The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2012

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Page 41 of 132

On The Aer With Vinturi One of Roy's most recent contributions to the Smith & Wollensky paradigm is the introduction of the Vinturi Spirit Aerator to his each of his res- taurants' bars. The Spirit is now a part of the service amenity programs of all nine Smith & Wollensky restaurants, and is used for all up pours. "I was immediately fascinated with the Spirit aerator, and couldn't believe how well it worked," says Roy. "I knew that integrat- ing this product at the bar would be a good differentiator for our beverage service, and that customers would enjoy the spectacle of the aeration process itself, not to mention the results. The nuanced flavors and aromas that the Spirit brings out in bourbons, single malts and many other liquors is remarkable, and is one more way for us to offer an unrivaled dining experience to our guests." In October of 2010, Roy assumed his current role with Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. "It is a true pleasure being a part of the Smith & Wollensky team," says Roy. "I am responsible for the cocktail creation and wine selection for each of our nine locations—an equally rewarding and challenging undertaking. I also oversee the train- ing of all bar staff and maintain the identity and integrity of each of our bars. Superior service and an outstand- ing, distinctive beverage selection are paramount to the success of Smith & Wollensky restaurants, and I'm proud to play a part in maintaining the company's traditions while infusing them with a sense of modernity and an elevated level of sophistication and dedication to our customers." Roy has accomplished much in his current role, including the implementa- tion of an extensive liquor and wine training program that is comprised of six mandatory online liquor classes followed by an exam for all bar employees, and a "wine fact of the day" program that lasts for two months and culminates in its own exam. He has also partnered with wineries such as Ferrari-Carano to create a core base of 200 wines for all his restaurants, and encourages his beverage directors to add to that base in a manner that best fits their individual markets. Additionally, Roy has established a wine, liquor and cocktail program that combines classics like the Negroni and the Sidecar with Smith & Wollensky exclusives, including the Wollensky Martini (made with Plymouth Gin or Hangar One Vodka) and the Bubble 0-7 (made with Three Olives Bubble Vodka). Through these and many other initiatives, Roy has quickly made his mark as Corporate Director Wine and Spirits, and will continue to imbue Smith & Wollensky restaurants with his unique blend of ingenuity and dedication.

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