Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Wine Spectator Includes 11 Okla. Restaurants on '08 List

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Wine Spectator Includes 11 Okla. Restaurants on '08 List

Article excerpt

Eleven Oklahoma restaurants were given a place at Wine Spectator magazine's table of the best wine lists in the country.

The 2008 list included six restaurants in Oklahoma City, two in Tulsa, one in Jenks, and two in Edmond.

This is the 27th year the magazine has poured praise on restaurants around the country and the world.

The awards are divided into three categories, including top honors for the Grand Award where no Oklahoma restaurants made the cut. But two were honored for Best of Award of Excellence, and the Award of Excellence category included nine of the Oklahoma restaurants.

Two of the inclusions were the Oklahoma City and Jenks branches of the chain The Melting Pot.

One new entry to the list was the Park Avenue Grill at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel at 1 Park Ave. in downtown Oklahoma City. This was the first year the restaurant was eligible. The Skirvin, and the restaurant, opened in February 2007 after being closed for nearly two decades.

The grill was recognized with the Award of Excellence.

Andrew Black, executive chef at the Skirvin, said the pairing of food and wine is a high priority at the restaurant.

Black works closely with Mickey Skrede, restaurant manager at the Park Avenue Grill, to create a wine list for all tastes.

"It's better to have a wide range of selection," Black said. "You have people coming in from all over with different tastes. When I create a menu, Mickey is one of the first people I go to."

The Park Avenue Grill has about 225 wines.

Skrede has gone through the process with other restaurants where he has overseen wine selection and pursued the magazine's recognition based on the Skirvin's first months of business.

"We hadn't really had a chance yet to immerse ourselves in wine," Skrede said. "I was buying wine based on what I thought would sell here."

He said some of the wines went over well, while others found no takers.

In Tulsa, the Polo Grill, at 2038 Utica Square, was included on the magazine's honor roll for the eighth consecutive year. …

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