Wine Spectator awards are out: See where the magazine thinks you should sip & savor

Your $7.99 bottle of Trader Joe’s Rosé might treat you well during the weekdays, but when dining out, we bet you’ll want the good stuff.

For connoisseurs and first-time tasters who want to know where to go, Wine Spectator magazine has handed out its annual Restaurant Awards. And, if their expert reviewers are to be believed, you’ve got myriad options right here in South Florida.

In Broward and Palm Beach counties, they’ve picked 58 establishments as their top places to pop a cork. Of those, only two — HMF at The Breakers in Palm Beach and Marcello’s La Sirena in West Palm Beach — received the highest ranking of all: the global contest’s Grand Award, represented by three wine glasses (not stars, like Michelin).

“We never take it for granted. We take it very, very seriously,” said HMF master sommelier Virginia Philip, of the award. “We’ve been collecting wine since well before I started working here 22 years ago. It’s all about buying wines that excite the consumer and match the food.”

Among the 14 restaurants to gain two-wine-glass status are: Café L’Europe in Palm Beach, Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach, and The Wine Room Kitchen and Bar in Delray Beach.

So, how do you make it into this annual list? First, you have to apply or renew an application. The magazine considers only those who fill out a form, complete with entry fee (this year, it’s $595), plus a wine list and dinner menu. Then, Wine Spectator bases its ratings on attributes such as pricing, pairings, selections and overall inventory.

Wine Spectator gives out:

  • Grand Award — three wine glasses
  • Best of Award of Excellence — two wine glasses
  • Award of Excellence — one wine glass


HMF at The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561-290-0104;

Self-described as “where the glitterati drank and dined for decades,” HMF at The Breakers is a go-to for an upscale experience. After all, it’s situated within the resort founded by legendary industrialist and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler. With a selection of more than 2,000 wines and an inventory of 55,000 bottles, which spans a dizzying 61-page menu, the restaurant’s alcoholic accolades are likely warranted.

The restaurant has sported the three-glasses mark since 1981, according to the magazine, which also wrote: “The resort exudes old-school Palm Beach glamour, as does HMF’s wine list, which focuses on Bordeaux, Burgundy and California Cabernet Sauvignon.”  

Marcello’s La Sirena, 6316 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-585-3128;

Off Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, with its modest 8-foot sign, people might pass Marcello’s La Sirena without knowing it’s an award-winning joint. 

La Sirena offers a classic Italian cuisine paired with wines that come from specific regions of Italy. Grand Award winners since 2015, La Sirena’s house wines include Capo, Contessa and Cinquantatre e Cinquanta. If cloth-napkin fine dining isn’t enough, then the atmosphere of Murano glass and vibrant artwork are enough to make the evening.

Co-owner Marcello Fiorentino has been expanding the wine program at what was once his parents’ Italian restaurant since 1996, “growing the list from just 24 selections to more than 1,100,” according to the magazine.

Anyone wanting to witness the hype for themselves, however, must wait until the snowbirds return in the fall, as La Sirena is closed for the summer.

Corey Griffis, 17, works as a bus boy at his family run restaurant, Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach.

Sun-Sentinel/Carey Wagner

Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach received the two-wine-glass designation from Wine Spectator magazine. (Carey Wagner/South Florida Sun Sentinel)


The 14 Best of Award of Excellence recipients in Broward and Palm Beach counties include:

Mastro’s Ocean Club, 3000 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-561-4800;

Steak 954, 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-414-8333;

Casa D’Angelo, 1201 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 954-564-1234;

Council Oak Steaks and Seafood, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 954-327-7625;

Café L’Europe, 331 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561-655-4020;

Okeechobee Steakhouse, 2854 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-683-5151;

The Wine Room Kitchen and Bar,  411 E. Atlantic Ave., Suite C, Delray Beach; 561-243-9463;

Café Boulud, 301 Australian Ave, Palm Beach; 561-655-6060;

Flagler Steakhouse, 2 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561-659-8471;

Sant Ambroeus, 340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach; 561-285-7990;

Café Chardonnay, 4533 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-627-2662;

La Masseria, 5520 PGA Blvd., No. 104, Palm Beach Gardens; 561-660-8272;

Abe & Louie’s, 2200 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561-447-0024;

Trattoria Romana, 499 E. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton; 561-393-6715;

This is just a small taste of the wine scene in South Florida. Find the one-wine-glass winners in Broward and Palm Beach counties — and the rest of the list — at