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Source: Tasting Panel Magazine | October 2013 | Photo credit: Gregg Felsen

Zin American Bistro and Alicante are hotspots with locals and tourists, where multi-tasking epicure Mindy Reed engages as owner, food & wine director and somm at both. “I know – call it insanity,” she say, “but I’ve always loved wine, food, and cooking and, hey, I’m a workaholic!”

Zin recently received its eighth consecutive Wine Spectator Award for Excellence for wine, maintaining more than 2,500 bottles and 350 selections. “I think real foodies tend to love wines, so I don’t mark mine up like other restaurants. My cellar is not for show; I want you to drink great wine here. My high-end wines are actually marked up less so you can open a bottle any day of the week instead for a special occasion.”

The restaurants are only two short blocks away from each other and everyone tries to find comparisons between them. “I usually tell people they differ in every way but me!” says Reed. “At Zin, we’re a little more high-end without being fancy or expensive. The food is a little more complex, the wine list much bigger; linen tablecloths but topped with paper for that bistro feeling. Alicante feels more like a little European sidewalk café – casual; you can stop in for a drink and tapas or stay for dinner. Unique to the late-night crowd, we serve food till 11, 12 at night. The wine list is mostly Spanish, Italian and French and we have over 30 wines available.”