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Hudson County, North Jersey Restaurants Recognized by Wine Spectator

by Stephanie Spear
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Garden State residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing food and drink. From dumplings to doughnuts, there is top-tier deliciousness around every corner. Trade publication Wine Spectator has long been the standard in assessing restaurant’s wine lists, and its awards are coveted prizes. The yearly Restaurant Awards are a chance for restaurants to show off their wine lists, and this year, there are plenty of North Jersey venues honored. In particular, two restaurants on this list won the 2022 Grand Award, marking the restaurant’s extraordinary commitment to wine. Both The Pluckemin Inn and Restaurant Latour are among the 97 honorees, which is a worldwide award. The Pluckemin Inn was also awarded a Grand Award in 2011, and Restaurant Latour in 2006. Read on to learn more about the 2022 Wine Spectator honorees, which will be available in the August 31 issue of the magazine.

red wine glass

About the rankings:
Award of Excellence  – This wine list has at least 90 choices, and offers a well-chosen assortment of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.

Best Award of Excellence – This wine list has 350 or more choices, and reflect a variety of choice among different wine growing regions.  These restaurants are destinations for serious wine lovers through both the selections available and the service team.

Grand Award – This is the highest tier of recognition. This wine list typically has over 1,000 selections, many mature vintages, several large-format bottles available, and superior service. These restaurants offer the highest level of service.

Bergen County

Capital Grille – 1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus & 10 Dryden Way, Parsippany

Award of Excellence

This quintessential steakhouse was noted for its strengths in wines from Italy and France. The Capital Grille has been a Wine Spectator honoree since 2011. Each location boasts several hundred curated wine selections.

Esty Street | 86 Spring Valley Road, Park Ridge

Award of Excellence

etsy street restaurant nj

This elegant American restaurant is a repeat WS honoree. This year, the restaurant’s wine list was noted for its strength in wines from California, Italy, and France, with 200 selections. This summer, Esty Street offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

Haven Riverfront | 2 Main Street, Suite G, Edgewater

Award of Excellence

American restaurant Haven Riverfront is known for having one of the most beautiful dining rooms in Bergen County, but its wine list has also received kudos. Haven’s wine list was also recognized by WS in 2021 for its strength in wines from California. The best time to explore the wine list has to be during the weekday happy hour from 4PM to 7Pm at the bar, with selected wines available by the glass.

Ho-Ho-Kus Inn and Tavern | 1 E. Franklin Turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus

Award of Excellence

Ho Ho Kus Inn

The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn specializes in American food prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. WS recognized the Inn’s wine list for its strength in wines from California, Italy, and France. There are over 300 selections available. In addition to the Inn being a historical building, the outdoor gardens are an underrated treasure – we suggest exploring the wine list during one of the Inn’s live music events taking place throughout the summer.

Morton’s Steakhouse | 274 Riverside Square, Hackensack

Award of Excellence

The wine list at Morton’s boasts over 200 selections. This classic steakhouse was noted for its strength in wines from California. This location of Morton’s has been a WS honoree since 2016.

Oceanaire Seafood Room | 175 Riverside Square, Hackensack

Award of Excellence

This elegant seafood restaurant was noted for its strength in wines from California. The Oceanaire Seafood Room is a favorite destination for a celebratory meal or just a night out. Don’t miss the raw bar for fresh-from-the-ocean items like crab legs, oysters, and shrimp.

Oceano’s Oyster Bar | 2-27 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn

Award of Excellence

Esty Street Dining Room

The Panteleakis family is the team behind Oceano’s Oyster Bar, an upscale seafood restaurant in Fair Lawn. The restaurant is known for its attention to quality and freshness, and they say that ‘every day begins at the Fulton Street Fish Market’ to get the best seafood available. Oceano’s was honored for its strength in wine selections from France, Italy, and California.

River Palm Terrace | 1416 River Road, Edgewater

Best Award of Excellence

River Palm Terrace is a longtime Edgewater favorite, having been in operation for over 35 years. The steakhouse’s wine list was recognized by WS for its strength in wines from California, Italy, and France. There are over 300 selections available, so there’s a new favorite to be found on each visit.

Seasons 52 | 1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus

Award of Excellence

Seasons 52 is known for its commitment to fresh food prepared thoughtfully, sourced with care, and with dishes available for guests with special dietary requirements. The wine list has been recognized by WS since 2016. The wine list is recognized for its strength in International and Californian wines, with many bottles available for under $50. Happy hour is 3PM – 6PM from Monday through Friday, with select wines by the glass available for $6.

Ventanas Restaurant and Lounge | 200 Park Avenue, Fort Lee

Award of Excellence

Ventanas Restaurant is a sister to Son Cubano, another WS honoree. The menu at Ventanas offers an Asian-American-Latin fusion cuisine, and the wine list is noted for its strength in wines from California. There are over 200 selections available.

Essex County

Nero’s Grille | 618 South Livingston Avenue, Livingston

Award of Excellence

Nero’s Grille describes itself as an American steakhouse with an Italian accent. The restaurant began life in 1969 as Nero’s Italian Restaurant, and has been serving Essex County diners ever since. Nero’s Grille was recognized for its strength in Californian wines. The wine list has over 100 selections of California wines.

Spuntino Winer Bar & Italian Tapas | 70 Clifton Commons, Clifton

Best Award of Excellence

Spuntino & Co

Spuntino is noted for its strength in wines from Italy, California, and France. The restaurant specializes in Italian food and tapas. The wine lists boats close to 600 choices with an average of $30 per bottle. On Mondays, featured wines are available for 50% off as part of the restaurant’s “Explore the Bins” promotion.

Hudson County

Battello | 502 Washington Boulevard, Jersey City

Award of Excellence

battello jersey city nj
With its rustic elegance and seasonal menu, it’s only natural that Battello would have an award-winning wine list to match. The wine list at Battello has been a WS honoree since 2019, and is noted for its strength in wines from California and Italy. The setting overlooking the Hudson is beautiful any day, but in particular we like Wednesdays and Thursdays evenings for live music.

Court Street | 61 Sixth Street, Hoboken

Best Award of Excellence

Hoboken’s classic Court Street has been a WS honoree since 2016. With a welcoming vibe and an impressive but affordable wine list, there’s plenty to like. Court Street’s wine list was noted for its strength in wines from California, France, and Italy.

Del Frisco’s Grille | 221 River Street, Hoboken

Award of Excellence

Del Frisco’s Grille, located along the Hoboken waterfront, has been a WS honoree since 2016. Its wine list is recognized for its strength in wines from California, with over 200 selections.

Hudson & Co. | 3 2nd Street, Suite 150, Jersey City

Award of Excellence

This year is the first year that American steakhouse Hudson & Co. has received a WS honor. The restaurant’s wine list was noted for its strength in wines from France and California. The spacious restaurant overlooking the Hudson River is located near the Exchange Place PATH station.

Sorellina | 1036 Washington Street, Hoboken

Award of Excellence

Sorellina Wine Glasses

Certified Sommelier Gabi Lombardi is the face behind Sorellina, a charming Italian restaurant in uptown Hoboken. Sorellina was recognized for its wine list’s strength in Italian wines. The restaurant uses locally-sourced ingredients to make its own take on classic Italian dishes.

Son Cubano | 40-4 Riverwalk Place, West New York

Award of Excellence

Son Cubano, an American and Latin-style restaurant, was noted for its wine list’s strength in wines from California and France. The wine list has over 100 selections. Son Cubano’s setting overlooking the Hudson paired with its Cuban-style design make for an elegant backdrop for a meal.

Molo’s | 1 Pershing Road, Weehawken

Award of Excellence

Molo's Weehawken

In addition to having incredible views of the Hudson, Molo’s has a wine list that’s destination-worthy. The Mediterranean and seafood restaurant was noted for its strength in wine selections from California, Italy, and Greece.

Middlesex County

Deccan Spice | 153 Wood Avenue, Edison

Award of Excellence

Deccan Spice - Edison

This vibrant Indian restaurant was honored for its selection of wines from California. There are over 150 selections available, and has many bottles under $50. Deccan Spice has a sister location in Jersey City. At the Edison location during happy hour, wines are buy one, get one half off 11:30AM – 5:30PM Monday through Friday.

Seasons 52 | 217 Lafayette Road, Edison

Award of Excellence

Seasons 52 is known for its commitment to fresh food prepared thoughtfully, sourced with care, and with dishes available for guests with special dietary requirements. The wine list has been recognized by WS since 2016. The wine list is recognized for its strength in International and Californian wines, with many bottles available for under $50. Happy hour is 3PM – 6PM from Monday through Friday, with select wines by the glass available for $6.

Morris County

Hunan Taste | 67 Bloomfield Avenue, Denville

Award of Excellence

Sorellina Wine Glasses
This elegant Chinese restaurant has been a WS honoree since 2007. Hunan Taste was opened by the Hsuing family in 1986, and specializes in traditional tastes from the Sichuan, Cantonese and Mandarin regions using fresh, seasonal items. The restaurant has a sister location in Montclair. The Denville location was honored this year for its wine list’s strength in wines from California.

Jockey Hollow Bar | 110 South Street, Morristown

Best Award of Excellence

The menu at this American-style farm-to-table restaurant focuses on fresh, seasonal menu items. The restaurant is located in the historic Vail Mansion, which was built in 1918. This year, the wine list was honored for its strength in wines from California, France, and Italy: there are 900 selections available.

Rails Steakhouse | 10 Whitehall Road, Towaco

Award of Excellence

Rails Steakhouse is a classic steakhouse outfitted with natural wood and stone decor. The rustic vibes create a cozy backdrop for a fantastic meal. The restaurant was honored for its wine list, with a strength in California wines. Rails is also known as being a hot spot for North Jersey celeb-spotting. The Jonas Brothers have been spotted there and several Real Housewives of New Jersey scenes have been filmed there.

Il Capriccio | 633 Route 10 East, Whippany

Best Award of Excellence

This elegant restaurant was noted for its wine list’s strengths in wines from Italy, California, and France. Il Capriccio is a family-run business started by Chef and Owner Tony Grande, whose culinary training took place in Italy. The wine list has 400 selections to accompany any meal.

Rod’s Steak and Seafood Grille | The Madison Hotel, 1 Convent Road, Morristown

Award of Excellence

Rod's Steaks
This classic steak and seafood restaurant is located in the historic Madison Hotel in Morristown. The wine list at Rod’s has been a WS honoree since 1999. This year, the wine list was noted for its strength in wines from California. There are 300 selections available in the wood-paneled dining room.

Passaic County

Berta’s Chateau | 7 Grove Street, Wanaque

Best Award of Excellence

Berta’s Chateau celebrated its 90th birthday in 2017, and is still run by the original owners, the Bernstein family. This historic venue serves Northern Italian classics and the wine list has been recognized by WS since the early 1990s. This year, the wine list was recognized for its strengths in wines from Italy, Piedmont, Tuscany, and Champagne. The wine list has over 1,000 selections.

Somerset County

Seasons 52 | 410 Commons Way, Bridgewater

Award of Excellence

Seasons 52 is known for its commitment to fresh food prepared thoughtfully, sourced with care, and with dishes available for guests with special dietary requirements. The wine list has been recognized by WS since 2016. The wine list is recognized for its strength in International and Californian wines, with many bottles available for under $50. Happy hour is 3PM – 6PM from Monday through Friday, with select wines by the glass available for $6.

Stone House at Stirling Ridge | 50 Stirling Road, Warren

Award of Excellence

Stone House at Stirling Ridge
This rustically elegant spot is located on a 10-acre farm near the Watchung Mountains. The wine list at Stone House has been an WS honoree since 2020. The wine list is noted for its strength in selections from California. There are over 100 wines available, and several choices available under $50 a bottle.

The Pluckemin Inn | 359 Route 206 South, Bedminster

Grand Award

The Pluckemin Inn is a longtime WS honoree, since 2011. The wine list is noted for its strengths in wines from Burgundy, California, Piedmont, Rhône, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Champagne, Loire, and Washington. This American restaurant has 6,000 selections. In particular, the restaurant offers “The Pluckemin 200,” a specially selected list of 200 wines chosen for their value and approachability, all priced between $30 and $85 a bottle.

Water & Wine Ristorante & Taverna | 141 Stirling Road, Watchung

Best Award of Excellence

Water & Wine is an upscale Italian restaurant overlooking Watchung Lake. It has been a WS honoree since 2006. The wine list is noted for its strengths in wines from Tuscany, Piedmont,Italy, and California. Water & Wine’s sister restaurant is La Griglia in Kenilworth, another 2022 honoree.

Sussex County

Restaurant Latour | Crystal Springs Resort, 1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg

Grand Award Latour
This elegant restaurant is located in the Crystal Springs Resort and has been a WS honoree since 2006. The wine list has over 5,000 selections and was recognized for its strengths in wines from Bordeaux, California, Burgundy, Rhône, Italy, and Champagne. Meals at this restaurant are prix fixe, and there is a Sommelier’s Table experience available, with wines paired expertly with the courses.

Union County

La Griglia | 740 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth

Best Award of Excellence

This upscale restaurant serves Northern Italian classics in its elegant dining room. La Griglia has been a WS honoree since 2004. The wine list is noted for its strengths in wines from Piedmont, Tuscany, Italy, and California.

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