offers roughly 100 selections and features an eclectic mix of international wines.