Grand View Lodge recently announced that Cru Restaurant and Wine Bar, the resort's trendiest dining venue, has received Wine Spectator Magazine's "Award of Excellence." Brainerd area restaurants Iven's on The Bay and Lost Lake Lodge also took home the award.

Part of Wine Spectator Magazine's criteria for granting this prestigious accolade includes "recognizing restaurants from around the world whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers."

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Cru's wine program is supervised by Christine Iannelli, Grand View's wine director for more than three years. She is currently studying for her level 2 Court of Master Sommelier's exam.

Upon receiving the "Award of Excellence" for the first time, Iannelli commented, "We're absolutely thrilled to receive this award. It's a great honor to receive this recognition from a national presence as the Wine Spectator for the Brainerd Lakes Area.

"Our wine team is dedicated to the best possible wine experience, not only Cru, but throughout the entire resort. We research all of our wines, travel to wine regions, and hand select exciting new wines that are especially hard to find to northern Minnesota, different from what you can buy in a local liquor store," continued Iannelli. "Our wine program extends into weekly wine tastings, elegant wine dinners held quarterly, as well as an entire winter weekend devoted to an incredible food and wine experience named de'Vine.

Cru Restaurant and Wine Bar is located in the lower level of the Gull Lake Center and features a vast cellar of over 2,000 bottles of worldly wines, plus over 20 wines by the glass. Its rich decor creates an intimate and relaxing atmosphere, providing the perfect dining experience for a romantic dinner or a casual get-together with friends. Grand View officials said Cru's decadent fares sing the virtues of local and regional, using the best ingredients and refined cooking techniques.

Grand View Lodge is a family, golf and spa resort located on Gull Lake in the Brainerd lakes area. Founded in 1916, Grand View Lodge has provided guests vacation experiences with a wide variety of restaurants, seasonal activities and lodging options for over 90 years. Owned and operated by the Cote family, its roots grow deep in the history of the Brainerd lakes area.