BevX 2020: Houlihan’s Leans Into Its Bar Heritage

In addition to its 47-year-old namesake casual-dining brand, Houlihan’s operates the fine-dining specialty concepts J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks (six units), Bristol Seafood Grill and Devon Seafood Grill, each with three locations. The company also includes Make Room for Truman, a single restaurant concept that opened last year. So Houlihan’s must develop beverage programs for a diverse selection of brands. That’s why it’s the 2020 BevX winner for Best Multi-Concept Restaurant Beverage Program. Though it operates…

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Getting Into Grappa

Grappa has been traditionally considered an Italian spirit that’s enjoyed at the end of a meal or with coffee. It was not something that you’d savor as a fine brandy or mix into a cocktail. But grappa producers aim to change that perception with more refined products, experiments with aging the spirit and better promotion. As part of the Hello Grappa! Campaign, AssoDistil (the association of Italian distillers) earlier this year hosted a group of…

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Epic Wine-pairing Ideas

Many guests want to break free of the typical wine pairings but often they’re not sure where to start. Petra Polakovicova, wine director at San Francisco’s Epic Steak, shares her insight and suggestions for unexpected wine and food matches. Steak with Champagne. I would go for some vintage Champagne or rosé—those are great with meat! Vintage Champagne has more body, with deeper, warmer flavors, and they match the intensity of the steak. The bubbles in…

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