What’s happening at the former home of La Toque in Rutherford?

by TrevR on June 20, 2011

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We were recently asked this very question and decided to do a quick investigation.

As you’ll recall, Chef Ken Frank’s La Toque moved from its original home in Rutherford to downtown Napa back in 2008. At the time, Frank said that “…downtown Napa is going to become the destination in Napa Valley in the next 10 years and we’ll be right at the heart of it.”

Since then, the space at 1140 Rutherford Road has sat vacant, but that appears to be about to change.

The former site of La Toque in Rutherford is currently under construction and the new license is registered to the former sommelier of Valentino

On an early recent morning we dropped by to check things out. Construction was clearly visible from the outside and upon further inspection we were able to glean the following information.

The California ABC license hanging in the window lists the primary owner as Wine Street LLC and the license type is listed as an “on sale beer and wine eating place.”

Based on our research, Wine Street LLC is a consulting company for restaurants and private cellars that is headed up by Alessandro Sbrendola, ex-Sommelier of Valentino restaurant and a highly acclaimed master sommelier who has worked extensively in Italy, France and California. Sbrendola is currently the sommelier at Trattoria Amici at The Americana at Brand in Glendale, CA.

Could Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega soon have a serious challenger for high-quality Italian cuisine in the valley?

It’s hard to say at this point, but if you have information let us know in the comments.

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, winery, Rutherford, La Toque, Wine Street LLC]

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has written 724 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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