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Beyond Part One by John
YORK CORNER: Armani/Ristorante Fifth
Avenue by John Mariani
FROM THE WINE CELLAR: Alsatian Rieslings make for
ideal, well-priced white wines for summer by
by John Mariani
7137 E. Stetson
time I go to Scottsdale I am
struck by the quality of the
cuisine and sheer energy of the restaurateurs and chefs who give
the cities such an admirably high culinary standard.
Digestif is open daily for
lunch and dinner; Appetizers run $9-$13, main courses $13-$29.
of the true innovators in Scottsdale has been Peter Kasperski, the
and partner at exciting restaurants that include Sea Saw and the funky
but not-at-all silly, Cowboy Ciao,
which mixed Italian food
with Arizona spice, these days more contemporary America, with
lavish portions of dishes like slow-roasted short ribs with
cherry-barbecue sauce and pecan grits; buffalo carpaccio with red
onion marmalade; and old-fashioned fried chicken with corn waffles.
Kasperksi and his partners’ newest hit is Digestif, not perhaps the
most appetizing name for a dining spot but
ambiance and right-on-the-mark contemporary food have made it one of
the most popular.
Located within the Southbridge Village,
décor is self-described as a “1960s suburban beatnik basement”
brick walls, exposed ductwork, dark wood and stainless steel—which
would describe the colorful pad of a rather stylish, well-off beatnik
like Shaggy Rogers in “Scooby Doo.” The piped-in music runs from
Winehouse to Radiohead, and nothing—except Chef Payton Curry’s food—is
taken very seriously.
Curry’s résumé includes some of
San Francisco finest—Ame and
Quince—and Napa Valley’s Martini House, so he knows how to cook the
kind of Mediterranean-Northern Cal grill food that adapts so easily to
the sunny Southwest.
Start off with his charcuterie platter, which
includes pâtés, hot
soppressata, Kurobuta pancetta
bacon, and an array of fine cheeses and
panini sandwiches, available throughout the day. At dinner he
hearty dishes like “knife and fork bruschettone,” big, well-crusted
pizza-like breads packed with eggplant, cream-filled burrata
mozzarella, and sautéed baby onions. He does a marvelously
luscious pasta with Dungeness crab, bacon, peas, and onions. And he
sears duck breast to perfect pink and confit to a garlicky crispiness,
accompanied by radicchio and parsnip puree.
Among a slew of wonderful desserts
don’t miss the mint chocolate
ice cream sandwiches lavished with dark chocolate sauce and a mint
7134 East Stetson Drive
One of the
big gambles in the current economy
is Estate House, a
splendidly handsome, three-level restaurant also in the Southbridge
Village, whose developer, Fred Unger, also owns the restaurant. Estate
is definitely the grandest scheme on the new restaurant scene, a
mansion-like setting with a broad bar and dining room, polished floors,
good linens and tablesettings, a unicyle on one wall and a spidery
chandelier hung from the beamed ceiling.
Chef Gio Osso, who cooked at Cowboy Ciao, is
proving himself one
of the finest interpreters of modern American cuisine in the west, and
he does so with a very generous hand in dishes like his grilled baby
lamb with thyme –roasted figs and a reduction of pinot noir and
hazelnuts, and his date-stuffed elk loin with toasted cumin tabbouleh,
Moroccan-spiced eggplant “caviar,” and minted yogurt. His
dish is hamachi dressed with yuzu and aïoli and sweet-sour daikon
served on a thick, solid slab of Himalayan salt, so that as the fish
sits atop the jade green block, it absorbs the salt into its
For dessert, definitely go with the maple pot de crème
cream-filled donuts. Osso’s food is buoyed by a very fine
well-priced in every category, and I for one want to see this level of
fine dining without the pretense succeed in the city.
Estate House is open nightly
for dinner. Appetizers range from $7-$15, main courses $22-$42.
Montelucia Resort & Spa
4949 E. Lincoln
the best new restaurant to open in the
Phoenix/Scottsdale area in the past year, Prado is distinctive in that
no one else in the region is doing quite what Chef Claudio Urciuoli is
this expansive dining room with open kitchen and open fire grill in the
InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa. Prado's décor is
to echo that of the Villa San Michele resort in Fiesole, Italy, though
take several centuries to acquire that patina of historic age to
achieve a true evocation of that marvelous property's ambiance.
It is, then, a style I'd call "Brand New
Rustic," with arched ceilings, columns, a big wooden prep table and an
open wood grill fireplace. It's also quite casual: the day I was there
three audibly blond women had come straight from the spa in their
bathrobes and plunked themselves down in front of the kitchen to have
lunch. I cannot say whether Urciuoli was dismayed or delighted.
The theme here is basically Spanish, and the menu
lists a slew of dishes you will not easily find anywhere else in the
region, not least the delicious fideua,
a specialty of Valencia that is
like a paella made with thin spaghetti rather than rice. It came in a
lobster broth with chunks of scallops and langoustines, the whole
cooked over an open fire.
Urciuoli most recently was chef at the fine
Different Pointe of View in Phoenix, before that at the Pointe Tapatio
Resort, and prior to that at Taggia in Scottsdale, Il Fornaio in San
Francisco, Osteria del Circo/Le Cirque in Las Vegas, and
one of the pioneers of La Brea Bakery Café in L.A. Urciuoli
does a good deal of la
plancha griddle cooking here, and there's a wonderful aroma in
of good cooking from the fiery oven.
I told him to serve us whatever he liked, and
we in turn loved almost everything he served, starting with lovely
marinated anchovies that had the deep flavor of sea in them, served
with baby Romaine
lettuce on grilled country bread. There was also manchego
cheese with quince paste, a Basque staple, and marvelously fat Santa
Barbara spot prawns of a flavor and texture I've rarely savored in
parts. What else to praise? An antipasti
platter of cured meats with grilled
lamb merguez sausage, Marcona
almonds, and fig cake; roasted Sonoma
chicken with lemon and rosemary; John
Dory with greens and lemon and a benediction of olive oil; a luscious
rare ribeye with burrata
cheese and hot piperade
sauce; a flavorful Korubuta pork chop with pinenuts and figs, served
with nutty brown rice; a fabulous, richly seasoned Basque cod stew with
piquillo peppers; and Colorado lamb chops, accompanied by saffron
scented baked rice. Spanish cheeses came before dessert, then a
With starters $7-$15 at dinner, and
entrees $17-$31, Prado is offering outstanding food and very reasonable
prices, and you won't find this kind of cooking replicated anywhere
soon, unless you find a chef as well versed as Urciuoli.
Prado is open for breakfast,
lunch, and dinner daily.
3815 N. Brown Avenue
is awash in Mexican restaurants at various
levels of design, food quality, and service, but The Mission, opened
last fall by Terry Ellisor, Brian Raab and chef Matt
Carter, is in fact set next to an historic
Spanish mission, and the trio is serious at every level about giving
guests a handsome decor, high-quality "Modern Latin Cuisine," and
cordial service. The bar stocks 54 tequilas, which even in these parts
is a high number--start with the terrific coconut margarita-- and the
bar is as convivial as any in the area. What
The Mission does not need is
loud, booming music of a type the destroys
conversation and makes eating a rushed job.
The Mission is open daily
for lunch and dinner. Prices here reflect many dishes that are shared,
so you may order many under $10 and none over $16.
Beyond Part Two will appear in
next week's issue.
The most admirable point of the design
is the backlighted, amber translucent bricks of Himalayan
rock salt that throws a soft glow into the interior as well as,
according to the press materials, "effectively improves the
quality of air by
killing bacteria, removing dust and allergens." Nice idea.
It's nothing novel these days to do mashed
but it's rare you find it made this well, incorporating pumpkin seeds
and cotija cheese that adds
piquant and nutty flavors. The botanos
plates meant for sharing include a delicious Peruvian clam stew teeming
with rock shrimp, spicy chorizo,
yucca, and roast corn, while the tacos section has a slew of solid
items, including one stuffed with mahi-mahi, a citrus escabeche, and
olive cream, another with pork shoulder, pineapple glaze, cilantro, and
cotija cheese, and yet
another with skirt steak, green chile salsa, avocado, and lime.
From the la plancha griddle comes a Kobe hot
dog (I didn't try this) with bacon and brioche, and a roasted chicken
with oregano and lemon, which seemed like an afterthought in a place
with so many finer choices. Among my favorite dishes at The Mission
were the beef anticuchos--skewers
of beef with aji panca,
oregano, a nice touch of soy, and black pepper--only nine bucks, and,
want to go whole hog, add foie gras for only another five!
If you've room for it, have dessert, the best
being the heavenly, crispy espresso churros
Ibarra chocolate and a fabulous milkshake. Also good is the pumpkin
Then you can sit around and sip one of the
añejo tequilas at the bar all night. Tomorrow you can go to
NEW YORK CORNER
717 Fifth Avenue (at 56th
upon a time
NYC department stores like Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Arnold
Constable, and Best & Co. had ladies' lunch or tea rooms, where,
after a hard morning of shopping, women would sit at the counter or at
tables in restaurants usually made to look like a page out of House & Gardens. They'd nibble
sandwiches of egg salad, chicken salad, and date and nut bread, and
drink tea and coffee. The one
at Lord & Taylor was called The Bird Cage.
As time moved on and diets changed, so
did department store restaurants, but Europe has for decades now been
in the forefront of exciting, first-class dining options for patrons
and anyone else who wants to dine well at places like Harrod's, Marks
& Spencer, and Harvey Nichols in London, Galeries Lafayette in
Paris, and KaDeWe in Berlin. Up till now NYC has not had
much in the way of really good restaurants in its department stores,
despite the options of the vast food basement at Macy's. Attempts
at high-end dining within the (defunct) Nicole Fahri store (now
occupied by the delightful Rouge Tomate) and Fred's at
been feeble. So when designer Giorgio Armani, who has always
looked as if he could gain a few pounds, announced he would put an
authentic Italian ristorante
in his new Fifth Avenue flagship store, I
stifled a yawn, thinking that it would be stylish but vapid, offering
its willowy, starved customers dishes like angel's hair spaghetti with
vegetables and poached salmon with pesto. I could not have been
more surprised by what has materialized at Armani.
expected grand style, ad the two-level top floor dining room has plenty
of it, especially in the seductive lighting from the bar and the lights
of the city. Walls and banquettes and surfaces are curved, a little
Star Trek-y, the floors
and ceilings black. Yet it is not a dark restaurant at all, and the
sound level is exceptionally civilized. The bar (left) is just small
enough to deter a raucous bar "crowd," yet it is a capital place to
meet friends for a finely made Italian cocktail.
Armani brought to NYC one of his favorite
chefs, Lorenzo Viani, of Ristorante Lorenzo in the
seaside Tuscan town
of Forte dei Marmi, and I had a chance to chat with him a bit and
learned just how serious he is about having this restaurant be an
expression of himself (he's a partner here) and he intends to be in NYC
as needed. Right now he is still sourcing the best ingredients,
not least the seafood, which I found rather lackluster on the night I
visited. He nodded and said he'd continue his search.
But everything else my guests and I tried was
outstanding, starting with beautifully presented antipasti like the small fillets of
sole in a light curry sauce with apples. And the featherweight flan of
Swiss chard served with Mahon cheese fondue. Or the marvelous torta of a "thousand layers" of
grilled eggplant, buffalo mozzarella, and a reduction of
tomatoes. Truly addictive are the shrimp croquettes with a
seasonal salad, though you simply don't get enough of them on one plate
the pasta section, I was delighted to see a menu so free of NYC Italian
clichés. Instead, Viani's touch is evident in every one of his
creations, from the superb vegetable risotto with shaved Castelmagno
blue-veined cheese to the sautéed bavette
noodles with seafood. I think I will wait a little later in the summer,
when the basil is at its peak, to taste again the tagliolini with pesto, now being
made with arugula and shrimp.
As noted, the meat dishes are currently the better
option, from fillet of milk-fed veal sautéed in butter with
fresh sage over a bed of vegetables with a "dry martini" sauce.
The loin of lamb stuffed with olives is equally as good, bathed with a
reduction of vermentino wine.
This cuisine is fairly light, so dessert is
certainly required to show the true mettle of the kitchen. You will be
enchanted with sweets like the pistachio semifreddo with tangy clementine
sorbet and chocolate "caprese," and the "three Super Tuscan chocolates
mousses" with pretty guava rose sorbet. the happy appearance of
Napoleon puff pastry with rich pastry cream and a berry compote is old
fashioned in the best sense, as it is delectably modern in texture and
Armani's winelist is very strong and
there is an admirable array of wines under $50 here, all well chosen.
Trust the well-trained service staff to guide you.
Now, you would think, given the Armani label,
this would all cost a fortune, but the prices here are amazingly fair,
starting with the $40 three-course + coffee menu, with several
choices--this is for dinner,
lunch. Otherwise, antipasti
run $12-$23, full portions of pasta $18-$30, and main courses $16-$40.
Which will allow you to return to your shopping and buy that ensemble
you had your eye on. Assuming you can fit into it after the
sumptuous meal here at Armani ristorante.
Armani/Ristorante 5th Avenue
is open for lunch and dinner daily. P.S.: The website is one of the
most impenetrable you'll ever try to use. It takes 60 seconds just to
load, then forever to find anything.
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
Rieslings make for ideal, well-priced white wines for summer
by John Mariani
If your idea of a white wine for summer
is one that is crisp, fruity, modest in alcohol, and priced under $25,
you’d do well to run out and buy the latest vintages of Alsatian
rieslings. For while Alsace also makes good sylvaner, pinot gris,
pinot blanc, Gewürztraminer, and muscat, the first three in that
tend to be fairly bland, the last two highly aromatic.
Alsatian rieslings, on the other hand,
have all the brightness, fruit, and perfect acidity to go well with
summer food and anything on the grill short of beef or lamb.
Because most are vinified dry (very sweet late harvest wines in Alsace
are called Vendange Tardive and Sélection des Grains), they are
exceptionally refreshing as an aperitif and work right through dishes
like trout, salmon, chicken, and cheeses.
The fact that some of the best rieslings are
now selling in the range of $15-$20 puts them at a delectable distance
from oaky $30-$50 California chardonnays and $150 Grand Cru Burgundies.
France’s Institut National des Appellations d'Origine does recognize 50
Grand Cru Vineyards (visit www.alsacewine.com),
with about 4 percent of
the region’s total wine production. Still, some of the top producers,
including Trimbach and Léon Beyer, do not use the Grand Cru
on the labels of their best wines.
Riesling originated in Germany, probably
the Rhine Valley, and, since Alsace was for so long German territory,
it was natural for vignerons to plant German varietals like riesling,
which thrived in the dry, cool climate, where the grape ripens late in
the season, making up about 20 percent of the area under vine.
Over a dinner at a Greenwich Village
restaurant named 10 Downing
that began with spot prawns with olives,
garlic, and Valencia orange and a plate of charcuterie, I thoroughly
enjoyed a brisk, bracing bottle of Paul
Blanck Riesling 2007 ($45 at
the restaurant, about $20 in stores), whose wonderful aroma of citrus
and apple was ideal for such appetizers, and it went on being ideal
with an entrée of herb-roasted chicken with almonds, currants,
and preserved lemons.
home I decided to collect some more Alsatian rieslings to serve with a
lavish dinner for Russian Easter, when only cold foods are served,
including baked ham, pork sausages, potato-beet salad, carrot slaw,
lentils, and a dessert of vanilla-scented farmer’s cheese and saffron
raisin torte. With the savory dishes a Trimbach
2007 ($17), with 12.5
percent alcohol, was just as thirst-quenching as it was the very flavor
of spring itself, a perky, lemony balance of fruit and acids.
Along with Trimbach, which dates back to
the 17th century, the name Hugel
is one of the best-known vignerons in
Alsace, and their 2007 ($19) with 12 percent alcohol showed great
breeding, a really lovely wine with peach and lemon flavors.
One of the current darlings among
Alsatian aficionados is Albert Boxler,
a small, 300-year-old winery in
Niedermorschwihr, now run by Jean Boxler. Its Grand Cru vineyards are
named Sommerberg and Brand, and the grapes are grown organically. The
2005 Riesling Reserve epitomizes the Boxler style of rich minerality
along with enchanting aromas that reveal Alsatian riesling at its very
best, even classiest, restrained and refined throughout. It does
cost about $35 but with the celebratory dessert, which is not overly
sweet, it was a beautiful match-up.
Big chardonnays tend to cause people to
nod and mumble; very sweet dessert wines make them close their eyes and
murmur; but Alsatian rieslings just make me smile, and that’s all I
really want to do over a long, hot summer when I open a bottle of wine.
Mariani's wine column appears in Bloomberg Muse News,
from which this story was adapted. Bloomberg News covers Culture from
art, books, and theater to wine, travel, and food on a daily basis, and
some of its articles play on the Saturday Bloomberg Radio and TV.
take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh,
Soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie?
The Candy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good!
firmament [of Paris] looked good enough to eat. I wished for a knife
and fork to plunge into the cool candy planets, the vast blueberry
orbs.”—Cristina Nehring, “Isn’t It Romantic?” Conde Nast Traveler (April 2009).
A CONTEST FOR
The city of Copenhagen has a new ad hoping to attract gay tourists from
all over the world to Denmark. especially the 30,000 gay men and
women to celebrate a festival of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(LGBT) sport, culture and human rights taking place this July and
* Restaurant ‘42’
in White Plains, NY, introduces a new "Prix
Fixe Market Special Menu: of 4 courses for $42. The restaurant
also opened its Small Plates menu area that features a selection of
casual dining options at lower prices. Call 914-761-4242; Visit
* On May 14 in Lakewood, FL, A Taste of
Argentina’ Winemaker Dinner will be held at the Polo Grill – Forks and Corks 2009
Event. Winery director Leandro Lowi will fly in from Argentina to
pour Familia Zuccardi/Santa Julia wines. $75 pp.
www.pologrillandbar.com. $15.95 adults, $9.95 children;
* On May 12 in San Francisco, Citizen Cake will host its 2nd
annual Green Dinner by Chef de Cuisine William Pilz and Elizabeth
Falkner, Executive Chef, incl. fava been hummus and house crackers,
asparagus salad with slow cooked egg, pea ricotta gnudi with pea shoots
and pea consomme and for dessert, green sweets. $45 pp, $65 with wine
pairing. Unique Visit www.citizencake.com or call 415-861-2228.
* In London, Le Bouchon Breton
launches La Fête de St Tropez, a celebration of the
culinary delights of Le Sud de France and on the terrace overlooking
Spitalfields Market, with rosé wines, as 3 options:
Plateau Rainier III £68 (for 2 people); Plateau Croisette
£45; and Plateau du Vieux Port £40. Call 08000 191
704; visit www.lebouchon.co.uk.
* On May 13th in NYC, Le Cirque’s chef Craig Hopson
serves the cuisine of his homeland, Australia, for a 3-course "Greg
Norman Estates Wine and Wagyu Dinner." Wine director Paul Altuna has
selected wines from the Australian vineyard of professional golfer Greg
Norman to complement Hopson’s menu. $80 pp. Call 212-644-0202.
* On May 15 & 16
Chef Guillaume Bienaimé at Marché
in Menlo Parl, CA, will
offer a special 5-course menu featuring the season’s finest wild
mushrooms from forager Todd Spanier, owner of King of Mushrooms
warehouse. $75 pp. Call 650-324-9092 or visit www.restaurantmarche.com.
* On May 16 the
American Lamb Cook-Off debuts at Taste
of Tribeca in NYC--Amanda
Freitag of The Harrison and Kurt Gutenbrunner of Wallsé,
Café Sabarsky and Blaue Gans. to be judged by
Gail Simmons of Food & Wine magazine;
Josh Ozersky of Citysearch; and Lauren Glassberg, from “Neighborhood
Eats” on WABC-TV. Also, 60+ downtown
restaurants, incl. Chanterelle, Bubby’s, The Odeon, Macao Trading
Company, and Bar Artisanal; “The Kids’ Zone” and live entertainment.
Tasting Cards $45 ($40 in advance); Premium Ticket
Market Table Seats $175 pp; Taste Table Reserve for a
table of 6, $750; Tribeca Grand Taste Package, $1200, incl.
one-night stay in a King room for two at the Tribeca Grand Hotel,
reserve table for 6, a $50 gift certificate from the Bubble
Lounge, and a gift bag. Proceeds to fpublic elementary schools, P.S.
234 and P.S.150. Visit www.tasteoftribeca.org.
* From May 16-17 the Sonoma
Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance
holds the 3rd annual Passport to Sonoma Valley, at 50+ wineries
and vineyards, incl. some of California’s oldest and most coveted
artisan wineries. $55/weekend, $50/day and $10/designated driver
when purchased in advance or $65/weekend and $60/day when purchased at
the event. The events incl.: Holiday in the Vines; VINOLIVO; Passport
to Sonoma Valley; and Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, featuring the Sonoma
Valley Harvest Wine Auction. Visit www.sonomavalleywine.com or
* On May 18 NYC's `21' Club will hold a 5-course
winemaker's dinner hosted by Robert Foley Vineyards. $150 pp. . . . On
June 11, Champagne Taittinger dinner with national director Jerome
Jeandid. $195 pp. Call 212-582-7200.
* On May 18 in Houston, Arturo's Uptown will hold a wine
dinner spotlighting the Piedmont region of Italy, hosted by Dale
Robertson, Wine Columnist for the Houston Chronicle, and Chef
Arturo Boada. $125 pp. Call 713-621-1180.
* On May 18 Careers through Culinary
is holding its 2nd “Heavy Medal” culinary competition at the Marriott
Desert Ridge in Phoenix, AZ,
with two of Arizona’s top chefs - Oliver Reschreiter of Marriott Desert
Ridge and Michael deMaria of Michael’s Catering and Heirloom – An
American Restaurant. Last year’s competitors, Beau MacMillan and Mark
Tarbell will emcee as guests enjoy dinner with
wine. Three audience members will have the chance to join our
celebrity judges in determining the winner, with proceeds to benefit
Arizona C-CAP high schools. $200 pp. Visit www.blacktie-arizona.com
or call 623-594-0117.
* From May 19-23,
the New Orleans Wine & Food
Experience will feature 1000 different wines from over 200
winemakers. A Premium Wine Dinner will be held May 19 featuring Chef
John Folse, Winemaker Pierre Seillan and his wife Monique, from the
Chateau Lassegue winery in Bordeaux. $125 pp. For all
events info, visit www.nowfe.com or call 504-529.
* On May 20 The Olde Stone Mill
in Tuckahoe, NY, will hold
Wine dinner, at $85 pp. Call 914-771-7661.
* In Calabasas, CA, Saddle Peak Lodge, is offering a new
3-course menu by Chef Cuisine Adam Horton for Malibu and
Calabasas neighbors at $55 pp and incl. a glass of wine selected
from the 600-label cellar. Call 818-222-3888; visit
* On May 20 in Philadelphia, Chef Michael
Solomonov and restaurateur Steven Cook of Zahav will celebrate its
first birthday with belly dancers, live Middle Eastern music and
special pricing on their acclaimed food and drinks. Call (215)
625-8800 or visit www.zahavrestaurant.com.
* On May 21 in NYC, at Bar Boulud, Chef Damian Sansonetti
will hold a 4-course wine dinner of Willamette Valley wines from Seven
Springs Vineyard, at $95 pp. Call 212-595-0303;
* On May 21 in San Francisco, Foreign Cinema Chefs Gayle Pirie and
John Clark collaborate with Cowgirl
Creamery Owners Sue Conley and Peg Smith continue their 10-year
anniversary celebration and the 2009 Guest Chef Series, offering
a select number of dishes highlighting favorite Cowgirl cheeses. Wine
Director Zach Pace will offer Northern California wine-pairing options
for each dish. Call 415-648-7600.
* From May 22-24 the
Balboa Bay Club
in Newport Beach, CA, will
hold its Wine & Food Festival, incl. The Grand Tasting features 60+
wineries, with food by Chef Joseph Lageder. $135 pp. Call
949-630-4145; visit www.balboabayclub.com.
* Beginning May 22
in Bedford, PA, the Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa
will feature a new series of Weekend Wine Dinners in the 1796 Room,
incl. May 22: Wines of South America; June 26: California;
July 24: Pacific Northwest, and more throughout November. $90 pp.
Call 814-623-8100 or visit www.omnibedfordsprings.com.
* Nana at Hilton
Anatole in Dallas now
hosts its monthly wine and food flight trio, Friday Night
Flights, between 6pm – 8pm, for $20 pp--3 wines paired with
3 dishes created by Chef Anthony Bombaci. Call
214-761-7470; visit www.nanarestaurant.com.
* Remy Martin Cognac has
introduced "Les Rendez--Vous Rémy Martin," a tour of the Cognac region
and grounds of the House of Rémy Martin, a tailor-made program,
for a half-day, full day, evening or weekend visit where every detail
of the journey is organized by Rémy Martin. Guests are invited
to appreciate the cognacs, chosen by the only female Cellar Master,
Pierrette Trichet, and offered the chance to learn how to blend Cognac
to their preference. Guests can also opt to experience the family
estate, Le Grollet and take a tour of the wine pressing hall and view
the historic stone stills. Guests will also enjoy the food of
Rémy Martin’s Chef Philippe Saint Romas.