Cheers July/August 2012

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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SCENE By Carolyn Walkup The Sergio Leone Cocktail is popular at RPM. Before- and After-Dinner Drinks are Primo at RPM Aperitifs and digestifs big part of beverage program. its 100-plus mostly Italian wines, RPM makes special eff orts to promote palate- opening cocktails to its guests before the meal and bittersweet Italian herbal liqueurs, or amari, afterwards. Th e restaurants operated by RJ, Jerrod and Molly Melman can be counted on to R 22 PM Italian, the fi fth restaurant collaboration of Chicago restaurant impresario Richard Melman's three off spring, goes all out to stimulate the tastebuds before, during and after dinner. Not content to merely tout provide vibrant bar scenes as well as interesting and fun dining experiences. "We wanted RPM Italian to be a place that appeals to people who are serious about food, as well as people seeking a place to enjoy a cocktail," says Jerrod Melman, noting the restaurant is open till 2 a.m. Th ursdays and Fridays and 3 a.m. on Saturdays. Paul McGee, director of cocktail development, was instrumental in creating RPM's beverage program. With the amari program in particular being something new | JULY/AUGUST 2012 in Chicago, McGee says he's pleasantly surprised by how well it has caught on. "Th e amari are from diff erent regions of Italy. Each town in Italy has its own formula, from light to robust fl avors with bitter fi nishes," McGee explains. Th e after-dinner list of a dozen amari plus 10 more familiar liqueurs, including grappa, amaretto, limoncello and Cognac, is printed on one side of the dessert menu. Featured amari, consumed neat or with coff ee or espresso on the side, range from Montenegro, a light, citrusy liqueur

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