BEST WINE LIST - 2001
The Modern Cafe
How should one go about evaluating a wine list? How about this: Its scope should match that of the restaurant's menu, and its prices should be fair. While the planet boasts plenty of eateries that fulfill that first requirement, the second count is what truly separates the ordinaire from the grand cru. The Modern Café doesn't have the Twin Cities' most expansive wine list, but that doesn't mean the roster is a thrown-together mess of mass-produced vinegar. Au contraire. Owner Jim Grell, sommelier Amy Roland, and chef Scott Pampuch assemble their list the right way: by visiting vineyards and bringing home what they like--and what they think will match the robust, down-home flavors that come out of Pampuch's kitchen. (That means the list is heavy on American wines, but so what? The menu's heavy on American foods.) Best of all, last year the restaurant began offering a deal other establishments would do well to imitate: On Tuesday nights, everything on the wine list can be had for half price. We'll drink to that.