Island resident Todd Herbst freely admits that he is an Italophile.
His passion for the food, wine and refined lifestyle of Italy has been superimposed on several restaurants he co-owns with partners Lisabet Summa and Bill Watson. The Big Time Restaurant Group collection includes Elisabetta’s in West Palm Beach and Delray Beach; City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill in West Palm; City Oyster & Sushi Bar in Delray; Big City Tavern in Ft. Lauderdale; and Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, Bar & Pizzeria in Boca Raton.
He takes great pride the attention to detail when it comes to the wines at his establishments. Elisabetta’s is well stocked with offerings such as a 6-ounce pour of a sparkling Lambrusco di Modena to a flight of four, 2-ounce selections (pinot grigio, chardonnay, Nero d’Avola and pinot noir) from Stemmari Winery in Sicily.
Wine lists are meticulously curated by Ervin Machado, beverage director for the Big Time Restaurant Group.
Machado began his career at the bottom of the restaurant totem pole. His fascination with wine led him to pursue certification by the Court of Master Sommeliers, certification by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and travel throughout the wine world.
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A chance meeting several years ago at a wine dinner featuring selections from Salvatore Ferragamo’s portfolio led to a relationship among Herbst, Machado and Ferragamo.
Salvatore Ferragamo, namesake and grandson of the fashion icon, refers to himself as the farmer of the family. In 1993, his father, Ferruccio, bought Il Borro, a 17,000-acre property in Tuscany. The restoration project yielded an intact medieval hamlet, an elegant Relais & Chateaux hotel, replanted vineyards and a state-of-the-art wine cellar dating back to the 1700s.
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The Herbst family has vacationed at Il Borro and Machado returns yearly to for the wine harvest. Although most Italian viniculture is dominated by 2,000 indigenous varietals, Il Boro’s 1,000 acres of vineyards are planted with traditional Sangiovese plus merlot, cabernet franc, petit Verdot, Syrah and chardonnay from France. Ferragamo believes that these vines are more suited to the soil and climate of his estate.
Machado has four of his wines on Elisabetta’s list. There are two reds: a super Tuscan, Il Boro, made from 50 percent merlot, 35 percent cabernet sauvignon and 15 percent Syrah ($99) and Pian de Nova, made up of 75 percent Syrah and 35 percent Sangiovese ($59).
Lamelle, a chardonnay ($55) made from grapes planted in vineyards that 3 million years ago were a vast lake that trickled down, over time, to the Arno River. The shell on the label reflects the marine residue of sea fossils beneath the vines. The stainless-steel vinification produces a Chablis style wine that is fresh, with clean fragrances and tastes suggestive of pear with a mineral finish. It's a compliment to any seafood or chicken dish.
Il Boro rose, a trendy Tuscan wine ($34) is made from Sangiovese grapes. It is delicate, crisp with a fresh berry finish. It's the perfect aperitif or first course wine.
“Our wine list is daring in many ways. It took us months initially to find the best wines at the best prices. We blind tasted wines, covering the labels because we didn’t want to be influenced by them, and were often surprised. Our wine list reflects of our continuing journey through the world’s vineyards,” Machado said.
A 38,000 square foot roof top bar is in the works at Elisabetta’s in West Palm Beach. Every Wednesday, all bottles of wine are half price.
IF YOU GO
185 Banyan Blvd.
Source : https://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/story/lifestyle/2021/09/22/restaurant-group-offers-several-ferragamo-wines-menus/5733640001/1228