SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) — New York City's dining options are endless, a foodie's wildest dream come true whether they want classic landmark establishments or ultra-hip contemporary upstarts, mouth-watering dive joints or anything in between.
But only a small number of restaurants in the city are able to say they're home to three stars on the World's Best Wine Lists.
In fact, it's a distinction reserved for less then 40 restaurants in Manhattan, according to the World of Fine Wines, a British periodical that's just announced its inaugural World's Best Wine Lists awards.
The list involved assessing more than 4,000 restaurants around the world before settling on 750 that would be awarded one, two or three stars.
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In the end, 59 restaurants in the United States got the top, three-star award, and the bulk of those — 36 of them — are in New York City.
London came in second place, with 17 three-star wine lists, followed by San Francisco in third place and Chicago in fourth.
"Today, a restaurant's wine list is often as important as the chef — and in some cases more important — in gaining notoriety amongst the foodie cognoscenti," says Alex Weil, wine adviser at Soutirage, a merchant that sells rare wines and spirits and helps corporations around the world build, develop and manage wine collections. "The wine list sets the tone for the restaurant experience before the food ever is seen or tasted ... Wine lists today speak volumes as to what can be expected from the restaurant and is an accurate predictor of the experience contained within its walls."