Readers' Choice: Riddle's Penultimate Café and Wine Bar
Wine, we are always told, should pair well with our meal. It should complement our food, tease out the flavors, make our free-range chicken/New York strip/seared bay scallops feel good about themselves. At Eleven Eleven Mississippi, the equation is turned on its head. The wine selection at this gorgeous Lafayette Square restaurant is so well-cultivated, so consistently excellent, that the list leads to both rapture and hand-wringing: "A glass of bold, blackberry-tinged 2002 Vinum cabernet sauvignon? A bottle of light, appley Riff pinot grigio? Or, oooh, a meritage red -- maybe the 1998 Powers "Parallel 46' from Washington?" And then: What food will pair well with our wine? Fortunately -- and we've got the empirical evidence to prove it -- Eleven Eleven's eats are so excellent that it's impossible to make a misstep. Executive chef Ivy Magruder's wine country bistro-inspired menu pairs perfectly with wine director Scott Gaghan's 160-bottle list. Enjoy a beautifully plated tomato-shellfish risotto with a glass of crisp yet buttery 2002 Esk Valley chardonnay. Splurge on the excellent, fork-tender red deer osso buco with madeira tomato jus; it's delish with the dry 2002 Chaumette Norton. This is heaven for foodies -- and for oenephiles, Eleven Eleven is the city's hottest number.