Michael Kwas, wine director at L'Etoile
Wine Enthusiast magazine named L'Etoile (1 S. Pinckney St.) to its list of the 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2013. L'Etoile is the only Wisconsin restaurant to be included in this year's rankings, and this is the first year the restaurant made the list, which was published in Wine Enthusiast's August 2013 issue.
'We are really excited,' says Aaron Johnson, the restaurant's maître d'. 'We give a lot of the credit to Michael [Kwas] here as the sommelier. He's definitely put the time in.'
Kwas, who writes a monthly wine column for this magazine, has been with L'Etoile since 1991 and has been wine director there since 1993.
The nod follows a recognition from the James Beard Foundation, which named L'Etoile a semifinalist for Outstanding Wine Program earlier this year.
L'Etoile's wine menu reflects the restaurant's philosophy toward food, says Johnson, with a focus on quality and sustainability with a bend toward unique varietals from from smaller vineyards.
'We have wines that most people may not have heard of.'
Click here for a full list of Wine Enthusiast's 100 Best Wine Restaurants.