Raise your glass: Here are the 15 suburban restaurants honored with Wine Spectator awards

Time to wine down? To stop and smell the rosé? There are no pour decisions here, as long as you're doing it for the right rieslings.

All puns aside, there's seldom a bad time for good wine. And now is an especially good time as 15 suburban restaurant concepts have been recognized in the 2023 Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards.

The awards, which were uncorked in 1981, are billed as the world's only program focused exclusively on restaurant wine service. In all, 3,505 restaurants in 70 countries were recognized at one of three levels: the Award of Excellence (2,001 winners), the Best of Award of Excellence (1,411) and the Grand Award (93).

Three suburban spots received the Best of Award of Excellence:

1776 Restaurant in Crystal Lake

Cafe Lucci in Glenview

The Tavern in Libertyville

Erik Nordstrom, the wine and spirits director at 1776 Restaurant, said he was “excited and emotional” about the award.

“As an independent restaurant in the far suburbs, it is hard to compete with the buying power of restaurants in Chicago,” Nordstrom said. “Similar to our menu, we love to work with smaller growers and producers, sharing their story. I feel like that sets us apart and adds diversity to our list that is not often seen elsewhere.”

Twelve restaurant concepts, some with multiple suburban locations, received the Award of Excellence:

Alchemist in Geneva

Che Figata in Naperville

Eddie Merlot's in Lincolnshire

Fogo de Chao, with locations in Rosemont, Naperville and Oak Brook

Mandrake in Geneva

Morton's, The Steakhouse locations in Naperville, Northbrook, Rosemont and Schaumburg

Perry's Steakhouse and Grille in Oak Brook and Schaumburg

Seasons 52 in Oak Brook and Schaumburg

Suzette's Creperie in Wheaton

The Capital Grille in Lombard, Rosemont and Schaumburg

The James in Geneva

Truluck's in Rosemont

Sixty-three Chicago restaurants were among the winners. Wine Spectator's restaurant awards issue will be available to readers on July 11.

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