Best BYOB - 2008
Here's a concept we wish we'd thought of: a BYOB restaurant with a wine shop right next door. The folks at Atlas Bistro really figured out a clever way to keep wine lovers happy. Who needs a wine list, anyway, when customers can browse the well-stocked aisles at AZ Wine Co.? The two businesses are actually connected by a doorway, so you can peruse the menu and check in with the hostess, shop for a bottle, and then settle in for a memorable dinner. True to the jet-setting connotation of the restaurant's name, Atlas chefs Brandon Crouser and Joshua Riesner create contemporary dishes with influences that are all over the culinary map, such as veal sweetbreads saltimbocca-style, or ginger duck breast with Grana Padana mushroom risotto and red wine hibiscus reduction. Sophisticated cuisine calls for stellar wines, and at Atlas Bistro, there's no shortage of those.