Amagansett, NY (2008) by Galina Stepanoff-Dargery
FOOD AND TRAVEL BOOKS FOR SUMMER by John Mariani
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR: FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA'S WINES ALWAYS TELL A STORY
by Mort Hochstein
NEW FOOD AND TRAVEL BOOKS FOR SUMMER
usual barrage of food, wine, drink, and travel books comes
over the transom here, and most get tossed on a pile. The truth is,
most of them are little more than variants on a slew of books that
have been published before. Is there really any need for another
book on how to taste wine? There must be 50 of them out there
already. Or pickling? Or another vodka book? Or another memoir of
a year spent in Southern France? The books I like are the ones that
don't simply re-cover the same territory or that have a value as
something I can settled down with and read (which I'm told some people
still do, even if it's not on a two-inch digital screen). Here are some
of the new books of spring/summer 2009 I have enjoyed and intend to
keep on the shelf.
BBQ: Photographs by Wyatt McSpadden (U. of Texas Press,
$39.95)--Wyatt McSpadden is a photographer first and a BBQ lover
second. At least I think so, having chowed down with him in Texas. On
every page of this stunningly beautiful book Wyatt gets behind and
beyond the sophomoric squabbles about regional 'cue and focuses in on
how it's done in Texas by men, and a few women, for whom the process of
smoking meats is much more than the job of a cook, showing it to be
central to American, specifically Lone Star State, food culture.
You look at these photos, you smell the smoke, you feel the heat, and
you want to get in your car and drive.
. . . And Don't Forget!
The Second, 10th Anniversary, revised edition of Grilling for Dummies by John Mariani and Marie Rama, with new recipes by Galina Mariani (Wiley, $21.99) has just been released.
NEW YORK CORNER
by John Mariani
BEDFORD POST INN
954 Old Post
Mr. Gere Builds His
celebrities tie their names to restaurants it’s almost always about the
money and rarely about the food, as ventures like Roy Rogers, Arthur
Treacher’s Fish & Chips, and Britney Spears’ short-lived NYLA
prove. The rare exceptions would be Robert DeNiro’s involvement
in several Nobu restaurants and Tribeca Grill in New York and the late
Paul Newman’s in The Dressing Room in Westport, Connecticut.
In the casual Barn,
fixed price Market Menu, $29. Appetizers $8-$13, main courses $15-$22;
In The Farmhouse, Chef’s Tasting Menu $90 ($150 with wine pairing),
Appetizers $12-$19, main courses $29-$45.
FROM THE WINE CELLAR
Ford Coppola, with entries in the wine business, movies, resorts, and
retailing, as well as other endeavors, is an innovator who packs a good
story into whatever he does. Coppola’s theatrical
flair endows many of his wines with a plot, and though hardly as
ingenious as the movies he makes, the story becomes part of the package.
Though he pursues the Holy Grail of great Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa, his Sonoma estate offers several lines of more accessibly priced wine. Those bottlings, sourced from a variety of California growers, range in price from the Director and Director‘s Cut labels at about $30, Votre Santé in the high twenties, the Diamond series (right) in the high teens and the more popular priced Rosso and Bianco wines in the low teens. Something like a multiplex, showing wines for every taste and pocketbook.
former editor and producer for NBC News and the Today Show, and former
managing editor of Nation's
Restaurant News, has written on wine,
food and travel for Wine Spectator,
Wine Business Monthly, Saveur
and other food and wine publications.
ASIDE FROM ALL THE OTHER THINGS TO
Hilda Maciel, a
chef at the Las Palmas restaurant in Calexico, Mexico, discovered what
she believed to be an image of the Virgin Mary on a griddle
she was cleaning. The next day Rev. Gerardo
Fernandez of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church confirmed the
image was indeed a true likeness of the Virgin Mary.
flocked to the restaurant to view the griddle, now enshrined in the
stock room, including several Mexican wrestlers booked to appear at a
Las Palmas swap meet. as a special promotion.
photo: T. Krainin
OH, WILL YOU JUST STOP!
“On my return to the city [from Connecticut] after a number of visits, I tried to stay in touch with this fairyland. . . Still, the memories surfaced, one with the fragrant resonance of a Madeleine: an afternoon rencontre with a brilliantly ripe red tomato that still smelled unselfconsciously of its vine and the field. Aiden and I feasted on it, with slabs of crusty bread, good butter, a little mayo, salt and pepper. Nothing more.”—Alison Humes, “Fairy Land,” Conde Nast Traveler (March 2009).
To all public relations people: Owing to the amount of press releases regarding Father's Day dinners, I regret that it is impossible to list any but very special events.
* On June 11-13 in NYC, The Association for Community Employment Programs for the Homeless and The SoHo Partnership will host The SoHo Stroll, during which participants will have exclusive access to discounts and promotions in participating stores, restaurants or neighborhood businesses, ranging from discounts to free samples to complimentary cocktails, incl. Barolo, Centovini, DELICATESSEN, Dos Caminos SoHo, Eileen's Special Cheesecake, Elizabeth, Grand Bar & Lounge at the Soho Grand Hotel, i tre merli, L'Ecole: The Restaurant at the French Culinary Institute, La Esquina, Lure Fishbar, Mezzogiorno, Naked Lunch, Via dei Mille and Vosges Haut-Chocolat. A $20 silicone bracelet qualifies strollers for discounts and promotions. Visit www.sohostroll.org.
In NYC, starting June 6,
the Crowne Plaza Hotel in
Times Square will be hosting on the first Saturday of every month a
for Kids," at Brasserie 1605, a confectionery making class for children
ages 10 to 16. $25 per child. Call 212-315-6000.
* On June 8 in NYC, chefs from around the country will appear at Rockefeller Center Plaza for the 24th annual Chefs’ Tribute fundraiser, “Street & Savory--A Global Street Food Festival" to benefit Citymeals-on-Wheels.” Kelly Choi, host of Top Chef Masters, will emcee. Nick Valenti and Patina Restaurant Group host the annual event, with more than 40 chefs, incl. Daniel Boulud & Jim Leiken, DBGB Kitchen and Bar I ; Larry Forgione, Monkey Bar ); Charlie Palmer & Christopher Lee, Aureole; Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Vong/Spice Market/Matsugen; and Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto--all in NYC--and Roy Choi, Mark & Caroline Manguera, Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go and Joachim Splichal, Patina Restaurant Group from L.A.; and Charles Phan, The Slanted Door/Out The Door/Heaven’s Dog in San Francisco. General admission: $600; Benefactor: $2,500 (inc.s 2 VIP early admission tix); Grand Patron: $5,000 (incl. 4 tixs); Very Grand Patron: $10,000 (incl. 6 tix); Call 212-687-1290.
From June 8-12 in San Francisco,
Urban Tavern has
announced a “pay what you think it’s worth” promotion to herald
the new summer 3-course lunch menu. Customers will
pay what they think it’s worth. In addition, 5 hours of free parking
while dining will also be valid. Visit www.urbantavernsf.com; call
On June 14 in San Francisco,
COCHON 555 holds the only
heritage pig and chef competition in the U.S., a Taste Network event
featuring 5 Chefs, 5 Pigs and 5 Winemakers working together to raise
awareness for heritage breeds. The chefs incl. Nate Appleman,
Staffan Terje, Ravi Kapur, Ryan Farr, and Peter McNee; winemakers incl.
Krupp Brothers, Hirsch Vineyards, Elk Cove Winery, Arcadian Winery, K
Vintners, Ghost Horse World, Chase Cellars and Patz & Hall. Taylor
Boetticher will perform a whole pig breakdown. To be held at The
Fairmont San Francisco. Visit www.amusecochon.com.
On June 14 in Houston, a
"Farm to Table Dinner" featuring the Wines of Soter Vineyards in the
Willamette Valley of Oregon will be held at Catalan Food and Wine with
Chef Chris Shepherd preparing a Seasonal Menu from local farmers; James
Cahill from Soter Vineyards to discuss the wines. $135 pp. Call
On June 15 in Chicago, Chalkboard will host Mac McDonald,
Winemaker and Owner of Vision Wine Cellars for a 4-course wine and
reception. $100 pp. Call 312-477-7144.
On June 15 in NYC, il Buco chef Chef Ignacio Mattos welcomes South
American Chef Francis Mallmann, celebrating his new cookbook, Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way,
written with Peter Kaminsky. 4-course dinner, $90 pp. $115
with signed cookbook. Call 212-533-1932; www.ilbuco.com.
On June 16 in Boulder, CO,
The Kitchen [Upstairs]
holds its Monthly Wine and Beer Class: Rediscovering Local Cuisine, at
$60. Call 303-544-5973.
On June 17 in Rye, NY,
at La Panetière
Tony Esnault will be guest chef for a 5-course dinner at $78 pp, $40
extra with wines. Call 914-967-8140. He will also lead
cooking demos from June 17 – 19 at 11:30 am.
On June 17 in Philadelphia,
the 4th Annual Great Chefs Event to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Foundation for Childhood Cancer will be hosted at Osteria restaurant, feauturing Tom
Colicchio, Michael Symon, Bobby Flay, Jeff Michaud of Osteria,
Daniel Stern of Gayle/Rae Restaurant; Brad Spence of Vetri; Clark
Fraiser & Mark Gaier of Arrows/MC Perkins Cove/SummerWinter in
Maine; and Paul Kahan of Blackbird/Avec in Chicago, et al. VIP tix $400 pp; regular
tix $250. Call 866- 333-1213.
On June 17 in Boston, Chef
Anthony Susi of Sage Restaurant
is celebrating 10 years of modern Italian cuisine with chef friends,
incl. Ana Sortun, Oleana; Andy Husbands, Tremont 647; Anthony Caturano,
Prezza; Charles Draghi, Erbaluce; Daniel Bruce, Meritage; Dante de
Magistris, Restaurant dante; Jody Adams, Rialto, and many others. $30
pp. To benefit the Union Park Neighborhood Association. Call
On June 17 in NYC, Marco
Canora and Paul Grieco of Hearth restaurant
will be slow-roasting a baby pig from Bev Eggleston’s Eco Friendly
Farms in Virginia, prepared in the Tuscan tradition, it will be stuffed
with pork sausage, and carved table-side by Marco while Paul pours some
of his favorite wines and beer. $42 pp for 3 courses, + $18 for
beverages. Call 646-602-1300; www.restauranthearth.com.
* On June 18 in Berkeley, CA, Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto holds a “One Fermented Evening” 4-course dinner prepared by Chef Devon Boisen, showcasing wild salmon paired with a selection of California wines. $69.95 pp. Call 510- 845-7771.
NYC's Hakubai Restaurant in The Kitano Hotel has
introduced a health-focused lunch and dinner menu, Kenbi, featuring
ingredient rich in minerals and nutrients which are known to prevent
degenerative diseases and slow down the natural aging process. The
menu, by Executive Chef Yukihiro Sato, features classic Japanese
ingredients known to promote health and beauty both internally and
externally. Hakubai’s Kenbi Lunch is priced at $39 pp. and the Kenbi
Dinner at $55. Call 212- 885-7111.
* On June 18 in Schaumburg,
ILL, Shaw’s Crab House and the ChicaGourmets! are hosting a
4-course dinner featuring Collins Caviar and Sparkling Wines of the
World, prepared by Executive Chef Arnulfo Tellez, and Juvenal
Reyes. $89 pp. Visit www.chicagourmets.org ot call 708-383-7543.
On June 20 in Tremont, OH,
the 8th Annual Tremont Trek: 2009
will take place as a fundraiser for Tremont West Development Corp.,
offering guests rare peeks into six private homes in Cleveland’s
historic Tremont neighborhood, while enjoying a progressive dinner
party as they sample food and services provided by several restaurants
and retailers incl. Bistro on Lincoln Park/Chef Pete Joyce;
Fahrenheit Chef Rocco Whalen; Fat Cats and Lava Lounge/Chef Ricardo
Sandoval; Parallax Chef Zack Bruell; Prosperity, Dish Deli
& Catering, and Lago; and the Post-Trek party, a finale of
sorts at Paul Duda Gallery/Robert Hartshorn Studio, where guests gather
for dessert tastes from Grumpy’s, Lilly Handmade Chocolates, and A
Cookie and A Cupcake. Tix $100 pp in advance, $110 at the door. Call
On June 20 in Westport, MA,
Westport Rivers Vineyard &
Winery will host a local wine & food
festival fundraiser with lLocal food, wine and beer, with
proceeds to support the preservation of farm
land in Westport, through the Westport AgCom. The event will also
Buzzards Bay Brewing, Running Brook Vineyards and Travessia Urban
Winery, all of which source from the small town of Westport. $45 pp.
* In Canada a 4-day/3-night “Route de Vin” package wine-country odyssey begins with a stay in Toronto, at the hotel Le Germain; transferring by private sedan to the town of Jordan, at the Inn on the Twenty; wine tasting at Cave Spring Cellars; dinner at On The Twenty; and more. From US$1,575 pp. Call1-800-ONTARIO, or visit www.ontariotravel.net.
On June 20 Neighborhood
Restaurant Group of Alexandria, VA, will host its
own Virginia Farmland Solstice Supper on Loudon County Farmland, with
winemaker Dennis Horton of Horton Vineyards. Guests will also have a
chance to meet and mingle with local farmers Ellen Polishuk of Potomac
Vegetable Farms, Chip and Susan Planck of Wheatland Farms, Rob Moutoux
Jr. of Moutoux Orchard, Barbara Lamborne of Greenstone Fields and
Georgia and Zach O’ Neal of Tree and Leaf Farm, followed by a 4-course
dinner by Chef Chittum, nominated for the Rising Culinary Star of
the Year award by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan
Washington. Visit www.neighborhoodrestaurantgroup.com.
* On June 22, in Miami Beach, Blue Door at Delano presents a 6-course wine dinner featuring the wines of Duckhorn and the cuisine of executive Chef Maria Manso, priced at $150 pp. Call 305-674-6400.
Everett Potter's Travel Report:
I consider this the best and savviest blog of its kind on the web. Potter is a columnist for USA Weekend, Diversion, Laptop and Luxury Spa Finder, a contributing editor for Ski and a frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveler, ForbesTraveler.com and Elle Decor. "I’ve designed this site is for people who take their travel seriously," says Potter. "For travelers who want to learn about special places but don’t necessarily want to pay through the nose for the privilege of staying there. Because at the end of the day, it’s not so much about five-star places as five-star experiences." To go to his blog click on the logo below: THIS WEEK: 36 Hours in Nepal; Good Design at MoMA; Travel Medicine in Budapest
Eating Las Vegas is the new on-line site for Virtual Gourmet contributor John A. Curtas., who since 1995 has been commenting on the Las Vegas food scene and reviewing restaurants for Nevada Public Radio. He is also the restaurant critic for KLAS TV, Channel 8 in Las Vegas, and his past reviews can be accessed at KNPR.org. Click on the logo below to go directly to his site.
Tennis Resorts Online: A Critical Guide to the World's Best Tennis Resorts and Tennis Camps, published by ROGER COX, who has spent more than two decades writing about tennis travel, including a 17-year stretch for Tennis magazine. He has also written for Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, New York Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Esquire, Money, USTA Magazine, Men's Journal, and The Robb Report. He has authored two books-The World's Best Tennis Vacations (Stephen Greene Press/Viking Penguin, 1990) and The Best Places to Stay in the Rockies (Houghton Mifflin, 1992 & 1994), and the Melbourne (Australia) chapter to the Wall Street Journal Business Guide to Cities of the Pacific Rim (Fodor's Travel Guides, 1991).
Family Travel Forum (FTF), whose motto is "Have Kids, Still Travel!",
is dedicated to the ideals, promotion and support of travel with
children. Founded by business professionals John Manton and Kyle
McCarthy with first class travel industry credentials and global family
travel experience, the independent, family-supported FTF will provide
its members with honest, unbiased information, informed advice and
practical tips; all designed to make traveling a rewarding, healthy,
safe, better value and hassle-free experience for adults and children
who journey together. Membership in FTF will lead you to new worlds of
adventure, fun and learning. Join the movement.
MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly. Editor/Publisher: John Mariani. Contributing Writers: Robert Mariani, John A. Curtas, Edward Brivio, Mort Hochstein, Suzanne Wright, and Brian Freedman. Contributing Photographers: Galina Stepanoff-Dargery, Bobby Pirillo. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.
Any of John Mariani's books below
may be ordered from amazon.com by clicking on the cover image.