Best Wine List - 2011
Vivo Partenza - CLOSED
Restaurant wine lists are often described as "encyclopedic," but no encyclopedia offers the kind of pleasure that perusing the 300-plus-label list at Tony Bova's elegant Vivo Partenza does. Assembled by Bova and director of operations Sande Weinstein, it focuses almost exclusively on the wines of Italy and California, but within those areas is an encyclopedic roster of the best vintages and finest producers. Super Tuscans like Solaia, Tignanello, and Sassicaia are well-represented, as are Barolos, Brunellos, and Amarones and multiple bottlings from Angelo Gaja. Fans of California Cabernets will drool over vintages of Silver Oak from 1995 on, as well as wines from Harlan Estate, Opus One, and Joseph Phelps (Insignia). There's also an impressive list of magnums, from Antinori to ZD. Of course, all this oenological pleasure isn't exactly cheap, with bottle prices starting around $200 and zooming up to almost a grand. But the other half of what Weinstein calls his "bipolar" list, where most of the restaurant's seafood-friendly white wines reside, serves up dozens of excellent choices for under $50, which is more in the neighborhood of those of us whose bank accounts aren't quite so encyclopedic.