Steven Izzo

Wine Director at The Vault Garden & Steakhouse

Steve has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry.  He started his career as a bartender near his hometown in 1986 at a dockside restaurant in Guilford, Connecticut.  After years of working in a variety of east coast fine-dining establishments he made his way to California finally settling in San Francisco in 1996.  He spent his first 11 years (1996-2007) at One Market Restaurant, starting as a bartender and eventually moving into the Beverage Director role.  In 2007 he was selected to be a member of the opening team for Land & Sea Restaurants in San Francisco (Waterbar & Epic Steak).

As the opening Beverage Director & Sommelier at Waterbar Restaurant, where he began in the fall of 2007 to build the beverage program from the ground up for the eventual restaurant opening in January 2008.  Izzo maintained an extensive collection of both domestic and international wines, as well as a classically minded cocktail & spirits program.  Waterbar’s wine list earned Wine Spectator’s ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ under his stewardship.  In 2017, Steve and his wife started their own business with the purchase of Dobbs Ferry Restaurant in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco.  His experience as an owner was rewarding and challenging.  Unfortunately, the restaurant was forced to close permanently in the Spring of 2020 due to unsustainable business operations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the Autumn of 2021, Steve was offered the opportunity to oversee the wine program at The Vault Garden & Steakhouse located inside (and outside) San Francisco’s iconic building at 555 California Street (aka: the B of A building), where he can now be found working the floor every night.

Steve has participated as a judge for several prominent wine and spirits competitions.  He has traveled extensively, visiting many of the world’s wine producing countries in North & South America, Western Europe, and Oceania.  Steve received a degree in philosophy from UC Berkeley where he graduated magna cum laude.  Izzo also holds The Court of Master Sommelier’s ‘Certified’ level credential, and has earned the Wine & Spirits Education Trust’s ‘Level 3 Award in Wines.’


Meet the other judges

Ermoni Best

Sommelier at The Inn at Mattei's Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection

Larissa C Dubose

National Director Beverages- Dining Division at Paradies Lagardère and Wine Enthusiast Magazine Future 40, Vino Volo National Buyer