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The Wine List

June 27, 1993|Dan Berger

There is something both wonderful and irritating about the wine program at the Regent Dining Room. The list is large and well stocked, the glassware tall, elegant and large-bowled, the service attentive and unobtrusive. Pricing isn't excessive. The 1991 Acacia Chardonnay, $31, 1979 Durney Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, $31, and several more illustrate that. And the list is so large that there are bargains in every area, from Italian to the Loire to the extensive list of half bottles.

The problem is the smoking policy--or lack of one. The restaurant doesn't have a nonsmoking section, so the entire room can wind up under a cloud of cigarette smoke so thick and pervasive you can't smell your wine.

On one occasion, we had an excellent wine at a great price, 1981 St. Clement Cabernet at $37. But the smoke coming from the next table was so annoying that one member of our party asked for a spray bottle of oxygen. The waiter didn't get it.

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