DANVILLE, CA — When it comes to fine wine and dining, Bay Area residents don’t have to travel far to enjoy some of the best the country has to offer. In fact, one Danville restaurant and dozens around the area were ranked among the best places to enjoy good wine and good food.
Wine Spectator recently unveiled the 2023 Restaurant Awards winners, which honor the world’s best restaurants for wines. This year’s awards program recognized 3,500 dining destinations from all 50 states and in more than 70 countries worldwide.
Since 1981, the Restaurant Awards have had three distinct levels: The “Award of Excellence,” the “Best of Award of Excellence” and the vaunted “Grand Award.”
The Award of Excellence is given to restaurants that carefully choose their wine lists to have 100 or more selections, containing both quality and diverse wines, according to the magazine. There were 2,001 Award of Excellence winners this year.
In Danville, Forbes Mill Steakhouse on Sycamore Valley Road received an Award of Excellence. The stylish restaurant offers a mix of Certified Angus Beef Prime steak, seafood, chicken, and decadent desserts, paired with a long list of local wines, beers and spirits.
The Best of Award of Excellence is given to restaurants that “go the extra mile,” with lists of 350 or more selections from top producers, with a wide variety of regions and vintage depths. These restaurants might also carefully design the presentations of the list, train their staff to assist diners with the list and have curated wine dinners, according to Wine Spectator. Worldwide, 1,411 restaurants received the Best of Award of Excellence award.
The Grand Award is the highest honor, bestowed upon restaurants with “unwavering passion and perseverance in strategically building thoughtful, impeccable wine programs, then maintaining and even growing them year after year.” Their wine lists typically have 1,000 or more selections, and offer the highest level of wine service. Just 93 restaurants worldwide received the Grand Award.
No East Bay restaurants received the Grand Award, but several NorCal restaurants made the cut:
- Saison, San Francisco
- Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco
- Acquerello, San Francisco
- Spruce, San Francisco
- The Village Pub, Woodside
- La Toque, Napa
- The Plumed Horse, Saratoga
- The French Laundry, Yountville
- Press Restaurant, Helena
- SingleThread Farms, Healdsburg