Best Wine Selection in a Restaurant

Maroosh

Maroosh
Okay, there are restaurants with bigger wine lists, more comprehensive wine lists, wine lists that are compendiums of rare and expensive vintages from around the world, an enophile's wet dream. Trouble is, most of us can't afford to eat in those restaurants, let alone shell out hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for a well-aged Chateau Petrus or Haut-Brion. So this classy Middle Eastern/Mediterranean eatery gets the nod because its compact, thoughtfully chosen, admirably multiculti wine list not only complements its hearty, richly seasoned cuisine, but also offers a number of unexpected treats. And it does so at prices ranging from a modest $28 to a not-quite-so-modest (but reasonable for the quality) $60 a bottle (with one outlier costing $180). Want some examplesç Maso Canali Pinot Grigio, Rex Hill Pinot Noir, Edmeades Zinfandel, Pine Ridge Merlot, Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon, Batasiolo Barolo. All that wine, plus the food is pretty good, too.
Since becoming executive chef of the Four Seasons Hotel last year, Patrick Duff has taken the haute Asian and Latin-accented fare of its signature restaurant, Acqua, soaring to new heights. Too often desserts can crash land such high-flying meals, but pastry chef Charles Froke keeps diners' spirits up by way of heavenly treats like Valrhona chocolate-hazelnut dome with caramel-créme brûlée center and dulce de leche gelato; honeybell orange custard; warm banana-bittersweet chocolate tart; and fantastic French macaroons — one of a number of mini desserts offered at lunch for $4 each (dinner desserts are $9). Although any of these pastries will assure a smooth landing from your first-class gastronomic flight, coming down from the sugar rush might take a bit longer. Not to worry — a savory finale is available via an assortment of artisanal cheeses such as Tomme de Boudenne and Mt. Tam. You may now loosen your seat belts.
Out of the Blue Cafe & Wine Bar
Fuck Starbucks. Out of the Blue Café is way too good to be true. Great coffee, flaky pastries, tasty sandwiches on fresh baguettes, salads, fruit smoothies, homemade soups, and free wi-fi. Hell, they even have wine. Nestled in a beautifully redone little house, Out of the Blue has a tranquil, art-lined interior and a groovy, SoBe-style outdoor patio often decorated with fresh flowers. The café's freshly painted pastel exterior sticks out like a delicate bud of gentrification in this somewhat raunchy neighborhood. Owner Carmen Miranda (no fruit headgear) cares a lot. Quick, competent service is sometimes complemented by surprising little touches: Don't be surprised if free biscotti show up with your café au lait.
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
Photo courtesy of Genuine Hospitality Group
— STOP THE PRESSES! We need to get Michael's new restaurant into this "Best Of" issue.— Too late. We're ready to ship.— We'll look out of the loop if we don't include this season's hottest ticket, the indoor/outdoor contemporary American bistro run by Michael Schwartz. He is, after all, one of Miami's most popular and respected chefs. His unpretentious restaurant — with fresh, simple, impeccably executed cuisine (much of which is cooked in a wood-burning hearth), well-priced boutique wines, and friendly neighborhood service —has singlehandedly kick-started Design District café life the way Al Gore revived the global warming debate. — Sorry, wait till next year.— But his slow-roasted Berkshire pork shoulder and cheese grits, and wood-roasted black grouper with brussels spr

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®