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Viva Vino!

We've long adored Antonello Ristorante (antonello.com) for its Italian fare, wine and classic scene. Now we're also loving its Enoteca Lounge-the brainchild of owner Antonio Cagnolo. We sat down with the charming restaurateur to get the goods on the grapes. 

Antonio Cagnolo in his Enoteca Lounge

You’ve been to plenty of enoteca rooms in Italy. Have a favorite?
Bleve in Rome. I was inspired by the room itself—rich yet unpretentious. It's on my ‘must do’ list whenever I visit the Eternal City.

So, did it serve as a model?
You’ll notice the generous use of wood in the floors, paneled walls and some of the tabletops. That was an idea inspired by Bleve. Despite its resemblance to a traditional private study—a room generally favored by men in Italy—it’s become a favorite meeting place for women.

Let’s talk food. The dish to die for is the...
veal Milanese or lollipop lamb chops.

And the wine list?
We refer to the list as Enoteca Castellani because Piergiorgio Castellani has some of the best wines in Italy. He gave us more than 50 wines to feature from his collection.

What’s the most precious?
Brunello di Montalcino is offered exclusively at Antonello. Also exclusive to us is the new Hello Kitty Spumante.

We have to ask: California or Italian wines?
I really like California wines, but I prefer Italian. They remind me of home.

When it comes to bubbly, do you prefer prosecco or Champagne?
A good prosecco.