Annual Washington Wine Restaurant Awards

It’s not often that I dedicate an entire blog post to a press release that I received in email. (I get hit with at least 100 emails every day!) But today’s press release from the Washington Wine Commission seems worthy of a placement. So let’s hear the applause for the recipients of the 2011 Washington Wine Restaurant Awards, sponsored by Seattle Business magazine.

Canlis Restaurant (Seattle) received the Washington Wine Restaurant of the Year award, which includes a unique custom blown glass sculpture designed by local artist James Mongrain. (Pictured: Nelson Daquip, Wine Director at Canlis)

“Canlis Restaurant has been an incredible supporter of Washington State wines since our industry’s inception,” said Robin Pollard, executive director of the Washington State Wine Commission.  “We are proud to honor such an iconic establishment for their dedication and commitment to providing truly unforgettable experiences for their guests.”

“I am honored to call Washington State my home, and I am honored to consider myself part of the Canlis family,” said Nelson Daquip, Wine Director at Canlis Restaurant.  “We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us, and we are honored to carry the mantle for Washington State wines on behalf of our state’s growers and winemakers.”

Over the past 60 years, the Canlis family has defined and redefined fine dining in Seattle.  With more than 300 Washington State wines on their list of 2,000 world-class bottlings, 25% of their wine sales coming from Washington State, a custom wine produced from harvest to bottling between their wine team and Buty Winery, amazing wine dinners featuring the best the state has to offer and their unerring dedication to helping the Washington State wine industry continue to grow, Canlis Restaurant was chosen as the Restaurant of the Year.

  • Mo Shaw from Ray’s Café (Seattle) won the Walter Clore Honorarium award for demonstrating dedication to the advancement of the Washington State wine industry. 
  • Kristen Young, Wine Director at Waterfront Seafood Grill (Seattle), was honored as Sommelier of the Year for her outstanding wine knowledge and unbridled professionalism. 
  • Sommelier Lars Ryssdal received the first-ever Washington State Wine Ambassador award for a lifetime of unerring service to the industry.
  • The Winemaker’s Choice award went to Picazo 7Seventeen (Prosser).  This award is determined by an anonymous group of Washington State winemakers who select the restaurant they feel is most supportive of the industry.
  • The Washington Restaurant Association award, recognizing an outstanding member of the association, was presented to Cafe Flora (Seattle). 
  • The Seattle Business magazine award for restaurant leadership in the business community was presented to Daniel’s Broiler (Seattle).

  Other distinguished awards included:

  •  Most Improved Wine Program of the Year – Pearl Bar & Dining (Bellevue)
  • Best Restaurant Event Featuring Washington Wines –”Iron Vintners” at Barking Frog (Woodinville)
  • Best Out-of-State Washington Wine Program – Bridgewater Bistro (Astoria, OR)

The Washington Wine Grand Award – These restaurants are considered the true industry leaders in support of the Washington State wine industry: Anthony’s Columbia Point, Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill, Anthony’s Pier 66, Barking Frog, Brix 25° Restaurant, Canlis Restaurant, Daniel’s Broiler Prime Steaks and Chops, El Gaucho Bellevue, El Gaucho Seattle, John Howie Steak, Ocean Crest Resort, Pearl Bar & Dining, Picazo 7Seventeen Restaurant & Wine Bar, Ray’s Boathouse, Ray’s Café, Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar – Bellevue, Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar – Seattle, SkyCity at the Needle, Sun Mountain Lodge, The Grape Adventure, The Marc Restaurant and Vineyard Lounge, The Metropolitan Grill, The Rainier Club, The Triple Door, Tulalip Bay Exceptional Dining, Valley Café of Ellensburg, Visconti’s Italian Restaurant, Visconti’s of Leavenworth, Washington Athletic Club, Waterfront Seafood Grill, Waterstreet Cafe + Bar, Wild Ginger at the Bravern, Wild Ginger Seattle

Washington Wine Award of Distinction – These restaurants have shown dedication and commitment to the Washington wine industry: Andaluca, Bella Italia, bin on the lake, Bistro San Martin, Bridgewater Bistro, Burgundy’s Restaurant / The Spokane Club, Cafe Flora, Daily Grill, Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing, Luna, Masselow’s, Matt’s in the Market, Nordstom Seattle Grill, Nordstrom Bellevue Grill, Pike Brewing Company, Ponti Seafood Grill, Ristorante Italianissimo, Rover’s Restaurant, Salty’s On Alki, Salty’s on Redondo, Steelhead Diner, Sullivan’s Steak House, Swing Wine Bar, Terra Vista at Snoqualmie Casino, The Local Vine, The Spokane Melting Pot, Washington State Convention Center

Washington Wine Certificate of Recognition – These are restaurants that are building support of the Washington State wine industry: Café Veloce, Chandler’s Crabhouse, Earth & Ocean, Gray’s at the Park, LUC, Sip at the wine bar & restaurant, Smash wine bar & Bistro, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, The Adriatic Grill – Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar

Congratulations to all! Additional details are availalbe on the Washington Wine Restaurant Awards website.


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About Margot

Margot started writing about wine decades ago as a national journalist in Canada and the U.S. She and Dave created this website in 2007. Originally, the website introduced people to wines in Washington state, the second-largest wine region in the U.S. But over the years, the site expanded to feature other wine regions in the U.S., Canada, and in the world. If you like to read about standout wine and winery stories, then Write for Wine is for you.