NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Finding a place to drink great wine around the city has never been so easy! Wine Spectator has uncorked the winners of the 2019 Restaurant Awards, which honors the world's best restaurants for wine.
This year, the Restaurant Awards program honors 3,800+ dining destinations from all 50 states in the U.S. and 79 countries internationally.
Launched in 1981, the Restaurant Awards are judged on three levels: the "Award of Excellence", the "Best of Award of Excellence", and the "Grand Award".
Gillian Sciaretta, Director of the Restaurant Awards at Wine Spectator, was kind enough to take ABC7 on an exclusive tour of three of the award winners in New York City.
The first stop was at The Usual - located in Nolita - where wine meets comfort food. A high-quality wine program does not necessarily require white linen tablecloths or a three-course menu. At The Usual, guests will find some seriously delicious comfort food, along with more off-the-beaten-path wine selections.
"Usually the wines that we work with pair really well with the classic comfort food," said Anthony Cailan, Beverage Director of The Usual. "Generally we run with some pretty high-toned wines that work really well with fried chicken and burgers."
The Usual is Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" Winner for their distinct 255+ selection wine list. The "Award of Excellence" recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers.
Next stop was at Manhatta - located in the Financial District - one of Danny Meyer's latest restaurants, which features sky-high views, soulful American cuisine, and a deep wine program.
"We're so lucky to look out the window every day and see so much history, so much diversity, and such a great city - so we wanted to draw a lot of inspiration from that," said Matt Whitney, Beverage Director of Manhatta. "Being able to find off-the-beaten-path regions and up-and-coming producers is something that we really geek out on."
This program earned them Wine Spectator's "Best of Award of Excellence" Winner for 2019. The "Best of Award of Excellence" recipients offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.
The last stop was at The Pool - Wine Spectator's "Grand Award" Winner for 2019. Their extensive wine program is in harmony with their exceptional seafood cuisine.
"We have a large wine program. 30,000 bottles... 3,000 selections," said John Slover, Corporate Wine Director for Major Food Group and The Pool.
The "Grand Award" is the program's highest honor. This elite group comprises the world's best wine programs, which deliver serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, excellent harmony with the menu and superior presentation.
There were 100 "Grand Award" winners in 2019. Eight of the winners - including The Pool - are first timers.
The full list of Wine Spectator's award winners is available in print or online.
For more exciting happenings in and around New York, visit Our Backyard.