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Sommelier Mary Allison Wright and mixologist McLain Hedges. Photo by @ourampersandphotography.

Best Restaurants 2019: Morin

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Wine director Mary Allison Wright and beverage director McLain Hedges have created a brilliant drink program at Morin, chef Max MacKissock’s glamorous downtown ode to modern French cuisine. Here, the married partners explain their boundary-pushing ideology.

Mary Allison Wright: “I am going for French-ish with Morin’s wine list, based on the criteria we have for producers: sustainable at least, preferably organic or biodynamic; no herbicides or pesticides, ever; and nothing added or taken away from the wines apart from a little bit of sulfur at bottling. So, natural wines, because wines made in this way not only taste better, they feel more alive. I choose wines that complement the guests’ experiences with Morin’s food. In the fall, we’ll have a revolving door of Beaujolais and cru Beaujolais by the glass as well as small-grower Champagnes, like the ones by Marie Courtin.”

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McLain Hedges: “Like Mary, my goal for the bar program is French and French-adjacent; I want to teach our guests about spirits inspired by Old World culture, like brandy, cognac, armagnac, and rhum agricole. We’re trying to help people access new flavors. And we focus a lot on sustainability, whether that’s edible garnishes or my obsession with preservation and fermentation techniques. We have a new foraged and fermented seasonal cocktail section on the menu, and I’m preserving local summer produce for the fall and beyond. We are constantly trying to waste less by creating more.”

$$$$, 1600 15th St., 303-623-0534

(MORE: Read our 2019 restaurant review of Morin)

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