Operating a restaurant during the past three years has not been easy. While the economy is slowly improving and some restaurants are reporting better numbers, staying afloat means thinking outside the box these days. Three restaurants with world-class wine programs—Veritas in New York, Michael Mina in San Francisco and Bottega del Vino in Italy, all three of which have won Wine Spectator’s Grand Award—are tweaking their recipes to find a way to continue to serve today’s wine-savvy diners.
Between companies trimming their expense budgets and families eating at home more, the industry has taken a big blow since 2007. Hundreds of good restaurants have closed, including great wine restaurants. Earlier this year, New York’s Cru, which built one of the nation’s best wine programs and was a Grand Award winner from 2005–2010, closed its doors.