We talked to Stephen Asprinio for more deets on Tastevin, his new "wine boutique" opening downtown. First, the former Top Chef contestant and oft-thougt villain is an easily excitable young man and will ramble on forever about his vision, projects, the show, restaurants, and wine. Not entirely a bad thing; it's entertaining to say the least. When we heard about Tastevin earlier this week, we didn't know where it would live...now we do: The shop will be located on 2nd near Broadway, next to the Redwood Bar & Grill. We love the thought of his tailored suits and colorful ties next to the pirate bar. How downtown!
Expect wines under $25, Philippe Starck-designed furniture, and self-serve everything. Want to taste a wine? A machine will do that for you. Need more information on a wine? No more cards to read or shopkeepers to bother; instead, you'll have an audiowand with Stephen's voice telling you about the varietal, the region, and the nose. Stephen's voice will forever live in your head every time you take a sip. Not sure there's enough room in our brain for that, but an interesting concept nonetheless.
He picked Los Angeles because plans fell through for a similar concept in Costa Mesa, which is where he landed after TC1. He says that not only is downtown LA booming, but it's more welcoming of new businesses, especially those that cater to the young, up-and-coming, 25-year-old demographic. The 1,100-square-foot shop will only sell the wine, not serve it. Look for a spring debut.
· Plywood Special Edition: Top Chef's Stephen Opening Tastevin Downtown