“Bright, fresh, and stunning,” is how the describes Gary Danko’s cooking—a combination of international influences with classical French technique and local ingredients that has made his eponymous restaurant one of the best in the United States. It is, in other words, refined cooking of the highest order, and the wine list—a worthy recipient of a place on the shortlist for the Best Wine List in North America—doesn’t let it down.
You can tell you’re in good hands from the very beginning of the list, where the enticing by-the-glass offerings of Sancerre’s Pascal Jolivet, the Nahe’s Emrich-Schönleber, and Crozes-Hermitage’s Alain Graillot, are followed by a jaw-dropping range of old and rare Madeira.
A similarly catholic but thoughtful approach continues through the 85 pages of a diverse international list that draws heavily on the best producers of California and classic French wines, many of them with several vintages to choose from. As with the menu, there is an emphasis on purity and natural approaches in the wine selection, whether the producer is New Zealand’s Pyramid Valley, or the Northern Rhône’s Dard & Ribo. And it’s hard not to love a list which, as well as dividing Burgundy by village, finds space for the heading: “Greek, Hungarian, Swiss, and Southern Hemisphere Whites.”