May 9, 2010 NEWSLETTER
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THIS WEEK: GALLO BLANCO, PHOENIX, AZ
☛ In This Issue
DINING OUT IN DALLAS, Part One by Mort Hochstein
NEW YORK CORNER: MARCONY by John Mariani
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR: More Women Drink Wine than Men but Men Still Grab the Winelist
by John Mariani
DINING OUT IN DALLAS, Part One
by Mort Hochstein
It was still March, but it could not have been more pleasant. Under bright skies and warm sun, several thousand of us were soaking up culture, wine and food in the Dallas Arts District, an ever-expanding area where you can go from museum to opera house to experimental theater to sculpture garden, all within a three-block radius. It reminded me of Berlin, where five great museums nestle up to each other on an island off the city center, but unlike the historic German museums, the Dallas facilities are all recent vintage, with new additions still under construction.
It was the sixth annual Arts District Wine Stroll, and we sipped and noshed at the Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Winspear Opera House and Wyly Theater, the latter two having opened just this year. I particularly enjoyed the Nasher Center, lounging outside at wine and food stations amidst exotic greenery and even more exotic sculpture. The art stroll was part of Savor Dallas, a festival which spread over the weekend and encompassed wine seminars and two Texas-sized wine and food extravaganzas, with about 60 restaurants participating in the recently refurbished Sheraton Hotel. Our group also visited several new additions to the Dallas restaurant scene.
DALLAS CHOP HOUSE
Eve, the proprietors of Go Fish Ocean Club in North
Dallas Fish Market in center city installed yet another downtown
of beef in one of the city’s more memorable buildings, the
Tower, designed by architect Philip Johnson.
Open for lunch and dinner. Appetizers run $7 to $16; main courses $25 to $55.
changed, I pictured something
the roadhouses and barbecue joints I had seen in Texas hill
country. I wasn’t far from wrong.
Bolsa doesn't really have appetizers other
than bruschetta and flatbreads ($11-$12), while main courses run
NYC's Murray Hill neighborhood, east of the Garment District all the way to the East River, is full of ethnic eateries but, unlike just about everywhere else in the city, short on good Italian restaurants, the notable exception being i Trulli. So when Marco Pipolo, former partner of Scalinatella, opened Marcony a few weeks ago, he was not just filling a gap but bringing a more refined cuisine and style to the area. As he contends, the kitchen will “have one eye to the past, honoring traditional New York Italian cuisine, while having one eye to the future with modern influences.”
of the two-story restaurant echoes the color of Capri, with white
walls, and tablecloths,
blue tones, and dark wood beams, accented by a wriggling blue-and-white
glass sculpture resembling a, ascendent sea creature. Right
about now there
is also outdoor seating for up to 20 people. Mr. Pipolo and his
staff could not be any more cordial to all
a good winelist with plenty of moderately priced bottlings. The
Capri's and Campania's culinary
character, beginning with excellent, creamy eggplant parmigiana--a dish
that is making a great comeback in NYC after years of neglect.
ender grilled octopus
comes with baby arugula and the anise-flavor of fresh fennel. They do
an interesting risotto that is grilled with various Italian cheeses,
an addictive dish that goes fast at the table. There is
also a plate of crisp fried artichokes done in Rome's "Jewish style,"
so with the main courses go with the striped sea bass with
fava beans and cherry tomatoes or the dentice
crusted with potatoes
with white wine and lemon sauce--both very delicate and very
delicious. Impeccably cooked, sweet sea scallops (left) came in a
light, frothy lemon-butter sauce. For meats there is a fine braised
lamb shank with mashed potatoes and as good a rendition of the very
northern vitello alla milanese,
any I've had in the city--Milan or
Dinner antipasti range
from $10.50-$18.50, pastas (full portions) $15.50-$19.50; main courses
Even that may soon
change if women heed the results of a recent survey of 20,000 women
years by Boston's
that suggested that women who drink a moderate amount of alcohol on a
basis, particularly red wine, are less likely to experience long-term
gain than non-drinkers.
Philip, one of only 18 women in the world certified as a Master Sommelier (out of 178 worldwide), said in a phone interview that, “If women are drinking with other women, obviously they choose the wine, sometimes with one of them more in charge; otherwise it’s a joint effort. If pairings are involved, there may be a woman who will ask questions about the wines prior to pouring, though men have more questions. But if the ladies are in the food and wine business, their questions are more significant and more inquisitive than the gents’. European women tend to be more comfortable ordering wine when men are present at the table.” In the past, she says, men were always automatically handed the wine list everywhere. “As a woman who dines out with men, unless someone knows who I am, the list is passed to the man, who then hands it back to me,” she says. “We have worked very diligently in our restaurants over the last 5-8 years to not allow that to happen and to offer the list to the table. Still, if it is ascertained the host is the woman at the table, 9 times out of 10 she passes it to the man. I am convinced women do this to not `bruise the ego’ of the gentlemen they are dining with.”
American Sommelier Association declared her the
Sommelier in the U.S.A.World in 2002--she finds that her fellow male
Sommeliers “literally pounce on the list. I sit back and allow
make their selections, within reason. I may order a glass of
else just to get what I really want or to put my two cents in. If
to see that list, I have to ask for it. Strange right?”
At Corton (left),
in New York’s TriBeCa, management has devised a system that seeks to
embarrassment. “When the guests sit down the captain will place the
and winelist right on the table and see who reaches for it,” says
Brewster. “We give them a few minutes to look at it, then I’ll go up to
person going through the pages.”
photo by Evan
Mariani's wine column appears in Bloomberg Muse News,
on a daily basis.
FRAPPUCCINO AT A STARBUCKS IN MUMBAI!
FRAPPUCCINO AT A STARBUCKS IN MUMBAI!
Gurjarat, India, Prahlad Jani
(left) is being examined by
India's Defence Research Organization to evaluate his claim that he has
gone for 70 years without food or water. Thus far, Jani has
spent more than a week without food or water and doctors say he
not showing adverse effects from hunger or dehydration. Jani
claims to have left home at seven years old to live as a wandering holy
as a "breatharian" who can live on a '"spiritual life-force," nourished
by a goddess who pours an "elixir" through a
hole in his palate. The Defence Research Development Organisation
hopes Jani may help soldiers survive longer without
food, or disaster victims to hang on until help arrives.
YOU ANSWER, "YO,
WHAT'CHOO LOOKIN' AT
today’s food trends took root in L.A.,
[like] the eschewing of stiff Continental formality. (Your waiter is as
likely to crouch beside your table and ask 'you guys' what’s up.) --Jon
Lindberg, "Best Restaurants in Los Angeles," Travel & Leisure (May 2010).
* From now thru Aug. 31 in Houston, Texas, Chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s will feature his seasonal “Menu de Flor de Calabaza,” or Squash Blossom menu at his award-winning Regional Mexican restaurant. Menu can be found online at www.hugosresaturant.net. Call 713-524-7744.
* During the month of May, in Atlanta, Pacci Ristorante is partnering with the Atlanta Humane Society to celebrate the restaurant’s one year anniversary, donating $1 from every order of its signature carpaccio, fand $1 from every new spring cocktail ordered to AHS. Additionally, Pacci will be collecting items on the AHS Wish List http://www.atlantahumane.org/donate/wish-list.asp to donate to the organization, and guests can bring in any item off the list to Pacci. In honor of this partnership, the Atlanta Humane Society is naming a puppy up for adoption Pacci. Pacci Call 678-412-2402.
*On May 10 in NYC, Saveur magazine presents a benefit for Wellness in the Schools and The Greenhouse Project hosted by Lauren Bacall & Ann Brasheres with tastings by chefs from Telepan, Gramercy Tavern and more. Tickets range from $150-$300. Visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/105366.* On May 10 at Kellari Parea Bistro NYC, Gabriella Wines presents a five course wine diner,with menu by executive chef Gregory Zapantis. $59 pp. Call 212-777-8448.
* On May 10
and 11 in Cleveland, OH,
co-owner of Lioco Winery, will
join wine expert Jeff Graff of Mason, Ohio-based
wine distributor Vintner Select, in introducing new Californian wines
Northeastern Ohio area through a series of wine dinnersheld at
Cleveland area restaurants Americano on
May 10 and John Palmer’s Bistro
44 on May 11. The Americano dinner is $55pp. Call 216-541-3900.
The John Palmer’s
Bistro 44 dinner is $60pp. Call 440-350-0793.
* On May 11 The Grand Cafe in San Francisco, will host a Nine Vines Wine Dinner to benefit Project Open Hand. Vivien Gay and Alexis Todor, for Nine Vines, will lead guests through each selection of wine paired with a 3-course menu from Executive Chef Sophiane Benaoouda. $55 pp. Visit www.ninevinesevents.com.
On May 12 in NYC, City
Harvest presents “Skip Lunch Fight Hunger,” a
initiative that invites individuals to donate their lunch money to help
Harvest feed hungry kids and their families. Visit Skiplunch.org or
* On May 12, in Los Angeles, Wines from Spain presents the LA Great Match: "Vivacious Varietals. Tantalizing Tastes" featuring 300 Spanish wines and 8 LA incl. THE BAZAAR at SLS by José André. Proceeds will benefit L.A. Works. $45 pp. Visit www.greatmatch.org.
* On May 13
the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans, will host a
World Cocktail Week Celebration, with food, cocktails, music, and
Chris McMillian and Dale DeGroff will again make the largest flaming
in history. Tix available
at www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org. On May 14
the Museum will open their newest exhibit
dedicated to the history of the classic Hurricane Cocktail. Author Tami
will mix drinks and sign her book, In
Pursuit of Pat O’Brien. Free and open to the public. On May 15 host
Rachel Arons, the founder of the New
Orleans branch of Edible Magazine,
and the Edible network.
members, $10 for non-members. Also,
the last Fleur-de-Licious Kids Culinary
Camp before the start of summer. The free Summer Kids Culinary Camp
June 7th. Free for members, $5 for non-members.
On May 15 in NYC,
Taste of Tribeca
celebrates neighborhood chefs & restaurants with its 16th
annual fundraising event for P.S. 234 and P.S.150 schools from 11:30 am
pm. $40 (in advance) and $45 at the event.
* On May 20 in Berkeley, CA, Gather Restaurant hosts an Earth Island Presents benefit dinner honoring authors Howard Lyman and Nicolette Hahn Niman who will be present. $50 pp. Call 510-809-0400. www.gatherrestaurant.com
* On May 25th, in Brooklyn, Chef Saul Bolton will present La Primavera, an Italian wine dinner celebrating Spring at Saul. Wines by Tony DIDio Selections. $125 pp. Call 718-935-9844.
May 26--29 in New Orleans,
the New Orleans Wine and Food
hosts their 19th annual event. Enjoy 1000+ wines from 200+
winemakers from around the world, and food from 100+ of New
restaurants. Events incl. Winemaker Dinners, the Signature Royal Street
Stroll sponsored by Rouses, the Seminar Series and the Grand Tastings
the Louisiana Superdome. Proceeds benefit local charities. Tix
vary. Special hotel and ticket packages available
www.nowfe.com. Call 504-529-WINE.
* On May 26 in New Orleans, GW Fins Restaurant and Silver Oak Wineries will present a spectacular five course wine pairing dinner as part of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. $125pp inclusive. Call 504-581-3467.
*On May 29 in Naperville, IL, SugarToad will host Roast –n-Toast, a farm-focused pig roast paired with local beer from Two Brothers Brewing Co., live music, family activities and a silent auction with proceeds for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Chef Geoff Rhyne will roast whole pigs and chickens La Caja China style, a slow roasting charcoal box popularized by Cuban cooking. $30, adults; $10, children ages 5 to 12 and free for kids under 5. Call 630-778- 8623.
*From June 1 - 15 in San Francisco, "Dine About Town San Francisco" returns with 100+ of the city's finest restaurants offering a 2-course lunch menu for $17.95 and/or a 3-course dinner menu for $34.95. Call 415-391-2000, or visit www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/dineabouttown.
* On June 3, in Atlanta, Morton’s The Steakhouse Downtown will offer a beer tasting featuring 4 different Dogfish Head beers (Midas Touch, Raison, 90 Minute and Palo) paired with Morton’s appetizers. A beer specialist will also be on hand to give a short presentation. $45 pp. Morton’s will donate $5 from every ticket to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Call 404-577-4366.
* From June
4-12, in NYC, the "Gourmet Latino
Festival" debuts at the Astor
Center for a celebration of Latin gastronomy and culture. The
socially-conscious festival will feature over 30 food and beverage
including chefs such as Aarón Sánchez and
Latin spots will tie-in via “Authentic Dining Week.” $65-$85 per
grand tasting event. Visit www.gourmetlatinofestival.com.
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: SWISS DIARY; WHALE WATCHING WEEK.
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).
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.
nickonwine: 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.
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