Despite all of its food and drink options, Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle turns into a ghost town at night. Late-night carousers never seem to find their way here, even though places like Spago offer a “Reverse Happy Hour” after 9 p.m. and it’s home to one of my favorite nightcap options, 10 Pound for cigars and scotch.
But Scarpetta Beverly Hills in the Montage Hotel is hoping to change things with help from its new sommelier, Roberto Loppi (Hakkasan). This week the restaurant kicks off a wine menu of the likes of which you’ve probably never seen: the “35×35” featuring 35 bottles for only $35 each. In Beverly Hills.
Why offer such a crazy deal in an area that caters to the Bugatti Veyron crowd? “We want to offer a good reason to come in after 9 o’clock,” says Loppi, “and having a bottle that would normally cost more than $35 is a good incentive.”
However, these aren’t low-quality happy hour picks. These are bottles that are normally priced $55-$60 on the standard list. “Happy hour isn’t always about a lower quality wine, it’s about something you want to promote for a certain amount of time,” said Loppi. “I will not offer a champagne for $35 all the time.” That’s right, there’s a bottle of Jean Vesselle Rosé de Saignée from Champagne, France, for only $35. Sure, it’s a half bottle, but still a pretty impressive deal.
What are other absolute steals here? The Newton Claret. The established producer is more known for its notoriously expensive Cabernet Sauvignon, so you won’t find this wine for $35 in a restaurant. There’s also the Peter Lehmann Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa Valley in Australia, who Loppi says makes very expensive wines.
The list features a diverse mix of wines from not only Italy, but Spain, Argentina, Australia, and California. There’s everything from whites and reds to rosés, dessert wines, and even a sherry. Loppi wanted to create a respectable mini list of wines. “So if you open your own wine bar and you have a limited budget and storage for only 35 wines, you can really use this menu,” he jokes.
Other changes at Scarpetta? Today it’s also launching a new champagne program which not only expands its sparkly selection but also offers bubbly like Krug by the glass ($48) as well as Moet & Chandon Imperiale Rose. “Because we’re launching this lower-price menu and I like to stretch the prices, it’s also good to offer premium,” said Loppi. In addition, he’s increasing the Bordeaux selection and the Tuscan wines. “So we’re going to have ’97, ’98, ’99, something to offer real lovers of Italian wines.”