Best Wine List (2004)

Lola the Restaurant

A quick look at Lola's 25-selection by-the-glass wine list is reason enough for this award. Rather than pound your eyes and tongue with endless chardonnays and merlots from California and elsewhere, Lola throws out a couple of ticklers from Veneto, Italy; Germany; and Vouvray, France. The sweetener is this: Prices range from $6 to $18, with most of them hovering under the $10 mark. The list bulges with a diversity of wine regions, including Germany, Austria and Alsace, areas that don't usually merit list mentions. Heck, there are three chenin blancs from Savennieres--most lists don't even have whites from the Loire Valley, let alone from this tiny appellation. But fat phone-book wine lists, no matter how comprehensive, can't spell quality in and of themselves. Who wants to wade through lakes of wine with names that are hard to pronounce? So the weighty list comes with svelte prices, with markups well below those typical in Dallas. And if the phone-book list is too mind-numbing before the appetizer arrives, there's also "Van's Picks," a one-page wine brief of favorites composed by Lola owner and tireless wine slurper Van Roberts with prices mostly in the $40 to $80 range. Never has cork yanking been so pleasurable.

Readers' Pick

Cool River Café

1045 Hidden Ridge Road, Irving



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