Best Of 2009

Best Wine List in a Restaurant (Price Be Damned): Tony's

Twelve months of doom and gloom are more than enough. The time has come to tell this economy exactly what it can do to itself. No better place than venerable Tony's, the sine qua non of classy, old-school dining in St. Louis. No better way than to peruse the impressive wine list, which harkens back to a day when the credit-card expense account didn't equal original sin, and the best wine wasn't judged by which label had the cutest critter. Elegant, sometimes brawny, reds dominate: Barolo, Barbaresco, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Californian cabernet. You can put down a cool $1,100 on a 1986 Château Mouton Rothschild, but if your idea of a splurge isn't a mortgage payment, most bottles range from $100 to $300 — a high price to pay, no doubt, but at a restaurant this storied, you know the sommelier will guide you to the exact wine befitting your budget, your meal and what should be a very special occasion.