and Michael Douglas at `21' Club, NYC, in "Wall Street" (1987)
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NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR: Fresh Wind from Pantelleria by Mort Hochstein
CRUISING THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN ON REGENT
by John Mariani
I am not by nature a person who loves cruising, especially since cruise ships have gotten larger and larger and come to resemble a floating Las Vegas where the food venues are more feed halls than venues. When I do choose to cruise it is principally because of the ports of call, which lets out all those dreary Caribbean landings where you are greeted by hawkers and hustlers and there's nothing to see except Duty Free shops. But give me an itinerary that includes ports I've never been to or yearn to see again, and I get very interested. Since most ships dock for only a day in any one port, I regard a cruise as a way to find out if there is any reason to spend more than ten hours in a port city. Sometimes three hours is more than enough. Other ports are so fascinating that I know I will come back for further enrichment.
I also demand that the food and restaurants be at least at the standard of a good restaurant in a major city. How often have I dined onboard and found distressing signs of brown vegetables, malodorous seafood, and meat way past its prime, if it ever had one.
Thus, an invitation to join an Eastern Mediterranean cruise on Regent's Seven Seas Mariner came as a good way to indulge my wife and myself with visits to new lands and to see if Regent's food and service live up to their high reputation among high-end travelers.
Along with competitors like Crystal, Gauguin, Seabourne, and Silver Seas in the deluxe market, Regent is trying to win passengers for whom money may or may not be an object, even in this economy, so one of the principle distinctions among the lines has to be in food and service. I found Regent's service nonpareil--with 445 European and international crew--from the reception in those first confusing moments of getting onboard to the highly efficient passage of guests to ports of call, by tender or simply alighting at the dock. What with the various security issues in each individual country, the handling of passports and entry went flawlessly, not least in Israel, known for its high alert security. Cruise Director Jamie Logan proved indefatigable and unflappable in keeping us informed hourly and aiding passengers in every way. Our suitekeeper, a charming girl from Indonesia, could not have been more amieable; the concierge was always willing to help in any way, never at a loss for information and usually personally familiar with the destinations. And when a snafu occurred, as when a bus driver at Haifa that said he would leave at 12:15 to return to the ship decided to leave at noon instead, stranding us for the next hour, the ship's manager leapt to deal with the incident upon my report.
The restaurant waitstaff, from food & beverage director Paolo Milordo to the suave Spanish bartender Miguel, from maître d's to waiters, quite literally rush to get whatever a guests requires, often anticipating that request by delivering a fresh napkin or more butter or wine. If anything, they can be a little too intrusive, with someone asking every two minutes if everything is all right, and we were drowning under incessant offers to refill glasses with more and more ice water.
By the way, all gratuities are included in the price of passage, a very welcome amenity that more deluxe cruise lines have now adapted.
The Mariner itself, 709 feet in length, is a beautiful, sleek ship, not one of those behemoths looking like a bloated harmonica. The Mariner takes only 700 guests, so we never felt overwhelmed by crowds or lost in the labyrinths of the leviathans taking thousands of passengers.
Cruisewear is the norm, with no requirements for jackets and ties (on cruises less than two weeks, there are no black tie nights), although probably about half the gentlemen onboard wore jackets in the restaurants at dinnertime.
Our suite (below), commodious and, like all others on the Mariner, with a private balcony facing the sea, was quite handsome, the bed of fine quality, a walk-in closet, an impeccable bathroom of good size with a spacious shower with amazing water pressure and almost instant heaed water. Rooms are decked out with guests' favorite liquors (all liquor, wine and cocktails are included in the passage price). Flat screen TVs get a decent number of channels, though more would be better (and that infernal CNN International still only seems to change its programming about once every ten days, with more sports than news). My time onboard was greatly enhanced by also having a DVD player and a very good list of movies to borrow. Last but not least, wireless service was remarkably good, interrupted only in occasional dead spots but overall available at sea and on land. I daresay my Blackberry had fewer problems than I've had standing on a corner of NYC.
Other amenities include a beauty salon and spa, an art gallery (with an auction is held at the end of the trip), a boutique and card room, a small casino I assiduously avoided, and a very well-stocked library, from which I borrowed and read four books in ten days while plying the waters to the next destination. Newspapers come in the international condensed form in the morning and about half dozen, including the Wall Street Journal and The International Herald Tribune, are available in complete form in the lounge.
There are four dining areas on the Mariner, and one outdoor grill by the pool. The Compass Rose (below) is the largest, requiring no reservations, and there is none of that outdated sit-with-the-same-people-every-night ordeal. Most nights my wife and I had, as requested, a table of our own. Picture windows allow for a view of the sea for everyone. The food at The Compass Rose is in the international style, the tables luxuriously set (all the restaurants use Riedel stemware), the waitstaff set to a well-honed tempo.
Menus change daily, with selections of wines I found overall of top quality, while the winelist itself, overseen by sommelier Stefano Ferrari, has breadth and depth, and, much to my surprise, prices that are startlingly moderate; indeed, there are wines on Mariner's list you would pay considerably more for in a restaurant in the U.S. or Europe. (Canyon Ranch Spa Cuisine is also offered, along with no salt items.) I can only hint at the variety and quality of the cooking at The Compass Rose, from a pasta of the day like fettuccine with veal ragù and porcini to roast quail stuffed with a mousseline of foie gras, with barley risotto, Port reduction, sugar snap peas and Vichy carrots. On another night it would be soft-shell crabs with a sauce rouille or Wiener Schnitzel with a potato and cucumber salad. Each evening there is also a menu dégustation--no extra charge--by Chef Cornel Ruhland, and throughout the cruise provender and seafood are picked up from the local markets. This alone is a distinguishing mark for Regent, because so many large cruise lines merely stock their larders in a single port and serve it until they get new, basic supplies. The chef apologized to us one night because a shipment of fresh fish arrived too late to load onboard.
Signatures (left) is a smaller dining venue, requiring reservations, somewhat more posh, with menus crafted in association with Le Cordon Bleu's Academie d'Art Culinaire, under the supervision of Chef Oleksandr Pundyev. This, of course, means it is resolutely French, though the décor is modern French, with candlelight, not unlike what you might find in a contemporary fine dining room in Paris, albeit without the view of the wine dark sea outside your window. There were some excellent dishes the night we dined here, including a lobster salad with a colorful mango fondue; a silky terrine of foie gras with prune quenelles; a very good pistou--the Provençal soup so often watery, here chunky with vegetables and fragrant with fine olive oil; a crustacean bisque was a little thin but it was full of avocado, crabmeat and tomato garnishes.
A seabass fillet was perfectly cooked, with pistachio oil, spinach and marinated tomatoes, though it might have used a little more fat in the bargain. Rack of lamb was served with a small quiche of blue cheese and herbed yogurt sauce. Such dishes do in fact show how even the highly conservative repertoire of Le Cordon Bleu menus have adapted to and adopted global influences, and that is all to the good. By the way, the wine served that evening with the meat course was fabulous--a Châteauneuf-du-Pape Serabel 2008. Desserts included baba au rhum, but I could not resist the array of perfectly ripe cheeses that included chèvre, reblochon, Roquefort and brie, along with a glass of ten-year-old Port.
La Veranda (right) functions as a sunlighted breakfast buffet--lavish to the hilt, with daily specials--with unexpectedly good croissants and brioche; then at lunch the pizza window opens (pretty good, not outstanding) and on the last night out of port, a barbecue that surpassed any expectations for Lucullan excess from chicken and ribs to shrimp and salads, and desserts galore, together with live entertainment (of which I shall say more in a moment). After six p.m. La Verandah turns into a no-reservations Italian restaurant, and the food is of very high quality, especially if you enlist the Italian members of the crew to give due diligence to the cooking of the pastas.
The newest addition to the Regent ships is the Prime 7 steakhouse (below)--the pride of the fleet, for good reason. Balancing the solidly masculine with the softly feminine, the room is romantic enough for women and clubbish enough for men to take a big table and enjoy themselves. Every cruise line serves steaks and prime rib, and many have a steakhouse onboard, but the quality of the meat on so many is mediocre. This is not the case at Prime 7, which serves some of the best cuts I've come across on land or sea. Open the menu and you'll see that the beef is in fact USDA Prime, the highest, best marbled grade, aged a minimum of 28 days, and it is all expertly cooked, with a good char on the outside, succulent throughout.
You begin here with a wide assortment of appetizers--tuna tartare with olives and green beans; jumbo shrimp cocktail; lump crabmeat with southwest slaw and roasted pepper sauce; and three-steak tartare. The main event is the beef and assorted chops, including an excellent 16-ounce veal chop and Berkshire pork (the lamb is from New Zealand and not all that wonderful) and you can choose-, or have all, the sauces, from chimichuri to classic Bearnaise. The side dishes get just as much attention as what precedes them, including gloriously rich creamed spinach, aromatic truffle fries, good onion rings, and a corn casserole.
Almost every night, the ship offers live entertainment, which I assumed was going to a gang of toothy young hoofers on a par with a lounge act in Reno. or stage at Disneyland. I was, then, bowled over by the intense, vibrant talent of an array of very attractive singers, dancers, and musicians whose nearly one-hour nightly shows would have bested most I've seen in Las Vegas. On one night they sang all Broadway show tunes, on another Beatles songs, on another the classic American Songbook, all on a large, expansive stage (right). The strength of their voices, together and solo, the tightness of their harmonies, the ever-changing costumes, and the interplay with dancers drew me every night of the cruise, including those nights with the cunningly mad Russian pianist Alexei Filimonov.
I shall have a good deal more to say about the ports of call I visited on the cruise in upcoming weeks--Rhodes, Ephesus, Santorini, Jerusalem, and others--which were the real reason I take cruises at all. Yet while I will never understand those passengers who rarely even get off the boat, I can say that all the time I spent onboard the Mariner was well spent, and deliciously so. Indeed, one day, a powerful wind and choppy sea prevented the tenders from docking with the Mariner at Mykonos, so we couldn't get off at all. I was very disappointed at first, but then the idea of spending an entire day aboard the Mariner with nothing to do but what I wanted to do and wanted to drink and wanted to eat, finished off with fine entertainment, started looking quite good to me soon afterwards.
People have been rocked to sleep by the gentle flow of the Mediterranean for 10,000 years, but I suspect very few have done so in this level of luxury and balance.
For the 26th year, I've been compiling Esquire's "Best New Restaurants of the Year," and the competition only gets better, my narrowing down of choices tougher and tougher. Here are this year's picks, which appear in the November issue, followed by a "Man About Town" report on the gala awards party in NYC.
CHEFS TO KEEP
YOUR EYE ON
Sage--Las VegasSeasons at The Ocean House--Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Dévi, located in Manhattan’s Flat Iron District has some fierce competition, located just blocks away from many of NYC’s best restaurants, like ABC Kitchen, A Voce, Craft, Gramercy Tavern, and others, yet it seems Dévi is only competing with its former self, the Michelin one-star rated Dévi of 2008. In ‘09, that Michelin star was taken away--no Indian restaurant has a star currently--and now Dévi is putting every ounce of energy and passion into getting that star back. On the basis of a recent visit, I can see the results showing.
Chef Hement Mathur and chef Survir Saran have been running Devi’s kitchen for three years after becoming owners in October of ‘07 and have continued to produce some of NY’s most upscale Indian food. With the addition of sommelier Jeff Bartels, a strong advocate of smaller wineries from almost every corner of the world, Dévi’s wine list has expanded and matured. I also felt the staff was top notch, all servers well-educated on food preparations and reflected Mathur and Saran’s commitment to development and improvement.
interior is magical, done in shades of red, orange and yellow that
the floors, walls and ceilings, all softened by enormous cream colored
that drape the entire perimeter of the restaurant, even covering the
windows, creating a dim, romantic setting. My
of dining at one of Dévi’s
four more private tables toward the back of the restaurant (right) where we sat on a
colorful banquette surrounded by crafted white wooden columns and
dressed with see-through pastel textiles.
dinner I opted for the tasting menu, a decision that helped me avoid
tough decisions with so many tantalizing options. The
dahi batata puri, sweet corn puri, seared
cauliflower, and shrimp bruschetta,
all had wonderful flavors
of tamarind, sweet and spicy, along with crunchy textures and elegant
presentations. Next was a tandoori-grilled
halibut served with butternut squash and lemon rassam soup paired with a
Kabinett Riesling from the Mosel region. It
menu where I felt chef Survir
really showcased his talent. The
first of two meat dishes was a lamb-stuffed chicken sided by an Asian
prawn served with an okra salad full of heat and chopped onions. My favorite dish of the evening was the tandoori
grilled lamb chops (left),
full of flavor and balanced well with strong
spices plated next to a sweet pear chutney.
give no real information, but I can assure diners that Dévi is
successfully offering New Yorkers flavorful Indian food, terrific
outstanding wine list, and best of all, a romantic dining
deserves very high praise.
Pantelleria is a windswept speck of an island off Sicily, actually closer to Tunisia on the North African Coast. Like Sicily and many of the islands along the Mediterranean, it has been ravaged and occupied over the centuries by Romans Phoenicians, Moors, Turks and marauders from other European and Asian nations.
During World War Two, Pantelleria became the first Axis-occupied territory to be captured by Allied forces. Oddly, the struggle for Pantelleria was called Operation Corkscrew, which seems to have had no connection to wine, since , at the time, the island made only a little-known regional dessert wine called Passito. Though surrounded by the sea, the Pantellerians are farmers, not fishermen, known for capers and dessert wines produced from the Zbibbo grape, known elsewhere Muscat of Alexandria, the basis for desert wines in many regions, such as Italy’s better known Muscato d’Alba and France’s Muscat de Beaume de Venise.
Passito wines come from grapes that have been spread on the ground or on attic floors and exposed to sun and air until they become raisiny. They are then pressed and the liquid is left to ferment for up to a month before being transformed into a precious and expensive dessert wine.
Growers on Pantelleria produced other wines but until recently few were exported. That changed in 1997 when Calogero Mannino, a Sicilian born attorney and former Minister of agriculture for Italy, planted a 30- hectare vineyard to cultivate Nero d’Avola, the primary red of Sicily, along with the traditional Mediterranean grapes Syrah, Grenache and Carignane, and encouraged farmers to expand their horizons beyond Zibibbo.
Encouraged by Giacomo Tachis, Italy’s foremost wine consultant, Mannino launched a line of wines under the Abraxas label and brought them to a media tasting in New York at SD26, where restaurateur Tony May andf Chef Matteo Bergamini paired them with hard-to-find Italian specialties, including Menaica anchovies, red prawns and scampi from Mazzara, Sicily, calamaretti from the Adriatic, burrata from Puglia, San Marzano tomatoes from Campania, and Italian cheeses, accompanied by chestnut honey and Sorrento walnuts.
The star of the line is Passito di Pantelleria, and it lived up to advance billing as one of the great sweet wines, showing a big floral approach, almost an orange liqueur in its richness, honeyed but with good acid, delicate but not cloying on the palate. Kuddia delle Ginestre, also based on Zibibbo, was a white of medium to heavy weight, powerful enough to plate nicely with the tart sea urchin ravioli and the highly spiced shrimps it.
Our first red was Kuddia di Ze, a Provençal-style blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignane, which could easily be described as a Pantellerian Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It was paired with tubular pasta known as candele and n’duja, a soft , almost creamy, chile-spiced Calabrian sausage--not a perfect pairing for me since the rustic sausage combo overpowered a rather gentle red wine. I would have preferred that more elegant wine with a masterful dish of beef cheeks braised in red wine, plated with semolina gnocchi and a tangy onion marmalade. The robust Nero d’Avola served went better with the first meat dish, and, since I was able to mix and match, I thought the Provençal blend was more suitable to the beef cheeks.
The Nero, hardier than many of its more sophisticated versions in Southern Italy, was, however at its best with a selection of Italian cheeses. Kudos to M. Mannino for producing fine wines on that hot island, for planting indigenous grapes and for not following the easy path of producing traditional varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mort Hochstein writes on wine, food
and travel for Wine Spectator, Wine Business Monthly,
Saveur and other food and wine
Esquire's Best New Restaurants
Fêted at NYC Party
Photos by Lou Manna
magazine hosted its 26th
Best New Restaurants of the Year party at New
York’s SD26 restaurant
(left) to celebrate and give
awards to many of America’s finest and most
chefs of 2010. The party began
with lots of champagne and cocktails made with Tito's Vodka. Highly
acclaimed restaurateurs Tony May, Joe
Bastianich and Danny Meyer along with master chefs Jean-George
Vongerichten and Mario
Batali were all in attendance, not to mention the stunning French
Bouquet, who flew in from Paris to serve her superb Sangue d'Oro
wine from the island of Pantelleria. The
event was hosted by Esquire's
food and travel correspondent John
Mariani, who visited 20 cities around the USA over the past year to
come up with 20 winners (see article
above). Throughout the evening’s seven-course meal, prepared by
Matteo Bergamini, Mariani introduced each of the 20 best new
restaurants of the year
Achievement Award to Bastianich and Batali, followed by
brief speeches from all
Vongerichten and John Mariani
describes the gadget thus: "Boldly cut
pizza where no man has cut before! Space... the final
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year
mission: to explore strange new pizzas, to seek out new toppings and
new cheeses, to boldly cut pizza where no man has cut before! Yes, this
officially licensed Star Trek collectible is everything you hoped it
would be. Laser etched stainless steel blade and solid metal
construction make it perfect for battling Romulans in the neutral zone
or precision pizza slicing."
✉ Guidelines for submissions: QUICK BYTES publishes only events, special dinners, etc, open to the public, not restaurant openings or personnel changes. When submitting please send the most pertinent info, incl. tel # and site, in one short paragraph as simple e-mail text, WITH DATE LISTED FIRST, as below. Thanks. John Mariani
October, Italian Heritage Month, come taste the
food and wine of Sicily, on menus at 5 participating restaurants on
Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, NY.
of the book Sicila Mia Bedda,
while supplies last. From now thru Nov.9th: Arthur Avenue Trattoria,
718-562-0129, Emilia’s Restaurant,
718-220-5735, Giovanni’s Restaurant,
* On Sun.
evenings, Print. Restaurant, in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen is
now offering a prix-fixed,
3-course Sunday Supper. $45 pp. created by Executive Chef,
Charles Rodriguez and Executive Pastry Chef,
Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, incorporates ingredients from New York area
regional farms and local vendors sourced by PRINT.’s in-house forager,
Kolodny. Call 212-757-2224 or www.printrestaurant.com.
* Andre’s at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas now serves the 3-Martini “Lunch" for dinner. The menu begins with the cucumber tomato salad paired with the first martini: Hendricks Gin, muddled cucumber and V8 juice. Next: smoked vodka martini with caviar stuffed olives (a secret signature item from Chef Andre Rochat); “lunch” concludes with ginger creme brûlée with the final martini – vanilla vodka, Kahlua, Canton Ginger Liquor, cream and caramelized Demerara sugar. $22 pp. Call 702-798-7151 or visit andreslv.com.
* On Oct. 18
and continuing through the end of
this year in NYC, Le Perigord will
launch its first ever Game Festival, complete with seasonal vegetables
garnishes. Executive Chef Joel Benjamin will be preparing game
specialties -- venison,
pheasant, partridge, grouse, woodchuck, quail, elk, and squab. $65
pp. Call 212-
755-6244 or visit leperigord.com.
* On Oct. 18, in NYC, Fatty Crab UWS will host “Mischief Night,” with the burlesque group known as The Sophisticates putting on a 2 hour show paired with a 5-course tasting menu from Executive Chef Corwin Kave. $85pp in the main dining room or $35pp at the bar. Call 212.496.2722 or visit www.fattycrab.com.
* On Oct. 19, Picán in Oakland, CA is hosting a Pig-Nic dinner with Vision Cellars. The restaurant will serve a four-course pork-themed dinner paired with wines. $105 pp. 510-834-1000. picanrestaurant.com.
*From Oct. 20-30 in NYC, the Tour de France Restaurant Group will be celebrating sausage and beer with a special sausage menu at all nine Tour de France restaurants. Each restaurant’s chef has created a different culinary take on regional sausage items. A variety of large format craft beers picked by Gianni Cavicchi, the group’s Beer Sommelier will be served by the glass. Visit tourdefrancenyc.com.
Oct. 21 in Berkeley, CA, FIVE Bistro & Bar in the Hotel
is bringing their Seasonal Showdown
Dinner back, with Chefs Banks White and Scott
Howard dueling against Chefs Dean Dupuis and Charlie Copley of
for a “Deep South” cook-off, with five courses of duo dishes.
Drakes Brewing will offer beer pairings. $62 pp or $70 pp
with beer pairings. Call 510-225-6055 or visit .five-berkeley.com.
* On Oct. 24 in Menlo Park, the Rosewood Sand Hill will host the first annual “Bay for the Gulf” food and wine gala event, raising funds to support the Waterkeeper’s Alliance and their cleanup of the Gulf Coast following the BP oil disaster. Chefs, artisans and winemakers incl. Marché, Manresa, Madera, Pastry Chef Carl Swanson of Ubuntu, Aziza, Fifth Floor, Ridge, Dolce, Miner Family and more. $150 pp. bayforthegulf.com.
* On Oct. 24 in NYC, World Yacht Presents Spa Week’s Beauty Brunch for the Cure to benefit the Greater NYC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. $59 pp. incl a $19 donation. Visit .worldyachtbeautycruise.eventbrite.com or call 212-630-8102.
* On Thurs. Oct. 28 in Denver, CO, ELWAY'S Downtown will host a 4-course pairing dinner with famed Napa Valley Wine-Maker Peter Franus. Guests will enjoy an intimate meet and greet at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner in the Private Dining Room, $100 pp . Call Sommelier Jeff Reebie at 303-312-3123.
* On Oct. 27 in Berkeley, CA, Locanda da Eva will host a Sicilian Wine Dinner with Robert Camuto, author of Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey. Four courses designed by Chef Huw Thornton will be paired with wines from Riofavara and other wineries featured in Camuto’s book. $75 pp, incl. wines, and $50 without wines. www.locandadaeva.com, 510-665-9601.
Oct. 28, Gold Medal Wine Tour,
featuring only Gold medal wines from the American Fine Wine
invites you to Ortanique on the Mile,
Coral Gables, FL.
begins at 6 PM, four-course pairing dinner by Chef Cindy Hutson, to
benefit UCP- The Hope Center. $125 pp. 561-504-8463. GoldMedalWineTour.com.
* On Nov. 1 - 7, Grand Cafe Brasserie & Bar, San Francisco, CA, will launch the first of a series of regional dinners featuring the best of France, beginning with Bordeaux, as Executive Chef Sophiane Benaouda features tingredients from the region. $42 pp with an additional $20 pp for wine pairings. Call 415-292-0101 or visit grandcafe-sf.com
* On Nov. 4, Strip House Houston will present "The Glenlivet Dinner" with a four-course menu by with Scotch flight, showcasing the Glenlivet 12 as signature cocktail. A complementary Glencairn glass will be inlc. Call 713-659-6000 or visit striphouse.com.
From Nov. 6-7, the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse NY, will
hold the Pride of New York Harvest
Fest. Growers and producers offer the opportunity to taste
the State’s award-winning wines and beers, food
products, cooking demos and educational seminars by the
NY Wine and
Grape Foundation. $25 for adults and $5 for
children 12 and under; Advance tickets $20 thru
ticketmaster.com; Visit prideofnyharvestfest.com
or call 518-457-7229.
Nov. 6, Skytop Lodge Resort in
Skytop, PA, will host
its annual Secrets of the
Harvest - Harvest Lake Stroll, with 7 food stations. $60 pp, for
purchased a $20 donation to the United Way of Monroe County. Call
877-808-9222 or visit www.skytop.com. . . . On Nov. 12-14, Skytop
Lodge Resort will host One Sweet Weekend.
Pastry chef Christa Kuhar will create desserts and share her
culinary secrets via performance demos. $68pp. Call 877-808-9222 or
Chapter of Les Dame d’Escoffier International hosts the 10th
Serenbe. More than 60 chefs will offer tastings that can be paired
more than 30 fine wines and premium micro-brews on the grounds of the
Inn at Serenbe. $95 for adults and $35 for children ages 12 to 20.
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: The Essential Guide to Dining in New Orleans
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).
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; email@example.com; www.nickonwine.com.
MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly. Editor/Publisher: John Mariani. Contributing Writers: Christopher Mariani, 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.