The Grape – getting it right. Restaurant 2.0

The Grape

Jake and Greg were at The Grape this last weekend, and over the past year or so in our brainstorms The Grape has come up time and again as a place that just gets it. Take for example their wine list and wine recommendations – which is perhaps the first time I’ve ever seen a wine list that makes sense.

We know how different Shiraz can show, that Sauvignon Blanc rarely has the same face region to region and that Pinot Grigio doesn’t always go well with food – and a / bar does its clientèle no favors by just dividing wine into Red and White, or they divide it into countries – and the emerging trend is to divide it into varietals.

The Grape does something unheard of to date: they divide their wine into taste. More than that they then give you a taste profile match on their menu, dish by dish. I have probably sampled less than a thousand wines in my life – and I certainly don’t remember all the names because I’m no Michael Broadbent. When I’m looking at a wine, I want to know its taste flavor profile – and if I’m paying $20 a bottle, I’ll be pretty ticked if its not what I want. This kind of a menu system is helpful to anyone… I know because when I’m out to dinner with friends they always ask me to help pick the wine: but The Grape allows people to choose the wine for themselves. What I further like about The Grape is that its more than a restaurant – because their venues are usually really good places to just hang out. It’s a destination brand – allowing dining, entertainment, exploration and with their innovative wine list: education. It’s really refreshing to see a mainstream brand that has begun to take its customer’s taste seriously.

allows you to design your own tasting flight of three or more wines from our One through Eight Grape classifications and from our Nine and Ten Grape specials. Choose from all wines with a “Grape Bunch” designation in our wine menu to create your unique tasting flight, served in our special glasses for your ultimate tasting experience. At The Grape, Your Taste is All that Counts.”

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The New Summer 2007 Menu

GOURMET APPETIZERS

Southwestern Corn & Crab Chowder

A savory cream-based chowder made with lump blue crab meat, corn, andouille sausage and a touch of Cajun seasonings (Changes seasonally)

Wine : two through four and nine grapes

Shrimp Rémoulade
Jumbo Gulf shrimp on a bed of Romaine with Creole rémoulade, caperberries, lemon wedge and fresh baked breads
Wine pairing: one through three, eight and nine grapes

Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon with baguette toast, feta cream cheese, capers, onions and special horseradish sauce
Wine pairing: one through three, eight and nine grapes

Pâté
Country pâté du jour with pickles, caperberries, olives, special sauce and baguette
Wine pairing: four through six, eight and ten grapes

Antipasto
Prosciutto, Genoa, olive oil, provolone, and fresh buffalo mozzarella with olives, caperberries and Italian bread

Wine pairing: one through five and eight grapes

Roma Tomato Bruschetta
Tomato, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh mozzarella
Wine pairing: all grapes

Warm Feta Marinara

Feta cream served with zesty marinara sauce and herbed crostini

Wine pairing: four, five and ten grapes

Grape Porto
Roasted Portobello stuffed with crab meat, parmesan/fontina cream cheese, garlic, chives and bread crumbs
Wine pairing: one through four grapes

SPECIALTY SPREADS
Specialty spreads are accompanied by a selection of fresh baked breads

Roma Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella
Marinated in herbed olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Wine pairing: all grapes

Spinach & Applewood Smoked Bacon
Wine pairing: two through six and ten grapes

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
House-made hummus flavored with roasted red peppers, served with Italian tomato salsa, garlic oil and paprika
Wine pairing: one, two and four grapes

Imported Olives & Olive Tapenade
Wine pairing: all grapes

Combo Spreads
Half portions of each spread at half price (minimum two per order)

 

GOURMET CHEESES
Cheeses are sold by the ounce and are served with a selection of fresh baked breads, imported crackers and grapes

Saint André
Imported French triple cream—rich, elegant and delicious
Wine pairing: three, seven, eight and nine grapes

Caciotta al Tartufo (kah-CHOH-tuh ahl tar-TOO-foh)
A must-try: soft sheep’s milk cheese imported from Italy loaded with rare, shaved black truffles
Wine pairing: two through five and nine grapes

Stilton
The king from across the pond—excellent with baguette and wafers
Wine pairing: four through six and ten grapes

Pecorino Toscano (peh-koh-REE-noh toh-SKAH-noh)
A richly flavored, complex cheese from Italy with a nutty caramel finish
Wine pairing: four through six, eight and ten grapes

McCall’s Shamrock Cheddar
Sharp and enticing aged Irish cheddar
Wine pairing: two through six, nine and ten grapes

Cheese du Jour
Ask your server about today’s specially selected cheese
Wine pairing: Ask your server for recommendations

 

PITA PISAS
What’s a Pisa?! A Grape original: fresh ingredients served atop a light pita crust

Mediterranean Grilled Veggie
Fresh grilled green and yellow zucchini, grilled eggplant and red onion, roasted red pepper sauce and goat cheese, finished with a balsamic reduction
Wine pairing: one, two, four and five grapes

Atlantic Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon, marinated European cucumber and red onion, arugula and feta cream spread, drizzled with a miso aïoli
Wine pairing: one through four, eight and nine grapes

Capri
Fresh Roma tomato, balsamic marinated onion, fresh mozzarella, basil and a hint of seasoned oil
Wine pairing: all grapes

Cambozola, Prosciutto & Fig
Creamy Cambozola (triple-cream blue cheese) and prosciutto with rich fig spread
Wine pairing: two through six and eight grapes

 

MEDITERRANEAN QUESADILLAS

Black Forest Ham & Mozzarella

Sliced ham, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and arugula pesto, served with mixed greens

Wine pairing: two through four grapes

Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Beef tenderloin, cheddar cheese and caramelized onion, served with a horseradish cream sauce
Wine pairing: four, five, six and ten grapes

Chicken
Chicken, feta, sun dried tomato pesto and provolone, served with a sun-dried tomato aïoli
Wine pairing: three through six grapes

Tuscan
Roma tomato, oregano, basil, roasted garlic, mushroom, spinach, fontina and Chèvre, served with marinara sauce
Wine pairing: all grapes

 

GRAPE BISTRO

Brie en Croûte

Brie baked in a puff pastry crust with stone fruit chutney and a cabernet syrup, served with a petite arugula salad tossed in a fresh lemon vinaigrette

Wine pairing: one, two, four and eight grapes

Summer Vegetable Quiche

Green and yellow zucchini, oven-dried tomatoes, spinach, and Parmesan cheese baked into a savory pie, served with mixed greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette (Changes seasonally)

Wine pairing: two through four, eight and nine grapes

Chicken & Portobello Quiche
Grilled chicken, roasted Portobello mushroom, Bermuda onion and cheddar cheese baked to golden perfection, served with mixed greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette (Changes seasonally)

Wine pairing: three through five grapes

The Grape Crêpe
Our delicious chive crêpe filled with duck confit, dried cherries, mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese, drizzled with a dried cherry reduction. Changes seasonally

Wine pairing: four through six and ten grapes

 

SALADS

Salads are accompanied by a selection of fresh baked breads

Shrimp & Crab Louis Salad
Mixed greens tossed in balsamic vinaigrette with cucumber, tomato and lemon wedge, topped with a generous serving of shrimp and crab dressed in our regal Louis dressing
Wine pairing: one, two, four and eight grapes

Tenderloin Steak Salad
Sliced tenderloin served on Romaine with red onion, Roma tomato, blue cheese and our house-made Greek vinaigrette
Wine pairing: four, five, six and ten grapes

Asian Grilled Chicken Salad
Sweet chili and soy marinated chicken, julienned carrots, cucumbers, red onions and mandarin oranges served on a bed of mixed greens with a miso ginger vinaigrette
Wine pairing: one, two, four and eight grapes

Caesar Salad
Romaine, croutons and shaved Parmesan
Wine pairing: one through three and nine grapes

Greek Salad
Romaine, tomato, onion, olives, peppers, feta and croutons, served with our house-made Greek vinaigrette
Wine pairing: one through four grapes

Caesar or Greek Add grilled shrimp or grilled chicken breast

 

ENTREES
Sandwiches are served with our Roma tomato and fresh mozzarella salad

Roast Beef Panino
House sliced roast beef, Swiss cheese, oven roasted mushrooms and balsamic marinated onions on sourdough bread with a horseradish cream sauce
Wine pairing: four through six and ten grapes

Grape Club
Grilled chicken breast, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and special sauce on a fresh baked roll
Wine pairing: three through five, nine and ten grapes

Steak Sandwich
Encrusted beef tenderloin prepared medium rare, served with caramelized onions and blue cheese sauce on a grilled roll
Wine pairing: four, five, six and ten grapes

Muffaletta
A New Orleans favorite—Italian meats and cheeses served on ciabatta with a Crescent City olive salad
Wine pairing: four, five, six and eight grapes

Grape Mini Crab Cakes
Five generous dabs of crab baked to perfection, served with Creole aïoli and baby spinach tossed in a light vinaigrette
Wine pairing: one through four, eight and nine grapes

Grape Chops

New Zealand rack of lamb chops roasted with special seasonings, served with a mint, black cherry and port reduction and fresh rosemary (three chops). Famished? Try five Grape Chops!

Wine pairing: four, five, six and ten grapes

 

DELECTABLE SWEETS

Vanilla Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
The Grape’s take on crème brûlée: Vanilla bean infused cheesecake atop a cookie crust, covered with a delectable crème brûlée frosting and served with whipped cream and fresh berries

American Pie
Rich, buttery, almond-flavored crust layered with fresh sliced apples and drizzled with caramel sauce, served warm with vanilla bean gelato

Fresh Seasonal Berries
Fresh berries with vanilla whipped cream and wafers

The Grape Chocolate Factory

Sensual Chocolate Fondue
Savor our Sensual Chocolate fondue for two or for four

The Grape’s sensational chocolate fondue made with a delicious blend of French and Belgian chocolates, served with strawberries, bananas, pineapple and grapes and our house-made peanut butter blonde brownies, angel food cake, coconut macaroons and s’mores

Add a 2.5-ounce glass of each of our sparkling Italian dessert wines, Brachetto and Moscato

Le Chocolat
A work of art for the eyes and palate: Rich chocolate ganache fading into a light chocolate sponge cake, topped with roasted hazelnuts and a dark chocolate leaf and drizzled with raspberry sauce

Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownie
Our West Coast chocolate and cream cheese brownie drizzled with caramel sauce, served warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla bean gelato

Taste of Italia

Vanilla Bean Gelato
An all-time favorite from Italy, served with sweet wafers

Gelato du Jour
Ask your server about our seasonal gelato selection, served with sweet wafers

Wine pairings for all desserts: seven and eight grapes. Ask for your server for recommendations

 

BEVERAGES

The Grape Mimosa

Something fun and sexy ~ Our very own De Venoge Cordon Bleu Champagne and fruit juice

Iced tea

French-pressed coffee (regular or decaffeinated)

Hot Tea

Citron Green
Japanese Bancha with gentle, pleasing notes of citrus and aromatic orange flowers

Chocolate Mint
A wonderful treat of chocolate-infused tea combined with lively peppermint leaves

Earl Grey Supreme
A careful blend of five teas balanced by the fragrant citrus of Bergamot, delicious with milk and sugar

Seasonal Tea
Ask your server about our tea inspired by the season

Bottled Water

Voss (still or sparkling)

San Pellegrino (flavored sparkling)
Aranciata
Limonata

 

THE GRAPE BRUNCH

Available Saturdays and/or Sundays at participating locations (Please call)

The Grape Mimosa
Something fun and sexy ~ Our very own De Venoge Cordon Bleu Champagne and fruit juice

Maple Oatmeal Brûlée
Served with fresh seasonal berries

The Grape Breakfast Crepe
Brown sugar and cinnamon apples with warm brie and a champagne preserve sauce

The Grape Continental Breakfast
Imported European yogurt, seasonal fruit and a basket of fresh baked breads

North Atlantic Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon served with feta cream cheese, capers, onions, horseradish sauce and a basket of mini bagels and croissants

The Grape Breakfast Pisa
Applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar and farm fresh eggs garnished with tomato concassé, served atop a light pita crust

Southwestern Breakfast Quiche
Andouille sausage, corn, red onions, red bell peppers, jalapeños and cheddar cheese served with our house-made pico de gallo

The Grape Crab Cake Benedict
Two generous portions of crab cake with rémoulade Hollandaise, served with home fries

Filet Mignon Benedict
Succulent beef tenderloin (4 oz) with toast points and horseradish Hollandaise, served with home fries

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Posted in Culture, Design, Dining, Food, Lifestyle, Marketing, Wine | 10 Comments »

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter May

    Interesting but hardly 2.0, which surely should relate to some element of consumer participation.

    There are a number of wine shops that group wines by taste profile and they irritate me immensely since my idea of taste profile doesn’t necessarily match and it is difficult to find wines when you know what you are looking for.

    You’ve listed the food menu (which isnt that grouped into taste profiles?) – but not the wines……

    I have only heard ‘burgundy’ used as a colour descriptor for a shade of red; does group 7 include both white and red sweet wines?

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter May

    Interesting but hardly 2.0, which surely should relate to some element of consumer participation.

    There are a number of wine shops that group wines by taste profile and they irritate me immensely since my idea of taste profile doesn’t necessarily match and it is difficult to find wines when you know what you are looking for.

    You’ve listed the food menu (which isnt that grouped into taste profiles?) – but not the wines……

    I have only heard ‘burgundy’ used as a colour descriptor for a shade of red; does group 7 include both white and red sweet wines?

  • http://www.grapethinking.com Ruarri

    The 2.0 is in the personalized wine flights I should think. the consumer is not only participating, but they’re learning. Insofar as taste grouping – The Grape is a franchise for people between 21 and 35; its part owned by the hip-hop star Usher and its a restaurant-cum-bar. For the age group it caters to – these people don’t drink wine in the US, they’re all about cocktails and mixers. So I think you need to market to your target market. So many restaurants in the US make the mistake of having a plump wine list – and presupposing some kind of wine knowledge. If you order a Mojito you can’t go wrong – you know what you’re getting wherever you are – and so young people tend to err on the side of known variables and well away from wine.

    However – a lot of these guys are stepping out of college and straight into jobs that pay 70k a year or more – so they’re dining in places where no one under 30 was dining 10 years ago.

    The millenials are a huge market for wine. But marketers, store owners and restaurants assume too much knowledge, which puts people off. For that reason a lot of restaurants are now hiring cocktail barstaff – because people don’t want beer, they’re scared of the wine list and you can’t go wrong with a cocktail. However, I’ve been to a lot of american restaurant where I see people having a Tequila Sunrise with a T-bone steak or a Long Island Ice Tea with portobello risotto.

    The Grape has been the only successful wine-centric franchise restaurant catering to the young and hip crow in the US ever, and there has to be a reason for that.

    My feeling is that they’ve simplified wine – and are allowing people to make their choice based upon their taste without assuming prior knowledge.

    Yes the menu is split up – but how many people don’t know the difference between Salad and Soup? It makes sense to split the menu up. If you look after each food – then you see that it recommends a certain wine flavor profile.

    The wines change quite often and they put them into the flavor category. If you look at the menu – they include the flavor profile that goes with each wine. This is also really smart because it allows you to rotate the wine list instead of being locked into the same ten whites and the same ten reds for an entire season.

    Yes, 7 does include both white and red sweet wines. Perhaps ‘Burgundy’ is not the best choice of descriptor in that instance, I will concede.

    Once again Peter, thanks for the comments, which are always insightful and keep me on my toes.

    Would you like to do a series of guest posts on our site introducing people to Pinotage? Greg an I went to ‘J’ vineyards two months back and learned that they do a limited production on Pinotage, which sells out on pre-sale. Have you tasted J pinotage?

  • http://www.grapethinking.com Ruarri

    The 2.0 is in the personalized wine flights I should think. the consumer is not only participating, but they’re learning. Insofar as taste grouping – The Grape is a franchise for people between 21 and 35; its part owned by the hip-hop star Usher and its a restaurant-cum-bar. For the age group it caters to – these people don’t drink wine in the US, they’re all about cocktails and mixers. So I think you need to market to your target market. So many restaurants in the US make the mistake of having a plump wine list – and presupposing some kind of wine knowledge. If you order a Mojito you can’t go wrong – you know what you’re getting wherever you are – and so young people tend to err on the side of known variables and well away from wine.

    However – a lot of these guys are stepping out of college and straight into jobs that pay 70k a year or more – so they’re dining in places where no one under 30 was dining 10 years ago.

    The millenials are a huge market for wine. But marketers, store owners and restaurants assume too much knowledge, which puts people off. For that reason a lot of restaurants are now hiring cocktail barstaff – because people don’t want beer, they’re scared of the wine list and you can’t go wrong with a cocktail. However, I’ve been to a lot of american restaurant where I see people having a Tequila Sunrise with a T-bone steak or a Long Island Ice Tea with portobello risotto.

    The Grape has been the only successful wine-centric franchise restaurant catering to the young and hip crow in the US ever, and there has to be a reason for that.

    My feeling is that they’ve simplified wine – and are allowing people to make their choice based upon their taste without assuming prior knowledge.

    Yes the menu is split up – but how many people don’t know the difference between Salad and Soup? It makes sense to split the menu up. If you look after each food – then you see that it recommends a certain wine flavor profile.

    The wines change quite often and they put them into the flavor category. If you look at the menu – they include the flavor profile that goes with each wine. This is also really smart because it allows you to rotate the wine list instead of being locked into the same ten whites and the same ten reds for an entire season.

    Yes, 7 does include both white and red sweet wines. Perhaps ‘Burgundy’ is not the best choice of descriptor in that instance, I will concede.

    Once again Peter, thanks for the comments, which are always insightful and keep me on my toes.

    Would you like to do a series of guest posts on our site introducing people to Pinotage? Greg an I went to ‘J’ vineyards two months back and learned that they do a limited production on Pinotage, which sells out on pre-sale. Have you tasted J pinotage?

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/ RichardA

    There is actually a restaurant in Boston, MA, called “Meritage” which does something similar. It is a high end restaurant with excellent food and an extensive wine cellar.

    Its menu is broken down into sections, headed by their suggested wine types for each group of dishes.

    Their wine types are:
    Sparklers
    Light Whites
    Full Bodied Whites
    Fruity Reds
    Spicy/Earthy Reds
    Robust Reds

    Under each type are suggested wines, as well as food dishes that will pair with those wines.

    http://www.meritagetherestaurant.com/index.htm

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/ RichardA

    There is actually a restaurant in Boston, MA, called “Meritage” which does something similar. It is a high end restaurant with excellent food and an extensive wine cellar.

    Its menu is broken down into sections, headed by their suggested wine types for each group of dishes.

    Their wine types are:
    Sparklers
    Light Whites
    Full Bodied Whites
    Fruity Reds
    Spicy/Earthy Reds
    Robust Reds

    Under each type are suggested wines, as well as food dishes that will pair with those wines.

    http://www.meritagetherestaurant.com/index.htm

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter May

    “If you order a Mojito you can’t go wrong – you know what you’re getting”

    Well no one knows what a Mojito is until the first time they order it, and in the US they have to be an adult for 3 years before they can legally do that, so there is a lot of learning to do – and there’s a lot of cocktails.

    So I don’t understand why are they adventurous with cocktails and not wine. Any idea?

    I found The Grape website and it looks a good friendly place

    Re ‘J’, yes I visited the winery and managed to prise a taste of the sellout Pinotage and very good it was too.

    If you are in Cal, you should do your best to go to Fort Ross Winery – they are getting incredible reviews for the Pinotage (just look for Fort Ross on my blog) & Vino Con Brio in Lodi who are entering this years Pinotage Top 10 comp.

    And yes, I’m happy to supply a guest item. Email me.

    BTW – ref 2.0 – have you looked at the Grape blog?

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter May

    “If you order a Mojito you can’t go wrong – you know what you’re getting”

    Well no one knows what a Mojito is until the first time they order it, and in the US they have to be an adult for 3 years before they can legally do that, so there is a lot of learning to do – and there’s a lot of cocktails.

    So I don’t understand why are they adventurous with cocktails and not wine. Any idea?

    I found The Grape website and it looks a good friendly place

    Re ‘J’, yes I visited the winery and managed to prise a taste of the sellout Pinotage and very good it was too.

    If you are in Cal, you should do your best to go to Fort Ross Winery – they are getting incredible reviews for the Pinotage (just look for Fort Ross on my blog) & Vino Con Brio in Lodi who are entering this years Pinotage Top 10 comp.

    And yes, I’m happy to supply a guest item. Email me.

    BTW – ref 2.0 – have you looked at the Grape blog?

  • http://www.alastairbathgate.com Alastair Bathgate

    And here in the UK I recently experienced the concept of “flights” at Fortnum & Mason.
    Wine Bar 2.0????
    Fortnum & Mason Flights of Fancy

    Does anyone know where the original idea came from?

  • http://www.alastairbathgate.com Alastair Bathgate

    And here in the UK I recently experienced the concept of “flights” at Fortnum & Mason.
    Wine Bar 2.0????
    Fortnum & Mason Flights of Fancy

    Does anyone know where the original idea came from?

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