Grape growers group honors Prosser restaurant

PROSSER -- Picazo 7Seventeen, a Prosser restaurant that serves casual cuisine with a Spanish flair, recently was given an appreciation award from the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.

Restaurants are nominated by grape growers and wineries throughout the state and selected by the grape growers association. Vicky Scharlau, executive director of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, praised the restaurant.

"It's a restaurant that has proven not only its ability to provide excellent food, but that it has a wine list that matches its food (and) matches what Washington has to offer," she said.

She said Chef Frank Magaña, who also owns the restaurant at 717 Sixth St., has integrated himself into the grape-growing and wine-making community in Prosser.

"He's become part of the industry itself," she said.

Magaña decided to open the restaurant after visiting Prosser on a "wine weekend" with his wife. The couple were staying with friends and wanted to go out to dinner, but couldn't find a restaurant that offered dishes paired with local wines.

"The idea was hatched over a glass of wine," Magaña said.

The restaurant opened in October 2007. The chef said operating a restaurant in Prosser gives him the opportunity to be close to both those who produce his wine and those who grow his food.

"I could have done the same thing in Seattle," he said. "But if someone asked me who grows my fresh greens, I wouldn't be able to tell them."

Restaurant Manager Trina Cortez said Picazo 7Seventeen showcases a featured winery each week and hosts regular industry nights where members of the grape-growing and wine-making community can bring their own wines, dine and mingle.

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