The Arthur J is the new steakhouse from Manhattan Beach powerhouse chef David LeFevre, who also owns M.B. Post and Fishing with Dynamite. And with the wine list at the Arthur J, LeFevre, operating partner/wine director Jerry Garbus and sommelier Ryan O'Connor have gone all out.
Focus of the list: Wines to go with red meat, but also with some seafood and other dishes.
How many selections? More than 200.
How is it organized? By movie stars of the past, which is kind of fun. Categories include "Grace Kelly: Bubbles," "Jayne Mansfield: Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon," "Brigitte Bardot: Adventurous Whites," and "Sophia Loren: Daring Reds." Marilyn Monroe gets Chardonnay and Audrey Hepburn Pinot Noir. And the big dog wines are reserved for the very last category, "Arthur's Cellar." Wines within each category are organized by price, from least expensive to most expensive, making it easy to pick out bottles within your budget. Prices range from $45 to $750, with bottles from "Arthur's Cellar" going for $700 to $3000.
How helpful is the list? Just the straight scoop: vintage, producer, name, region and price.
Wines by the glass program: Thirty wines by the glass, evenly divided between white and red, $7.50 to $60.50 (this last for the 2012 Araujo "Altagracia" Bordeaux Blend from Napa Valley).
Best wines by the glass: 2014 Tatomer "Meeresboden" Grüner Veltliner, Santa Barbara County ($8/$14.50); 2014 LIOCO "Lolonis Vineyard" Valdiguié, Redwood Valley ($9.50/$17.50); 2013 Bedrock "Old Vine" Zinfandel, California ($7.50/$13.50).
Best red wine bargain: 2009 Batic Merlot from Slovena ($63).
Best white wine bargain: NV Val de Mer Crémant de Bourgogne, Chablis, France ($45).
Red wine worth a splurge: 2012 Radio Coteau "La Neblina" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($88) or 2010 Emilio Moro "Malleolus" Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, Spain ($73).
White wine worth a splurge: 2011 La Fenêtre "Bien Nacido," Santa Maria Valley ($75) or 2012 Matthiasson "Napa Valley White" Ribolla Gialla blend, Napa Valley ($73).