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Mar 27, 2008 04:12 AM


Hi folks -

Okay, here's where I need serious assistance. I love food. But I don't drink alcohol. I have a person coming to NYC in May who I want to take out for a best-of-the-best, cost-be-damned dinner, but the sticky situation is that they love wine, and that is the most important feature of a meal is to them (the food being secondary). As I don't drink, I'm at a total and complete loss. So I need to hear what the very best restaurants in NYC are for their wine selection, depth, breadth, and quality of staff knowledge.

To get the ball rolling, I've been suggested Alto and Cru...

Help, anyone?

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  1. Cru, absolutely. And the food is excellent, too. I don't recall Alto's wine list being that extensive or exceptional.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      My recollection, fwiw, is that Alto's wine list was huge - I only perused it after we ate there though, as our host chose the wine:

      Here's the list -

      Cru's list - &

      Of course, I just realized this doesn't help the OP much since he says he doesn't know about wine. He might want to post a "pointer" on the Wine board to this request.

      1. re: rrems

        I think there are many restaurants that have remarkable wine lists, but I agree with Cru because there sommelier is the most knowledgable. Also Aureole and Daniel come to mind. I think it also depends on what kind of wine they may prefer, such as location, region, type of food, etc.

        1. re: rrems

          matsonjones, we just went to Cru for the first time recently. Food and service were excellent. The extensive wine list came in two large books that looked like old bibles. Just rely on their sommelier . . .

        2. A Voce has an extensive wine list.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChowDiva

            If you go to Food and Wine magazine website and search best NYC restaurant wine lists they have quit a few suggestions including Babbo, Balthazar, Daniel, Veritas, Compass and A Voce.

            1. Cru and Veritas have, hands-down, the most vast and impressive collections of wine. Go with one of these especially if your friend is looking for rare and/or well-aged bottles.

              Insieme and Hearth have quirkier but interesting wine lists. Go with one of these if your friend likes to try out new wines and doesn't mind taking a few chances.

              Babbo, Gramercy Tavern and Eleven Madison Park have very good well-rounded lists with excellent bottles from around the world. You won't find as many rare gems or unexpected selections, but you'll definitely find a lot of great wines. Go with one of these if your friend just wants to enjoy a very nice bottle with dinner and doesn't want to stress out about ordering the $10,000 magnum of DRC.

              I've never been, but I'd also guess the wine list at Per Se is top notch.

              Extra bonus: the food at all of these places is great, so you'll do well too!

              1 Reply
              1. re: oolah

                Cru and Veritas are your only real options for breadth and depth. Other restaurants mentioned are good in their niche - but nothing compares to Cru/Veritas with the nod going to Cru for Robert Bohr and Michel Courveaux (sp) as two of the most exceptionally gifted wine professionals around. Tim Kopec is also a heavy weight super star - but the edge to Cru for being able to deploy 2.

              2. Veritas & Cru both have incredible wine lists. I prefer Veritas to Cru.

                1 Reply
                1. re: s.piller

                  s.piller, I have not been to Veritas. Just curious, why?