While the COVID-19 crisis has caused dining-room closures around the world, many restaurants are finding creative ways to continue serving their communities. Our latest Restaurant Spotlights highlight these efforts at Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners.
Reserve Wine & Food has been dishing up seasonal farm-to-table fare to the Grand Rapids, Mich., community since 2010. In 2020, the restaurant received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for its 700-label wine list, managed by sommelier Patrick Jobst. Focusing mostly on France, the list offers diverse selections from Burgundy, the Rhône and Bordeaux, rounded out by wines from California and Italy.
In an effort to continue to share these wines and engage with customers during the coronavirus pandemic, Reserve quickly became an online retailer, selling wines online and for pickup from the restaurant. The team also began organizing virtual wine tastings that focus on specific countries, regions or styles, such as Greece, Burgundy and French rosé. All of these classes are guided by the restaurant’s sommeliers who also provide food-pairing suggestions. Chef Luke Verhulst’s menu changes weekly to highlight what’s in season. Some dishes include: Fresh ricotta with summer squash and fermented honey, seafood linguine and rib eye a la plancha.
While the restaurant has reopened at limited capacity for both indoor and outdoor dining, retail wine sales remain a large part of its focus. In addition to the selection offered online, guests can contact one of the sommeliers who can help pick a wine from Reserve’s full wine list. The virtual tastings will continue as well, featuring guest sommeliers and winemakers from across the world.