If you can't find a wine among the thousands offered by the Flagstaff House, then it's time to start growing your own grapes. Consistently voted one of the nation's best wine lists, the vino roster at Flagstaff is 30,000 bottles strong, with something for every palate and price range. The staff is as knowledgeable as anyone can be about 2,000 types of wine, and eager to turn you on to something new. Add to the vintage experience by sipping at a window-side table and gazing out into the twinkle-lit, tree-lined Foothills.

We raise a glass to the Fourth Story, whose excellent roster of by-the-glass wines just keeps getting better. This chic, comfortable restaurant atop the Tattered Cover boasts a cozy bar for tasting and nearly forty opportunities to try a vino you've never sampled before. The selection changes almost weekly, and it's always a well-thought-out list that includes some old favorites as well as more off-the-beaten-path choices. A half-dozen bubblies are always offered, as well as a non-alcoholic wine. The staff also endeavors to come up with interesting samplers, such as three rosés or chardonnays with something in common, so sippers can get a sense of the differences in vintage, style or vineyard. Perhaps most important, the bartenders are careful to pour 5 1/2 ounces into each oversized Schott crystal glass. Salut!
We raise a glass to the Fourth Story, whose excellent roster of by-the-glass wines just keeps getting better. This chic, comfortable restaurant atop the Tattered Cover boasts a cozy bar for tasting and nearly forty opportunities to try a vino you've never sampled before. The selection changes almost weekly, and it's always a well-thought-out list that includes some old favorites as well as more off-the-beaten-path choices. A half-dozen bubblies are always offered, as well as a non-alcoholic wine. The staff also endeavors to come up with interesting samplers, such as three rosés or chardonnays with something in common, so sippers can get a sense of the differences in vintage, style or vineyard. Perhaps most important, the bartenders are careful to pour 5 1/2 ounces into each oversized Schott crystal glass. Salut!
California Cafe
The California Cafe is a link in a chain out of -- you guessed it -- California, but each outlet can tailor its menu and wine list to the area. The California Cafe at Park Meadows draws its inspiration regionally, with daily specials that highlight the area's indigenous ingredients and fresh produce. Working with company headquarters, general manager Linda Kuhns has assembled a list of all-California wines that complement the food perfectly. Look for a Stonestreet merlot that goes beautifully with lamb sirloin, or a glass of Grgich Hills sauvignon blanc for a post-shopping lunch of ostrich burger and grilled tomatoes. The list is 200 vintages strong and includes some of the best wines our domestic vineyards have to offer, including a particularly delightful Cabernet Sauvignon Page.

The California Cafe is a link in a chain out of -- you guessed it -- California, but each outlet can tailor its menu and wine list to the area. The California Cafe at Park Meadows draws its inspiration regionally, with daily specials that highlight the area's indigenous ingredients and fresh produce. Working with company headquarters, general manager Linda Kuhns has assembled a list of all-California wines that complement the food perfectly. Look for a Stonestreet merlot that goes beautifully with lamb sirloin, or a glass of Grgich Hills sauvignon blanc for a post-shopping lunch of ostrich burger and grilled tomatoes. The list is 200 vintages strong and includes some of the best wines our domestic vineyards have to offer, including a particularly delightful Cabernet Sauvignon Page.

Bruno's Italian Bistro
At Bruno's, we rarely take our eyes off the plates filled with marvelous, reasonably priced Italian food. But then one day we ventured into the men's room, and there on the walls were some of the sexiest shots of Sophia Loren ever taken -- old Saturday Evening Post covers and Life magazine photos -- all poses that invite men to hang out in the facilities for a while, if you know what we mean. Mama mia! Owner Tom Mirabito's mother-in-law knew of his obsession with Loren, and when she found this collection at a flea market, she snatched it up, in the process giving Bruno's the best-dressed men's room in town. So far, though, the ladies haven't gotten equal time. "We've been talking over the past three years about who to put in there," says Mirabito. "Some of the younger ones want Leonardo DiCaprio, but the older ones like Dean Martin. Maybe Marcello Mastroianni?" Meanwhile, hostess Janet Heritage has been using the space to show her artwork, a collection of watercolors and wax-and-caustic pieces that hang on the walls -- and in the stalls. "I've actually sold a few," Heritage says. "I guess we have kind of a captive audience in there."

At Bruno's, we rarely take our eyes off the plates filled with marvelous, reasonably priced Italian food. But then one day we ventured into the men's room, and there on the walls were some of the sexiest shots of Sophia Loren ever taken -- old Saturday Evening Post covers and Life magazine photos -- all poses that invite men to hang out in the facilities for a while, if you know what we mean. Mama mia! Owner Tom Mirabito's mother-in-law knew of his obsession with Loren, and when she found this collection at a flea market, she snatched it up, in the process giving Bruno's the best-dressed men's room in town. So far, though, the ladies haven't gotten equal time. "We've been talking over the past three years about who to put in there," says Mirabito. "Some of the younger ones want Leonardo DiCaprio, but the older ones like Dean Martin. Maybe Marcello Mastroianni?" Meanwhile, hostess Janet Heritage has been using the space to show her artwork, a collection of watercolors and wax-and-caustic pieces that hang on the walls -- and in the stalls. "I've actually sold a few," Heritage says. "I guess we have kind of a captive audience in there."

When Sabor Latino moved, it expanded not just its dining space but also its wine list. As a result, there are now more than two dozen wines from Chile and Argentina to choose from; not surprisingly, they all go well with the racy, spicy flavors coming out of the kitchen. The Concha y Toro "Don Melchor" cab has a syrupy black-currant taste; the herby Navarro Correas malbec goes well with Sabor Latino's sweet and salty Caribbean plate. The prices are reasonable, and the selection more than explains why wines from this part of the world are getting so much attention.

When Sabor Latino moved, it expanded not just its dining space but also its wine list. As a result, there are now more than two dozen wines from Chile and Argentina to choose from; not surprisingly, they all go well with the racy, spicy flavors coming out of the kitchen. The Concha y Toro "Don Melchor" cab has a syrupy black-currant taste; the herby Navarro Correas malbec goes well with Sabor Latino's sweet and salty Caribbean plate. The prices are reasonable, and the selection more than explains why wines from this part of the world are getting so much attention.

Le Central
Not only is Le Central's impressive selection of French wines the best in town -- filled with interesting bottles from across France that you won't find elsewhere -- it's also one of the best-priced, with remarkably low markups and most bottles coming in at the $20-to-$30 range. This affordable French bistro is just the place to try a 1997 chablis from Domaine de Varoux, or the 1995 Clos du Roy Fronsac, or something elegant from the Bourgogne. And if you're in the mood to splurge, you're in luck: The 1995 Volnay, say, or that year's Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine des Relagnes. If somehow nothing on the regular roster grabs you, then check out the month's featured wines or one of the excellent house wines, which you can buy by the bottle, the glass, the half-glass, the taste or, most intriguing, the percentage of the bottle that's been consumed. We'll drink to that.

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