For Chef Larry Alvarado and his wife Jessica, owners of House.Wine, the last five years have been a journey to connect with clientele, and Salt, their newest location, seeks to take the concept even further. By focusing on the details and being meticulous in their approach, the couple say they are again raising the stakes for culinary excellence in McAllen.
Immediately recognizing a niche among people who were clamoring for a classy, yet down to earth wine lounge, the Delgados arrived from Austin in 2008, and they noticed the potential for growth.
“People thought we were crazy when we opened a wine lounge in McAllen. We moved from Austin, where every other block had beautiful wine lounges,” Larry Delgado said. “When we said McAllen, we recognized there was an opportunity for growth. There were already some great places that were doing progressive things. We wanted to be a part of that.”
“After five years, we never dreamed that House.Wine would have had the success it has. We have had progressive growth year after year,” he said. “We haven’t had any stalling when it comes to growth. Not only is it important to reinvest in our community, but to reinvest in our people, because we have a lot of staff that have been here for five years. It’s important for us to create opportunities for them to grow.”
Salt will feature New American cuisine, utilizing local and regional ingredients as mush as possible, and will apply different techniques to bring something truly unique to customers.
Salt is located at 201 N. Main Street in McAllen. The chef-driven menu features local and organic selections, as well as a full-service bar, boutique wines, craft beers, and high-end spirits.
The locale is also true to its namesake, experimenting with various infused salts in its menu. Himalayan salt, lava rock salt, hibiscus salt, smoked salts, and porcini salts mixed with ground mushrooms will all be used in foods for a dramatic effect, according to the Delgados.
“We are invested in the Valley. We are invested in our community. After being here for five years, we want to bring something more to downtown McAllen,” Larry Delgado said. “We do our fair share of traveling, and we see what is trending around the country, and it’s an opportunity for us to bring some of those things down here.”
“Above all, it has come to symbolize the entrepreneurial spirit of McAllen and the RGV,” Jessica Delgado said. “We provide a great atmosphere, and our clients are great business professionals and community members. It’s just a watering hole and gathering spot for good and likeminded people to come together and have a great meal together. It’s being able to hang with the big dogs, the big boxes. When you can still have an independent place that can thrive and succeed and be showcased, it’s awesome.”