Lido, other SLO County restaurants earn Wine Spectator honors

Lido wine director Robin Puricelli.
Lido wine director Robin Puricelli.

Wine Spectator magazine has bestowed Lido at Dolphin Bay with its Best of Award of Excellence for its wine offerings, making the Shell Beach resort the only San Luis Obispo County restaurant to hold the designation.

Two Cambria restaurants — Black Cat Bistro and Robin’s Restaurant — joined the handful of San Luis Obispo County eateries this year that have earned the magazine’s Award of Excellence.

Lido had been an Award of Excellence winner since 2010, but wine director Robin Puricelli made it her goal to achieve the “Best of” level, awarded Tuesday to 1,093 restaurants around the world, when she began at Lido a year ago.

Best of Award of Excellence winners, according to the magazine, “are destinations for serious wine lovers, showing a deep commitment to wine, both in the cellar and through their service team.”

In pursuit of the award, Puricelli said she added more depth to the wine list, which offers 810 selections, in both small local producers and hard-to-find international wines.

“The list is expressive of the unique culture of SLO County and the Old World counterparts that inspire” local producers, she said. “It’s exciting for the winemakers, too.”

Six other SLO County restaurants remain on the Award of Excellence list from previous years: Novo, Luna Red, Koberl at Blue, Buona Tavola, Il Cortile and The Restaurant at Justin.

Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at or on Twitter @sallybuffalo.

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