Guard and Grace, Denver
Display type: Floor-to-ceiling wine display and tasting room near entrance
Bottles held: 4,000
Troy Guard, chef and owner, wanted a spectacular way to display the nearly 4,000 bottles of wine his restaurant offers patrons. Guard and Grace, whose name includes that of his daughter, opened in March and is Guard’s sixth restaurant concept. He wanted the wine display to be interactive, allowing servers to take guests inside to view the labels, and to be a place for wine tastings as well. The result of his dream is what Zagat calls a “glassed-in wine tower.” The floor-to-ceiling display is positioned as guests enter the front door, setting the stage for a wine-enhanced dining experience.
The wine tower employs racks that position the bottles so that diners can read their labels. Guests can also see through the racks to the other display walls behind. Sommelier Todd Rocchino, who manages Guard and Grace’s wine program, also had a custom stemware rack built into the wine display so that all tasting supplies are in the same convenient place. Private wine lockers are integrated as well for guests who choose to purchase and securely store their own special wines in the room.
Following Guard’s culinary style, Guard and Grace’s menu features both global and local fare. He cut his fusion teeth with Roy Yamaguchi in Hawaii and his own “continental social food” features a blend of Hawaiian, pan-Asian and locally sourced products. This variety means a wide range of wines can pair with the menu items, hence the 4,000-bottle program.