20) The Restaurant at JUSTIN at JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery (Paso Robles, Calif.)
Opened in 1981 by Justin Baldwin, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery is one of the youngest wineries on our list. Executive chef William Torres, who worked at West Hollywood’s Koi before joining The Restaurant at JUSTIN as sous chef in 2005, introduced a new focus for the menu when he took over as executive chef in 2009. The dishes from the seasonally changing menu are crafted using local ingredients and are paired with the winery’s Bordeaux-style blends, Isoceles (a cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc blend) and Justification (a merlot and cabernet franc blend), as well as single varietals like cabernet sauvignon and syrah. A daily-changing chef’s tasting menu is served at lunch and the kitchen offers à la carte selections at lunch and dinner. A recent tasting menu featured salmon rillettes with cornichons and Dijon on a warm baguette; New York strip steak with Big Rock blue cheese, roasted fingerling potatoes, and cherry tomatoes; and steamed yuzu cake with blueberry jam, caramelized cornflakes, and basil.