Grape Expectations: The Haute 5 Wine Bars in New York

Our Haute 5 Wine Bars represent restaurants that have both superb collections of wine as well as stellar menus. These restaurants are truly places to eat, drink and be merry.


Daniel Boulud’s award-winning restaurant has received accolades from The New York Times, The James Beard Foundation and Michelin. Along with serving what is arguably the best French food in the city, it also has one of Manhattan’s best wine lists. Choose one of 1,500 wines from 15 countries to pair with Boulud’s menu, which features contemporary twists on classics. Knowledgeable servers and are kept up-to date by wine director Daniel Johnnes and his staff of sommeliers. (Yes, you have to be named Daniel to work at the restaurant.) Rhone Valley and Burgundy selections from Boulud’s native France are particularly strong.

Daniel is located at 60 E. 65th St., 212.288.0033,

There is not one false note at renowned wine collector Park B. Smith’s restaurant. Veritas has received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine Service and a Wine Spectator “Grand Award.” The 192,000 bottle collection is made up of 3,200 different kinds of wine. It includes one of the best collections of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the world, as well as a strong collection of Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Veritas is located at 43 E. 20th St., 212.353.3700,

Babbo’s strictly Italian wine list draws from each of the country’s 21 regions. The Mario Batali restaurant’s 2,000 selections are served only out of Spiegelau glasses and two sommeliers are on call at all times. For oenophiles, Babbo hosts a monthly tasting event called Vintage Babbo. The next Vintage Babbo will be held on June 21 and will pair a seven-course tasting menu with wine from Italy’s Organic Biodynamic wineries and include vintages from the past four decades ($350 per person).

Babbo is located at 110 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village. Reservations for the next Vintage Babbo may be made by contacting Caroline Marshall at 917.715.3599. For reservations, call 212.777.0303,

Eleven Madison Park
Danny Meyer’s restaurant boasts a stellar view and an extensive wine list. Wine Director John Ragan who has been awarded a James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Wine Service,” and Star’s Rising Star Sommelier Award. The wine is matched by a superb menu, overseen by Chef Daniel Humm who was recently crowned 2010’s Best Chef in New York by the James Beard Foundation.

Eleven Madison Park is located at 11 Madison Ave., 212.889.0905,

Aureole’s 1,500 selections represent a broad range of countries including Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain and the Rhone Valley. We recommend the chef’s seasonal tasting menu ($205 per person). It pairs a nice selection of wines with five courses of chef Christopher Lee’s contemporary American fare.

Aureole is located at 135 W. 42nd St., 212.319.1660,