Thursday, July 7, 2016

Italian Village appoints Jared Gelband Wine Director

Italian Village appoints Jared Gelband Wine Director ... to restore cellar to historic eminence ...

The historic Italian Village restaurant, a Chicago landmark since 1927 has appointed Jared Gelband as its new Wine Director. Jared has worked the Chicago fine dining and wine scene for more than a dozen years for such well known establishments as Chicago Prime, Del Frisco's and others.

The Italian Village wine cellar holds a Best of Excellence Award from Wine Spectator Magazine, one of the most esteemed benchmarks in the restaurant market, with over thirty thousand bottles of more than a thousand different wine selections.

Italian Village actually consists of three different restaurants in one site and the wine cellar serves all three restaurants at its location at 71 West Monroe opposite the Chase Bank Tower plaza in the center of loop.

The three restaurants each have their own chef, kitchen and waitstaff. Italian Village continues to be operated by the founding Capitanini family, who today are represented by the second and third generation descendants of the founder Alfredo Capitanini and is the oldest continuously operating Italian restaurant in Chicago.  The three dining rooms that make up Italian Village represent three different cuisines and dining experiences - the flagship Italian Village with its classic traditional Northern Italian cuisine within the quaint atmosphere of an Italian village. The trendy chic Vivere showcases a start-to-finish approach to everything on the menu, from house- and hand-made pasta in a modern Chicago landmark contemporary dining room designed by Jordan Moser, full of unique shapes and angles in a stylish feel ideally suited for the forward-thinking haute cuisine, while La Cantina, features the classic menu, hospitable ambience and service at The Village.

Jared, a native of suburban Chicago sees this as a break through opportunity to build on the solid foundation of the wine program, and to restore it to its earlier eminence when it held the highest Grand Award. He intends to capitalize on the extensive inventory investment in Italian, Bordeaux and selective American wines, expand its global coverage, modernize the operations, and adopt social media and other promotions to showcase the world class selection, great values, and rare wines, all complementing great authentic food in a setting for all occasions.

Jared loves life in the cellar which serves as his office where he spends his days researching new wines, managing the inventory, and updating the extensive wine list to pair wines to showcase the cuisine and menu's of each of the three restaurants while offering wines for all tastes and budgets.

Dining hours and evenings are then devoted to promotion, serving as Sommelier and assisting the dining and bar staff in the property's three restaurants. While each restaurant boasts in own kitchen, chef and waitstaff, the cellar serves all three dining operations.

On this day, we were meeting Todd Alexander, Winemaker from Force Majeure Vineyard and Winery in Red Mountain, Yakima/Columbia Valley Washington. Visiting Chicago with his wife Carrie, Marketing Director for Force Majeure on a promotion tour, we met at Italian Village to bring together two emerging voices and forces in wine and fine dining to share offerings, visions, plans, and to explore synergies and opportunities for collaboration.

Jared gave all of us a tour of the Italian Village cellar and uncovered and showcased from its extensive thirty thousand bottle collection of deep selections in classic Italian's, rare Bordeaux, as well as several premier wine's from Todd's previous endeavors such as Bryant Family wines in Napa Valley.

Watch for upcoming wine and dine tasting journal reports on Italian Village.

Jared with Force Majeure winemaker
Todd Alexander

Showing wine treasure vintage Chateau Petrus.
Todd Alexander and Bryant Family selection
from Italian Village cellar.
A day at the office for Jared Gelband, in Italian Village
cellar with Todd and Carrie Alexander and author.

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