Clifton Webb and Raymond C. Hair,
Jr. in "Sitting Pretty" (1948)
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
QUESTIONS? TO REACH JOHN MARIANI WRITE
READ MY STORY ON "SANDWICH CUISINE" IN DIVERSION MAGAZINE,
RESTAURANT ROUND-UP, Part One by Suzanne Wright
NEW YORK CORNER:
by John Mariani
When Michael Tuohy left town last fall to helm a new
Sacramento, CA. the fate of the restaurant he left behind, Woodfire
Grill, was uncertain. I’m pleased to
report that chef Kevin Gillespie is making a name for himself in his
former mentor’s digs. Gillespie, a semi-finalist for the James
Beard Foundation’s 2009 Rising Star Chef of the Year, continues to
focus on fresh, organic and sustainable ingredients. A recent
five-course tasting menu ($65, wine pairings extra) showcased the young
of Canoe and, most recently, his now-shuttered Taurus, has turned up at
Livingston’s, in Midtown’s stately Georgian
Terrace Hotel. On the night I dined, Mennie was expediting
orders during a busy pre-theater rush just a week after its
opening. The two-level, historic digs looks spectacular--plush
banquettes opposite the kitchen, a view of the old Fox Theater through
large windows fronting Peachtree Street, filigreed balconies, a
white marble staircase, a subdued and monochromatic leather and chrome
FLIP burger boutique
Burger Boutique is Richard Blais’ latest venture.
The ever-boastful Blais declared during my visit that the concept,
which he may roll-out nationally, is “money in the bank.” And
judging from the reception he’s gotten, he might be right, having
finally nailed the elusive combination of comfort food and avant-garde
lunch and dinner daily. Burgers go for $6.50-$17.
Suzanne Wright is a writer living in Atlanta and founder of www.writesquared.com.
NEW YORK CORNER
Confusing pan-Mediterranean cuisine with Greek or
Turkish or North African cuisines is like speaking of Pan-American
cuisine: There are many similarities, but there are also many
distinctions. Pera, located conveniently near Grand Central
Terminal, is decidedly Turkish and its food ranks with the very best
I've had in Istanbul. As well it should: Pera is a venture of Burak Karaçam of
BK Restaurant Partners, whose family has owned and operated successful
restaurants in Turkey, and Chef Sezai Celikbas comes from the
chain; co-chef is an American, Jason Avery, who brings his own
skills to the enterprise.
Pera is open for lunch
Mon.-Fri. and for dinner Mon.-Sat.
ESPECIALLY DURING THE
learned that kissing a man while leaning against a warm dishwasher is a
lovely, lovely experience, (Go ahead! Try it! I'll wait.)"--Molly
Wizenberg, A Homemade Life:
Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table.
THEN PUSHED HER UP AGAINST A WARM DISHWASHER AND . . . .
* On June
22 in NYC, Carmine’s hosts an evening to
raise money for Italy’s earthquake victims, with all proceeds from the
event going to the National Italian American Foundation, featuring
unlimited wine and wine tastings with a
number of vintners on site to describe their varietals, accompanied by
passed hors d’oeuvres and a festive Carmine’s antipasto station,
followed by a 4-course dinner. $150 pp. Call 212-221-3800.
June 23 in NYC, Emily
Wines, master sommelier of NIOS,
will host a series of Sommelier Smackdowns going head-to-head with
wine and spirits experts. The pairings will be served with a
3-course dinner prepared by chef Patricia Williams. The winner will be
chosen by popular vote and
receive bragging rights for the month, along with a traditional
championship wrestling belt. NIOS’ first Sommelier Smackdown on
June 23 is a battle between Master Sommeliers Emily Wines and Laura
Maniec of B.R. Guest. $55 pp. Call 212-485-2999.
28 in Chicago, Tru is hosting a 10-Year Anniversary
Gala with chefs Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, Tim Graham and Meg Galas for
a 10-course dinner, incl. Jose Andres, Jaleo, Washington, D.C.;
Susur Lee, Shang, NYC; Craig Shelton, The Ryland Inn,
Whitehouse, NJ; Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger, Boston; Michelle Bernstein,
Michy's, Miami; Michael Symon, Lola and Lolita, Cleveland, and Michael
Laiskonis, Le Bernardin, NYC. $295 pp. Call 312-202-0615.
On June 28 in Providence, RI,
Chef/owner Bruce Tillinghast of New
Rivers will hold a "Farmers' Dinner" at $75 pp. Call
* On June 28 in Arlington,
VA, the Rocklands
Barbeque and Grilling Company holds a Pig Roast when founder
Sneddenwill talk about the art of barbeque and demonstrate grilling
techniques at a whole pig roast brought to barbeque enthusiasts in
association with Slow Food DC. Guests will also receive a lesson
on pickling and canning techniques. $35 for Slow Food members, $40 for
guests. Visit www.rocklands.com.
* On June 29 in NYC, Alto restaurant invites guests to bring their favorite 1980s Barolo to enjoy and share with other guests. A 5-course meal appropriate to these wines will be served. Sommelier Eriz Ziller I will also open a great Barolo from Alto's cellar. $150 pp. Call 212-308-1099.
* On June 30 in Half
Moon Bay, CA, Cetrella
Restaurant will host a 4-course Alfaro Family Vineyards &
Harley Farms Wine Dinner, by Executive Chef Sylvain
Montassier; with a tasting reception. $95 pp.
Call 650-726-4090. Visit www.cetrella.com.
* On July 3 in London, the Capital Hotel will host the Bordeaux winery Chateau Pavie, with Chef Eric Chavot creating a 5-course menu to compliment the selection of Chateau Pavie wines. £250 pp. The Capital is offering a special room rate of £295 per night. Visit /www.capitalhotel.co.uk or call 44-20-7591-1200.NEW FEATURE: I am happy to report that the Virtual Gourmet is linking up with four excellent travel sites:
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." THIS WEEK: PARIS
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.