Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse Earns Coveted Wine Spectator Restaurant Award - Heart Of America Group

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse Eau Claire has just been honored for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator’s 2018 Restaurant Awards. The restaurant is recognized among other winners from all over the globe as a top destination for wine lovers.

“This year’s class of restaurants is one of the most impressive and innovative ever,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “Their wine lists keep improving, because wine lovers are eager to explore and learn. The goal of our Restaurant Awards is to support restaurant wine programs and bring them to diners’ attention through our outreach through print, digital and social media. Wine Spectator salutes every restaurant honored in the 2018 Restaurant Awards.”

“We are extremely honored by this top award. It speaks to the caliber, hard work and dedication of the entire Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse team and our vision for the unique experience Johnny’s brings to the Region”, says Owner Tom Larson, of the news.

Wine Spectator began its program to recognize the world’s best wine lists in 1981. There are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award – with 2,453; 1,215; and 91 winners this year in each respective category. Seven of the Grand Award winners are first timers. Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse Eau Claire has been awarded the Award of Excellence.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.

The complete list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator’s August issue, on newsstands July 17, and online at, where visitors can search and access exclusive content on the more than 3,700 restaurants. The full list is also available for free on iOS via the Restaurant Awards app, which allows users to look for dining spots in any location with maps, choosing by wine strengths, cuisine type, pricing and more.

Follow the Restaurant Awards on Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward.

About Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (, mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 16,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

About Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse

The first Johnny’s location was established in Des Moines, Iowa in 2002. The classic design is reminiscent of supper clubs from yesteryear. The dazzling neon Blue BarTM offers an extensive cocktail menu, classic sounds of the Rat Pack, and a delicious menu featuring steak entrees. The richly designed restaurant features velvet draperies for privacy, soft seating in the lounge for relaxation and locally commissioned artwork.

Johnny’s offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a community-favorite Sunday Breakfast Buffet. Johnny’s also offers private event and meeting space for business or personal, as well as catering.

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse is located at 4751 Owen Ayres Court. The restaurant ownership group is led by Larson Companies and includes Richard Larson, Tim Pabich, Tim Olson and Tom Toy. The establishment is managed by Larson Management. For more information, visit:

About Larson Companies

Larson Companies is a multi-disciplined, performance-driven organization operating throughout the Upper Midwest. Divisions within the company include commercial real estate development, hospitality management and development, & various other management companies. Larson Companies is affiliated with brands such as Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar, Staybridge Suites, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, to name a few. Over the years Larson Companies has successfully operated over 20 hospitality and retail concepts.

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About Heart Of America

Starting with one, 100-seat restaurant in 1978, Heart of America Group has grown to include a portfolio of award-winning owned and operated restaurants, hotels and commercial developments. Noteworthy brands developed and operated by Heart of America Group include the Machine Shed Restaurant, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, The Republic on Grand, Hotel Renovo, Wildwood Lodge, Thunder Bay Grille, and The J Bar. We pride ourselves in building long-lasting properties that bring value to the consumer and to the communities in which we build.


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