Best Place to Splurge on a Glass of Wine

Iliki Café

Shakespeare called wine "a good familiar creature." That's what it is at Iliki Café, where diners are surrounded by the rich dark reds, browns and golds of cozy Middle Eastern décor and the casual banter of servers -- no wine-snob waiters here. The wine list contains more than ninety choices -- and each sounds luscious. For whites, there's Amador Foothill '95 Semillon, with "rich and creamy melon flavors backed by toasty oak"; or Landmark '97 Chardonnay, with "layers of spicy fig, pear and melons"; the Zaca Mesa '97 Rousanne has "papaya, mango, lemon and orange flavors"; the Hugel '97 Gentil boasts "aromas of peaches and spring flowers." Reds include Chateau Lynch Bages '93 Paulliac, a liquid of "succulent richness and gentle texture with black currant and mint"; Louis Jadot '95 Vosne-Romanée, featuring "aromas of chocolate and black cherries"; or the Shenandoah '97 Barbera, with its "big, beefy and spicy dark fruit flavors." Hell, who needs food?

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