This is crazy, but it has happened again: OpenTable, the nationwide reservation service for fine dining establishments, has named Carpe Vino to two of its most prestigious “Diners’ Choice” lists for the fourth year in a row. We’re checking to see how many other restaurants have been similarly honored, but we’re certain it’s going to be a very, very short list.
Carpe Vino was named to the Diner’s Choice Top 100 Best Restaurants in America on December 17, along with five other northern California establishments: the Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena), Saison (S.F.), Red Hill Station (S.F.), St. Francis Winery & Vineyards (Santa Rosa) and Boulevard Bistro (Elk Grove).
On October 15, Carpe Vino was named to OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Top 100 Wine Lists in America (again for the fourth year in a row). Only one other restaurant, Fearrington House in Pittsboro, North Carolina, was also named to both lists in 2014.
What’s remarkable about this recognition is there are more than 20,000 restaurants in the OpenTable network that encompasses all 50 states. Selections to “Best of Lists” are based on more than five million reviews submitted by diners after they have fulfilled a reservation.
Look at his clinically, and you have to wonder how a joint like Carpe Vino has been recognized so routinely for both its restaurant and wine deliverables. Actually, it’s simply a matter of fielding our best team every day and seeking to always do our very best. Drew and I take it very personally because the Moffat name is synonymous with our business. We’ve invested heavily on every level, and, in the final analysis, our customers recognize the effort of everyone who works in the round corner saloon in Old Town.
It’s a high level of consistency that counts, reflected in the enormous talents of Chef Eric Alexander who has been with us since we opened the restaurant almost nine years ago. And to other key colleagues who have been in this with us over the long haul: Courtney McDonald, our former co-executive chef and now pastry chef; Ada Campos, who has led our front-of-the-house crew for nearly eight years; Paul Roosen, our crack server who has been with us since Day One; and Jana Kosmata, our manager who herds the 1,181 cats in the Carpe Vino Wine Club.
As the fading patron of this group, I am only too happy to credit Drew, my son and general manager of Carpe Vino, for not only driving the business, but for his creativity in adding new dimensions that help set us apart. His vision for our new Century Club and for our own wine brand, Shiner, are remarkable additions to our marketing arsenal.
At the end of the day, though, it’s all about the faithful. . .the thousands of people who love what we do and come back again and again. To our legion of customers and our rabidly loyal peeps in the Wine Club, all we can say is “thank you”. –gary