A pair of Florida restaurants, one on Marco Island and the other in Miami, have landed on this year's Wine Spectator magazine list of America's Best 100 Wine Restaurants. Ario, the signature fine dining restaurant inside the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort on Florida's southwest coast, is joined on the elite list by the Surf Club Restaurant in Miami.
Earlier this year, Ario at the JW Marriott rewrote its wine list to include only wines produced in the U.S. Michael Broughton, manager and wine director at Ario, characterized the new wine list as "risky and adventurous. There was no blueprint for it. Candidly, we weren't sure how the guests would react, but the initial feedback has been amazing." In order to encourage guests to explore the new wine list, Broughton increased the by-the-glass offerings to 50 different wines.
At Thomas Keller's Surf Club, head sommelier Zach Gossard focuses on "sunshine-friendly" wines from France and California; Burgundy, Bordeaux and Napa are heavy hitters on the list. The restaurant's list also focuses on organic and natural wines, which Gossard told Wine Spectator was a result of guest interest. Wine Spectator gave special mention to the Dover sole meuniere on the restaurant's menu, a classic French dish of pan-fried fish filet with lemon and butter.