This turned out to be a tough choice. Finalists included Lotus of Siam, Rosemary’s and Todd’s Unique Dining, and the often overlooked Table 34 impressed us, but in the end Vintner Grill was the last restaurant standing.
The Corrigan brothers, who own Roadrunner Saloons as well, have turned this hard-to-find space into an unofficial westside social club. The atmosphere is part of the draw, including a patio with private cabanas for romantic trysting and a glamorously modern dining room with a long, inviting bar that hosts a lively scene every evening, not to mention great cocktails and a fabulous wine list that features dozens of brands by the glass.
Chef Matthew Silverman cooks with confidence. He’s a L.A. native and Spago alum who worked his way up from dishwasher, and the influence of his former mentor, the venerable Wolfgang Puck, is apparent. Think farm-to-table, Mediterranean to the heart.
Lunches are languid, highlighted by starters such as white-bean hummus with olive relish and spicy pita chips, or the chef’s creative wood-fired flatbreads, such as the one he tops with Italian sausage, pesto, burrata cheese and fennel pollen. At dinner, Moroccan spiced lamb spare ribs are a must. Halibut with couscous is one of many outstanding fish creations, which Silverman grills over a wood fire.
From the moment we walked in to our last bite, it was apparent that Vintner Grill has every piece of the puzzle.