January 31, 2010
Mural in Nayarit, Mexico. Photo by Galina Stepanoff-Dargery (2009)
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OUT in MODERN MIAMI
NEW YORK CORNER:
Revisited by John
FROM THE WINE CELLAR: Italy’s Mystery
White Wine Is Also Its Finest by John Mariani
OUT in MODERN MIAMI
By John Mariani
"Miami Vice," the one about two undercover cops who
drove around so inconspicuously in a $250,000 Ferrari sportscar and
Dolce & Gabbana and Versace so they could blend in with the bad
guys? Ah, what
innocence it was! Sex, drugs, and rock and roll! Miami became the
center for it all, with South Beach booming with crummy restaurants
that all served pasta salads, crab cakes, and mojitos. For more than a
decade, Miami Beach was the focus of the greater city’s nightlife and
restaurant action, especially on those three long blocks hedging the
beach—Ocean, Collins, and Washington—which each
season saw the appearance of new eateries in the spaces of
last season’s flops. Most were hardly worth remembering.
But in the last two or three years Miami’s
downtown and the burgeoning Design District have become far more
interesting places to dine, with restaurants that are far from the
cookie-cutter faux-trattorias and steakhouses on South Beach. Let
me begin by saying there are several very good restaurants on Miami
Beach that have succeeded year after year by serving more
individualized menus, not least the famous Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant,
which has been around since 1912, where the lines may be a bit shorter
these days but where the game of palming the maître d’ for a
shorter wait and good table is still requisite.
The old grand hotels of Miami’s 1960s heyday
retrenched or, as in the case of the Fontainebleau, which has been
closed for years and wholly rehabbed at a cost of $1 billion. The
old continental dining rooms have been replaced with restaurants with
celebrity chefs names on them, including Scott Conant, who put in a
version of his New York Scarpetta
Italian restaurant; Hakkasan,
transatlantic leap from London’s Chef Alan Yau; and a steakhouse by
Gotham Bar & Grill’s Alfred Portale.
Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road, closed to
vehicular traffic, has had its ups and downs, but at the moment it is
home to the city’s best new steakhouse, with the double entendre name Meat Market (left). It’s pretty slick,
with a big bar up front, the usual pounding music, roomy booths, and
shadowy décor that is a direct opposite of the old masculine
steakhouses of the past. The menu bears comparison to more modern
grills like the BLT Steak chain, which has a unit on South Beach in the
Betsy Hotel. Meat Market’s chef, Sean Brasel, with meats cooked over a
wood-burning grill, Japanese Kobe beef (at $95 for six ounces), and
“creative sauces” like smoked paprika chimichurri and Jack Daniel’s pasilla garlic. If
you like your steak with a good vibe, this is
the place to go this season.
Some of the Beach’s best Italian-Mediterranean
food is to be found at La Marea
the well-restored Tides
handsome, sand-colored dining room where Chef Pietro Rota does
evocative dishes like seafood stew with scallops, clams, tomato, and
garlic; sautéed Moroccan tuna filet with spices; and
foccacia bread filled with tomatoes, burrata, and
As I noted, foodies have been leaving the
beach or driving in from the metro area to the Design District, which
never had a gastro-profile at all until Michael Schwartz, formerly of
Nemo, moved over there to open Michael’s
Genuine Food & Drink,
which looks, on purpose, like upscale luncheonette and has a menu to
boot. But Schwartz has elevated comfort food to an exemplary
level: His chicken liver crostini are
dreamy, part Tuscan, part Jewish.
The yellowfin tuna tartare with grapefruit, avocado, and crispy
potatoes is pure Florida soul food. And the roasted pork shoulder with
cheese grits and pickled red onion, or the crispy breast of veal would
be first-rate cuisine anywhere.
Michael’s success immediately spurred a slew
of new restaurants in the Design District, including Pacific Time (right), once located on Lincoln
Road, Chef Jonathan Eismann’s paean to tropical casual chic, Asian
tropics included, as evidenced in his succulent skirt steak with
Indonesian spices, fermented black beans, and braised bok choy; his
marvelously crisp softshell crab tempura; and addictive hot-and-sour
popcorn shrimp with Thai vinaigrette. Pacific Time, like most Miami
restaurants, spills over al fresco onto a patio, from which it’s a
treat to see the handsome crowd sashay
most anticipated arrival in the District has been SRA. Martinez (below), a nickname for Michelle
Bernstein, whose work at Azul made it into the finest and
most stylish restaurant in Miami. Here at her new place, in an
historic 1920’s era post office now done up with two bars on two
levels, she is focused on small plates, some tapas-like, which range
from pan con tomate, an
authentic Spanish staple of toast moistened with
tomato, topped with Jamon de Serrano, to calamari cooked “a la plancha”
on a griddle, served on a bed of black rice, and to more high-end
ingredients like her foie gras with brown butter apples and pulled
pork. It works and it's sensational.
Downtown there is renewed culinary interest,
which was spurred by the housing and condo boom of the past decade, so
that hotels like The Four Seasons, the Viceroy Miami, and The
Epic joined the spectacular Mandarin-Oriental (opened in 2002), where Azul (below), under Michelle Bernstein,
achieved a well-deserved nationally recognized excellence no other
had ever achieved. Upon Bernstein’s leaving three years ago, the
apron strings were tied on to young master Clay Conley, who has
maintained Azul’s eminence and the menu’s East-West fusion cuisine with
glorious results and his own dazzling style, as in glittering dishes
like his whimsical and delicious "steak n' eggs" carpaccio and tartare
of beef, with crispy egg yolk, truffled artichoke vinaigrette and
balsamic vinegar; summer squash ravioli comes with a warm chanterelle
vinaigrette, whipped goat's cheese, pesto sauce, and tempura-fried
squash blossoms; and yogurt-marinated swordfish with toasted pita and
heirloom tomato salad with a brown butter
lobster sauce and the slight crunch of hazelnuts--a brilliant
Desserts closely follow Conley's style of contrasts--a
milk chocolate semi-freddo with
orange crème brûlées, cocoa nib tuile, and orange
sorbet is excellent, and the "deconstructed apple pie" is a plate of
roasted apple compote, buttery pecan streusel, cinnamon-caramel
gelée, and apple sorbet. Sommelier Cynthia Betancourt matches
Conley's ideas with a superb 700-selection winelist that fits the
At the nearby Epic Hotel, on the 16th
floor, Area 31 (below, left) is a new dining room
with real panache in its clean, modern use of wood and steel, an open
kitchen, attractive lighting, and a fine view of downtown Miami’s
condos, many sitting unlighted at night. Another young chef, John
Critchley, is doing superlative work that features local seafood in the
Miami-Mediterranean style, based on the sustainable product of Fishing
Area 31, an area surrounding Florida and Central America. There is a
selection of raw fish called by the Italian term crudi, including stone
crab, yellowfin tuna and Key West pink shrimp, as well as a Grilled
Fish category that depends on the best in the market that day—maybe
Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, corvina, cuttlefish, or mahi mahi
paired with variously flavored sauces. Other main courses include
sautéed red snapper, salt-crusted dorade and wood-grilled spiny
At the Viceroy things got off to
an ambiguously inane start when it debuted its 15th floor restaurant
last year. Then, this spring, they brought in star chef Michael
Psilakis to do in Miami what he’d
done in New York, which was the transformation of Greek cookery into
haute cuisine, at Anthos. He'd also done combinations of
Mediterranean and Italian food at other restaurants, so all that
experience was poured into the menu at The Viceroy restaurant, which
was renamed Eos (below, right), which has
retained the banal design of the previous restaurant.
As at Area 31
and so many other restaurants around Miami, Eos
features raw seafood,
signature items from New York, like orange marlin with pistachio, Speck
bacon, and sweet apricot. The melted fonduta
of pecorino over
hazelnuts, thyme honey, and crostini
is irresistible, and chicken is
poached in milk and served with sweet corn. For something quite
decadent, try the sea urchin risotto with caviar and egg yolk. The
effort here seems offhanded but interesting enough.
Whether or not Psilakis, who now
runs three restaurants in NYC will ever have the time to be at Eos
remains to be seen and is a questions worth considering. Call and ask.
It’s nice to be able to get off the beach in
Miami these days and know you are going to get a fine meal, indeed, a
great meal. And if the ultra-casual, sloppy seaside look of the
patio eateries in the painted art deco hotels gets to be a bit much,
you can now dine with a sure degree of sophistication, your choice of
great wines, and service that doesn’t end every sentence with “Awesome
103 West 77 Street
years old, Dovetail is going strong in an expanded space up
near the Museum of Natural History, and chef-partner John Fraser's
cooking gets stronger all the time, more effusive really, food that
snap and imagination without going over the line of sensible taste. The
quaint name suggests a calming hospitality, and that's what you'll get
from a service staff, from
amuse to petits-fours. Not least
among the staff is sommelier Amanda Reader, who has added 500 bottles
to the winelist and knows every one of them very well. Seek her advice.
The expansion of the dining room by 20 seats
and the bar by 16 (there
is a new bar menu) brings in some much needed spatial light, making the
dark wood and brick of the walls colorful than they used to look. It is
disappointing, however, that they've kept the naked, dark bird's eye
wood tables, which,
sheen or not, add to the coffee shop feeling in the room. How
much warmer and brighter things would be with simple tablecloths.
Fraser was born in California, worked at The
French Laundry and in top toque restaurants in France before achieving
recognition at Compass a few block south of Dovetail. His cooking
shows a range of influences adapted to his own particular taste,
evident in every dish. Begin with the millefeuille
of rabbit in filo
sandwich sheets, which would be addictive on its own, but the
tangy-sweet addition of apples and the woodsy flavor of black truffles
make this a stellar winter's dish. Sweetbreads were nice and meaty,
with a sweet-sour quince sauce, fried rice, cashews, and bok choy--an
Asian item that I wish more Asian restaurants in NYC might
approximate. Potato gnocchi were fine, embellished with matsutake
mushrooms, fennel and poppy seeds that gave it a Trentino
sautéed foie gras of excellent quality came with the charming
Graham crackers and sweet, beautiful huckleberries.
Among the entrees I most enjoyed were the
superb pistachio-crusted duck with a melange of figs, roasted red
pepper, and watercress and a polenta starch counterpoint.
Monkfish took on terra firma notes from braised oxtail and sunchokes,
while a roasted sirloin of beef cheek lasagne with endive and mushrooms
was polished off quickly at our table. Only a pork chop, lacking
fat, with celery and underseasoned lentils was disappointing.
pastries, by Vera Chang, are some of the best in NYC and they fly just
above the complexity of what precedes them--brioche bread pudding with
bananas, bacon brittle, and rum ice cream is a triumph; oatmeal Stout
gingerbread with pears and a liquid crème caramel is devilishly
good, and the pumpkin cheesecake was a delight.
The winelist at Dovetail is, as you'd
expect, broad and deep, priced about as high as its competitors do,
but consult Ms. Reader for your price range and you'll drink very well.
Dovetail is unique in stocking 25 Sherries you rarely see west of Jerez.
& Sun. Dovetail is open for lunch Wed.-Fri., for dinner Mon.-Sat.,
and for brunch Sat. & Sun. There is a "Sunday Suppa" at $38.
Appetizer at dinner range from $12-$48, entrees $28-$38, with a
6-course dinner at $94.
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
White Wine Is Also Its Finest
by John Mariani
Even though I’ve been drinking wine with
a very long time, jaw-dropping moments have been few and far
between. Sometimes it’s in awe of how dreary a much-praised wine
turns out to be; others, it’s when I didn’t expect much at all from a
wine that proved a revelation. The latter was definitely the case when
I had my first sip of Edoardo Valentini’s Trebbiano d’Abruzzo thirty
years ago at a seafood restaurant called Guerino in the seaside town of
Pescara in Italy’s Abruzzo region.
My wife and I ordered spaghetti with clams and
a simply grilled branzino graced with nothing but olive oil and lemon.
Looking over the winelist I spotted Valentini’s wine at a price way
above the other trebbianos, though in those days $10 was a fortune to
spend on an Italian white wine. Especially trebbiano, which is
produced in Abruzzo in bulk and is rarely anything but dry and pleasant
when young. The other odd thing about the Valentini listing was
its age—ten years old, which is about eight years more than I would
ever consider drinking a trebbiano. I was curious but suspicious.
The waiter poured the wine and the color
was not promising, like burnished gold, usually a sign of considerable
oxidation in a white wine. I swirled the glass and the aroma was very
full. Then, on taking my first sip, my jaw did indeed drop. I
looked at my wife and said slowly, “This is one of the greatest white
wines I’ve ever tasted.” And it got better as it aerated in the glass.
The richness, the body, the velvety
smoothness of the fruit-acid balance, and the distinctiveness of the
varietal flavor—unlike any trebbiano I’d ever tasted—was unique.
I called over the owner of Guerino and asked him about the wine. His
eyes lit up. “Ah, that is a trebbiano made by the Lord of the Wines in
Abruzzo.” Beyond that revelation, he had no more information, almost
like a Transylvanian speaking in hushed tones about the Lord of
In the years since then I have drunk
Valentini’s Trebbiano whenever I could find it (as well as his superb
red wine, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and a rosy Cerasuolo), which is not
often enough. And
information on the winery is not easy to come by. Edoardo Valentini (right),
who died in 2006 at the age of 72, was not a man to give away his
secrets, had various exporters, no p.r. agency, and not even a website.
He was notorious for not allowing media visits or interviews.
When Charles Scicolone, now food and
wine editor of I-Italy.org, got to visit the estate a few years ago,
Valentini and his family “sat there like Mussolini and were very
unpleasant,” he told me. “He would not show us his winery or tell us
anything about how he made the wines. He did, though, talk endlessly
about how he grew the grapes, which he said was the only true clone of
Trebbiano, and how he covered his vines with canopies. Then he refused
to sell us his wine.”
The little information that can be pieced
together about him and his winery shows that his ancestral home in
Loreto Aprutino goes back three centuries, that he studied law, but
then, in the 1950s, devoted himself to the 170 acres of vineyards.
trebbiano clone may well be the reason
for his wine’s superiority but Valentini’s mania for picking only the
best grapes means he uses only about five percent of the crop to make
his wines (the rest is sold off to a cantina sociale). Although
allowed by law to make up to 800,000 bottles each year, Valentini never
made more than 35,000 of Trebbiano and 15,000 of Montepulciano,
usually much less. And it was always hard prying any out of him.
The wines are made by old-fashioned
methods of vinification and aging, a tradition carried on now by his
son Franceso Paolo (with his father,
left). The wines are never released until the winemaker
determines they have sufficient age on them, which may be five years or
more. Only the greatest of white Burgundies and sweet rieslings of
Germany can hold up to a decade or more in the bottle, yet Valentini’s
vintages of 1985, 1988, and several in the 1990s are prized by
I had occasion recently to taste the
currently available vintage of the Trebbiano, 2005, and found it every
bit as good as every bottle I’ve ever had. Its U.S. importer, Domenico
Valentino, brought in just 30 cases of the 2005 and has only ten left,
most of it sold to restaurants. I’ve found that vintage from $75-$111,
and vintages from the 1990s go for about $115.
Will Edoardo’s son be more open to the
world? Will he make more Trebbiano in the future? I, for one, hope not.
A little mystery goes a long way, and a little wine keeps connoisseurs
of Valentini panting for more.
Mariani's weekly 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.
OR MAYBE IT
WAS JUST THE CAFFEINE SEEPING THROUGH HIS PORES?
County police suspect drugs may have been involved with the behavior of
Bayron Reyes Lopez of
San Clemente, when he allegedly jumped out of a third-story window,
killed a dog with his bare hands, then poured coffee all over
himself after running naked through a tennis club, where he was a
WELL, IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR MR.
ROSEN, IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR US!
"The art to the east puts
even arrivistes directly at the center of a particular kind of
Manhattan scene. There is a lot of cashmere and silk at Casa Lever,
plenty of crazy wealth. (That’s Mr. Rosen over there now!) But it’s
still fun in Spence-Chapin thrift-shop merino, in a Housing Works
frock.. . . Micro-greens, those biosphere wonders too easily overcome
by dressing, here stand up to little croutons and welcome a
soft-poached egg, if not crisped prosciutto in the role of bacon or
pancetta." —Sam Sifton, "Lever House," NY Times (1/6/10)
for submissions: QUICK
only events, special dinners, etc, open to the public, not restaurant
openings or personnel changes. When submitting please send the
pertinent info, incl. tel # and site, in one short paragraph as simple
e-mail text, WITH DATE LISTED FIRST, as below. Thanks. John
OWING TO THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER
OF VALENTINE'S DAY ANNOUNCEMENTS AND DINNERS, I AM UNABLE TO INCLUDE
ANY IN QUICK BYTES.
* On Feb. 1, in Brooklyn, NY, T D Selections and
the Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar,
will present a 4 course Wine Dinner, with wines paired by Tony DiDio.
$65 pp Call 718 834 1776.
* On Feb 1& 2 , in Lombard, IL, Fonda Isabel will hold a
fundraiser for Haiti with a special 3-course menu for $20 to benefit
the Red Cross' efforts. $20 per person plus tax and
gratuity. Call 630-691-2222.
* Beginning in February in Atlanta, GA, Pacci Ristorante is giving guests
the opportunity to recycle their corks and receive discounts with the
restaurant’s “Cork to Fork” promotion in partnership with ReCORK
America. The restaurant will deduct 2 percent off the total
bill for every cork brought in up to a maximum of 20 percent off.
This offer is limited to natural cork wine closures only, and does not
include plastic or metal closures. Call 678-412-2402.
On Feb. 2 in Newport, RI, 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille
will host a dinner featuring the wines Nickel & Nickel Single
Vineyards. Larry Maguire, Nickel & Nickel partner, will lead
guests through each selection of wine paired with Chef Chris Jones’
4-course dinner. $99.22 pp. Call 401-841-8884.
* On Feb 3-6, in Oakland, CA,
its annual Whole Hog dinners, held in honor of an ancient Italian
wintertime tradition of using the entire animal from snout to tail.
Chef Paul Canales will incl. signatures such as Choucroute Garni,
Piemontese Peasant Braise of Pork Shoulder, Little cotechino Sausages,
and Wild Boar Spare Ribs. Call 510-547-5356, or visit
On Feb. 4th in Denver, CO,
7 of the top chefs in the region will gather for a 6 course dinner with
paired wines to raise much-needed funds for Denver’s own Project C.U.R.E. and their Haiti
relief fund. The chefs incl. Matt Anderson, Bistro Vendôme, John
Broening, Duo/Olivéa, Yasmin Lozada-Hissom, Duo/Olivéa,
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, Frasca, Max Mackissock, Squeaky Bean, Alex
Seidel, Fruition and Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja. $125 per person with all
money going to Project C.U.R.E. Call 303-820-2282.
On Feb. 6 thru Feb. 21 in Washington,
DC, Café Dupont
will host a Sunday Soul Brunch featuring classically southern comfort
foods and cocktails. Cuisine by Executive Chef Silvan Kramer includes
Fried Chicken and Waffles and Shrimp N Grits. Menu a la carte. Call
On Feb. 6 in Rutherford, CA, at
Quintessa Winery, Forever
Young Wine Auction & Benefit will benefit The Young School, an
elementary school in St. Helena. Unusual and hard-to-find wines and
‘priceless’ experiences with winemakers and behind-the-scenes winery
visits, tastings and meals. $100/person, call 707-967-9909.
On Feb. 6, in Schaumberg, ILL,
Shaw’s Sushi Chef Naoki Nakashima, an authority on Japanese cuisine and
etiquette, will lead an interactive Japanese sushi demo in Shaw’s Oyster Bar. Call Shaw’s
Schaumburg at 847-517-2722.
On Feb. 8 in San Francisco,
Daniel Patterson, chef-owner of Coi and
David Kinch, chef-owner of Manresa,
team up to cook a 7-course dinner at Coi to support the Bocuse d'Or USA
Foundation. $195 pp. Paired wines for an additional fee. Funds will
support training of the chef who will represent the U.S. at the next
international Bocuse d'Or competition in Lyon in 2011. Call
*On Feb 8, in NYC,
Einstein meets Julia Child when Great Performances, Liberty Science
Center, and a host of NYC chefs unite in the kitchen to explore the
natural science in cooking and molecular gastronomy at ELEMENTS, an interactive
dining experience where top chefs, winemakers, coffee roasters, and
master mixologists who will display and explain the physical and
chemical changes that occur in food when exposed to the natural
elements of fire, water, air, and ice. The Great Performances
Kitchen; $150 pp. Visit www.greatperformances.com/elements.
* On Feb. 9 in Atlanta,
GA Toulouse Restaurant
is hosting a Steve Penley Wine Dinner to benefit the ServeHAITI
Foundation. The dinner includes a 5-course meal with two glasses
of wine and the chance to meet artist Steve Penley and view and buy his
artwork. A portion of the art proceeds as well as a sizeable
portion of the nightly proceeds will be donated to the ServeHAITI
Foundation. $125 pp. Call 404-351-9533.
* On Feb. 10, in Orangeburg, SC, Four Moons (www.fourmoons.com) will
host a wine tasting dinner with Paul Hobbs. First tasting,
Felino Series, $25 pp; 2nd Tasting, Crossbarn Series; $35
pp; commentary from Hobbs and light hors d'oeuvres; Wine
Pairing Dinner, $150 pp; in-depth presentation by Hobbs.
FEATURE: I am happy to report that the Virtual Gourmet is linking up
with four excellent travel sites:
* On Feb. 11 in San
Francisco, CA, Foreign Cinema Chefs
Gayle Pirie and John Clark celebrate the 87th birthday of Marion
Cunningham, an American food writer, local cookbook author, friend,
mentor and long time Bay Area resident. Enjoy a special menu imbued
with Gayle and John’s favorite Marion Cunningham-inspired dishes. Call
415-648-7600 for reservations or visit www.foreigncinema.com.
* On Feb. 13 & 14 in Madrea, CA, The family wineries
of the Madera Wine Trail will
host “Wine & Chocolate Weekend” Wine lovers may purchase a Passport
Wine Glass at any of the participating wineries both days of the event
for $25, or in advance for $20. Sample current & newly
released vintages while indulging in chocolate creations, special
food pairings, local art and live music. Call 800-613-0709 or go
* From Feb.17-Apr. 4 in New Orleans, Besh Restaurant Group celebrates the
traditions of "jours maigres" or "lean days" with enticing seafood
dishes at August, Besh Steak, La Provence, Luke, Domenica and American
Sector on the six Fridays during Lent. Call 504-299-9777.
* On Feb. 18 in NYC Gascon chefs create a dinner
at the James Beard
House in honor of D’Artagnan’s 25th
anniversary with Madiran, Gaillac,
Gascogne, Pacherenc, Fronton, Saint-Mont, Jurançon and Cahors,
inductions into the Company of Musketeers of Armagnac. $250
non-members; call 212-627-2308; www.jamesbeard.org. . . .On
Feb. 21 in NYC D’Artagnan’s 25th anniversary progressive dinner, with a
chartered bus to each course at a different 4-star restaurant, with
chefs from France and NYC (32 stars among them) celebrating a fusion of
Gascon and American cuisine. With Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges, Eric
Ripert, Thomas Keller, Daniel Humm, and wines from the top vintages and
reserves of Cahors, Madiran, Jurançon, St. Mont, and
Château Lynch Bages will be served. Trou Gascon Armagnac
will be served on the bus between courses. $600, 800-327-8246.
* From Feb. 19 – March 26 The Celebrity Chocolate Buffet
returns to Park 75 at Four Seasons Atlanta when
each Fri. evening a different celebrity
will join Chef Robert Gerstenecker to share their
favorite chocolate recipe along with 15 other chocolate
desserts created by Gerstenecker. Hosts incl. fashion
designer, Mychael Knight, radio personality and philanthropist, Frank
Ski, Atlanta Ballet Creative Director, John McFall, President and CEO
of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., Xernona Clayton, of
Fulton County Animal Services and owner of Barking Hound Village, David
York and New York Times bestselling author, Emily Giffin. $20pp.
Visit www.fourseasons.com/atlanta. Call 404-253-3840.
* From Feb. 18-Feb 28, the Montreal HIGH LIGHTS Festival will take
place with the city’s top chefs joining forces with their international
counterparts at the SAQ Wine and Dine Experience presented by Air
France. The festival features 280 events and this year pays
tribute to Portugal, New Orleans and Quebec’s Eastern Townships.
Fausto Airoldi, master of Portuguese cuisine, will serve as honorary
president and 21 chefs will be featured from his country. New Orleans
chefs incl. Michael Farrell (Le Meritage), Brian Landry (Galatoire’s),
Donald Link (Cochon), Duke Locicero (Café Giovanni), Ian
Schnoebele (iris) and Thomas Wolfe (Wolfe’s in the warehouse). Call
1-999-477-9955 or visit www.montrealhighlights.com.
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: Is The MS Europa the Best Ship in the World?; Lingering in
Las Vegas is the new on-line site for Virtual Gourmet
A. Curtas., who since 1995 has been commenting on the Las Vegas food
scene and reviewing restaurants for Nevada Public Radio. He is
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).
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is dedicated to the ideals, promotion and support of travel with
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All You Need to Know
Before You Go
An engaging, interactive wine
column by Nick Passmore, Artisanal Editor, Four Seasons Magazine; Wine
Columnist, BusinessWeek.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.nickonwine.com.
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.
John Mariani is a columnist for Esquire, Bloomberg News, and Diversion.
He is author of The Encyclopedia
of American Food & Drink (Lebhar-Friedman), The Dictionary
of Italian Food and Drink (Broadway), and, with his wife Galina, the
award-winning Italian-American Cookbook (Harvard Common
Any of John Mariani's books below
may be ordered from amazon.com by clicking on the cover image.
newest book, written with my brother Robert Mariani, is a memoir of our
years growing up in the North
Bronx. It's called Almost
Golden because it re-visits an idyllic place and time in our
so many wonderful things seemed possible.
For those of you who don't think
the Bronx as “idyllic,” this
book will be a revelation. It’s
about a place called the Country Club area, on the shores of Pelham Bay. It was a beautiful
neighborhood filled with great friends
and wonderful adventures that helped shape our lives.
It's about a culture, still vibrant, and a place that is still almost
the same as when we grew up there.
Robert and I think you'll enjoy this
very personal look at our Bronx childhood. It is not
yet available in bookstores, so to purchase
a copy, go to amazon.com
or click on Almost Golden.
© copyright John Mariani 2010