Indian Travel Poster by Gobinda Manda
Summer Reading List
by John Mariani
NEW YORK CORNER
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
The Wines of Galicia
by David Lincoln Ross
Sausage by Nicola Fletcher and Caroline Bretherton ($22)--Who knew? Australia makes a sausage named Cheerios; Koreans make Sundae; South Africa makes Chakalaka. But then, Americans make hot dogs. All this, and a lot of good recipes, are included in this splendid photographic study of the dizzying world of casings stuffed with everything imaginable. The explanation of terms like PDO, PGI and TSG are clear, as well as the difference between salami and salame. With 300 examples of sausages, this is definitely the only book you'll need on the subject for a long time.
The James Beard Foundation's Best of the Best by Kit Wohl ($60)--For the 25th anniversary of the JB Foundation, Kit Wohl has done a terrific job of research and interviews with 25 chefs who have helped define the way we eat today, from the French like Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten to American pioneers like Alice Waters and Larry Forgione. All in one place, they make a persuasive argument for the U.S. being the most exciting place to eat right now. Susi Cushner's photographic portraits are superb and truly capture the exuberance of Rick Bayless, the contemplative cast of Thomas Keller, and well-earned pride of Wolfgang Puck.
Nature by Alain Ducasse ($45)--Master chef/entrepreneur Alain Ducasse has produced many books that home cooks could not possibly cook from unless they had a brigade of assistants, but this new one, aptly named Nature, is very much within the skills of the home cook, with instructions that do not make assumptions and photos that look like real food, not least the grains and vegetables now so abundant in worldwide markets. There are wonderful traditional items like pan-bagat and pissaladière as well as lovely new ideas like millet, porcini and smoked duck and chilled peach soup with verbena. I loved the padded cover, which feels good in the hand and sits squarely on the kitchen table.
The Fire Island Cookbook by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen ($30)--A delight for summer cooking, this colorfully illustrated book evokes the loveliness of New York's Fire Island setting and the kind of food that makes perfect, simple sense when the temperature rises and the sea breezes blow in. The authors, who have a home in Spain, offer gambas pil pil along with helado malagueño, and themes like "Rainy Day French Menu" that includes chicken liver pâté, Provençal olive-onion tart, beef bourguignon, mashed potatoes, mesclun salad, and crème brûlée.
Eat with Your Hands by Zakary Pelaccio ($39.99)--Pelaccio, founder of the NYC eateries Fatty Crab and Fatty 'Cue, knows that certain foods just don't taste right with a fork and knife, a concept he proves on every page of Eat with Your Hands, with dishes like lobster wontons, shrimp with guanciale and preserved lemon, and pork tea sandwiches. Okay, not everything here is finger foot, but who cares when he gives you reason to smoke a whole pig, toss a hanger steak salad, and cook up pasta with sardines? Just about everything here is a true appetite raiser, and Pelaccio's chummy commentaries fit the enterprise.
The Cookbook Library by Anne Willan ($60)--The true scholar and the serious food lover will want this book on the shelf for reference, but it's a fascinating read, too, alerting you to just how serious cooking has always been throughout the last millennium, from the medieval table to the first American cookbook, by Amelia Simmons in 1796. Along the way, you'll learn the distinctions of terms like ragôut, traiteur, Russian service, and much more. Although it's highly unlikely any modern cook is going to tackle a dish like Yorkshire Christmas Pie of Five Birds, the background of the dish and others is fascinating.
Lobster Shacks by Mike Urban ($18.95)--Ah, to be in New England now that the lobster shacks are open! And now, with Mike Urban's new guide to the best of them, from Connecticut to Maine, you'll not go hungry for lobster or any of the other terrific American seafood served at the prole restaurants with names like Barnacle Billy's and Abbott's Lobster in the Rough. Along the way, he treats of the origins of the lobster roll, distinguishes among "Family Shacks," "Funky Shacks," and "Romantic Shacks, and gives recipes culled from his subjects.
The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook by Helen Thompson ($39.95)--As becomes obvious throughout the 250 pages of this beautiful book, the Mansion restaurant has always been as much about good taste--literally and figuratively--as about style and innovation. Over many more than 30 years, it has managed to re-invent itself without ever losing its well-bred charms, and it has from the beginning defined modern Dallas hospitality. The recipes here are definitively Mansion--as surely as the glamorous refinement this grand hotel has represented for four decades now. And, yes, Dean Fearing's famous tortilla soup recipe is here.
Roadfood by Jane and Michel Stern ($21.99)--Back in 1978 when the first edition of this restaurant guide appeared, it was literally the only one I trusted to get a good meal in most states of the Union, all written with enormous affection and even bigger appetite for everything from clam bellies and 'cue to frozen custard and chicken wings. Now, in its latest edition, the incomparable Jane and Michael Stern have updated everything from the last edition and added 200 new listings, while deleting some oldtimers that either closed or just don't cut the mustard anymore. Here you'll read why Stanley's Famous Burgers in Providence, RI, deserve their name; why La Teresita in Tampa, FL, makes the quintessential Cuban sandwich; and Texas favors the kind of beef brisket coked up at Angelo's in Fort Worth.
1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die Edited by Dominic Roskrow ($36.95)--Well, the title says it all, and the indefatigable whiskey lover will find here a lifetime of sampling, tasting, not spitting, and smiling, from the Isle of Jura Elixir to Bulleit Rye, from Bush Pilot's Private Reserve Rye to Amrut Kadhamban Single Malt from Bangladore. Beautiful consistent photography throughout. If there any whiskies not covered here, it's only because they're brand new. Maybe in five years a new edition will be called 1500 Whiskies. . . .
The Golden Touch of Olive Oil by Henri Lorenzi ($35)--At 83 years old, Chef/restaurateur/painter Henri Lorenzi has lived a life long enough to remember when bad olive oil came in gallon tins, and no one, it appears from this book, knows more about the history and evolution of a food product as much revered as it is requisite for a good meal. Beautifully illustrated, the well-named book really is as much a memoir as an exaltation, with recipes, of a man with a good deal to tell the reader about good food and the good life. NB: This book is currently only available through the website http://henrilorenzi.net/.
Family Guide to New York City ($25)--A good idea impeccably realized in the usual DK way of good glossy photos, diagrams, and cutaways, solid history, and essential service info about visiting the Big Apple. It is extremely comprehensive, so much so that it reveals the kind of places even New Yorkers probably know nothing about, like the Target Interactive Breezeway, the New Victory Theater just for kids, the Museum of Biblical Art, and the Queens Zoo. The editors keep their eye on their subject, never listing any attraction that will make kids nod off. The restaurant suggestions work well in the same way.
to relate, there aren't nearly as many great steaks
being served in NYC as there once were. I say this not
out of some addled nostalgia but because there are
just too many steakhouses and chefs chasing too little
USDA Prime beef, a grade that has been seriously
dumbed down over the past two decades. Many
people haven't the foggiest
notion of what a great steak tastes like unless
they've gone to the last remaining bastions against
mediocre beef, and really the only places I can
guarantee a great steak in NYC I can count on the
fingers of one hand.
Just about everything else at Palm
has been perfected over the decades, and the menu
has changed little. You still want to order the
beefsteak tomatoes with crisp onions; the
bountiful poached shrimp cocktail; the huge
lobsters; the crisp cottage fries; the golden
onion rings and at meal's end the S&S
Cheesecake, which has no equal.
The winelist has gotten a whole lot better over
the years because of stiff competition, and the
drinks are still well made at the tiny bar.
well be pockets on the various floors considered
"A' tables, but you're not going to get better
beef or seafood at them. Frankly, I haven't been
to the branch right across the street, Palm II,
but I'd like to think it's just as good.
excellent strips at other New York steakhouses like Ben Benson’s (just closed),
Smith & Wollensky, Porter House, and Patroon, and
fine ones around the U.S. But none
is as identifiably delicious as the strip steak at
the Second Avenue Palm. There’s just not enough meat
quality to go around, not even to the other Palm
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
David Lincoln Ross
a cool, early May morning, Juan Gil de Araujo
González de Careaga (below) and your beret-topped
correspondent, walked under
his property’s 50-year-old Albariño vines, only
steps away from a downtown
plaza bearing the name of his family’s winery, Bodegas del Palacio de
winery’s home is the old port city of Cambados, which
is located in northwest
Spain, a region known as Galicia.
Tasting Notes, Bodegas del Palacio de Fefiñanes:
Vintage 2011, Albariño de Fefinañes, 100 % Albariño, 12.5% alc. – To the eye: Bright, golden yellow hue; on the nose, floral & citrus aromas; on the palate, crisp spice and lemony flavors, with good acid balancing its minerality and, on the finish, not-quite-ripe white peachy savors on the finish. Terrific with fresh oysters, cooked seafood or as an aperitif! Drink up now.
Vintage 2010, Albariño de Fefinañes, 100 % Albariño, 12.5% alc. – Slightly deeper yellow, golden tints vs. 2011 vintage above; immense floral, lemony nose; bigger flavors of ripe honeydew and lemon on the palate, and more spicy complexity in the finish. An above-average vintage. Go for oysters, and also perfect with mild cheeses, goat and sheep’s milk; and ideal with baked or broiled fish, seafood stews and soups. Delicious! Drink now; good for 1-2 more years.
Albariño de Fefinañes, III Año,
(“Third Year”), 100 % Albariño, 13% alc. – This
wine is aged a total of 30
months in stainless steel tanks, including an initial
six months on its lees.
Deep autumnal gold tints; some mild oak notes on nose
dominated by rich,
attractive floral aromas; lemon confit, cooked peaches
on palate with lingering
mineral flavors; complex, longer finish vs. 2010 and
2011 vintages above. Great
with sautéed sole, grilled monkfish, lobster;
also good with creamy cheeses or
even with a sweet flan for dessert! Drink now; will
mature 2-3 more years very
1583, Albariño de Fefinañes, 100 % Albariño, 12% alc., vintage 2009 – This wine, which pays homage to the family’s 16th century builder of the Palacio, who actually began construction in 1583, is a most atypical Rias Baixas wine: It is aged in a combination of French and American new and formerly used oak casks for five months. Deep golden tints; honeyed fruit and wild rose floral aromas; rich, zesty citrus and mineral flavors intermingle; long finish with cooked pear, white peach fruit. Great with cooked shellfish, cod, swordfish, tuna and baked or roasted poultry. Drink now; will mature and evolve well for 3-5 years, more of a curiosity, as it is not a traditional Rias Baixas wine, but if you find it, it is eminently drinkable.
the U.S., at present, the 2010 vintage is in
wide distribution, and you should expect to pay about
David Lincoln Ross is an expert writer on food, wine, spirits, travel and all things luxury. His work has appeared in such online and national publications aswww.thedailybeast.com, Cigar Aficionado, Food Arts, Forbes FYI, Fortune, Gourmet, Le Monde, Saveur, Time, Wine Country Living, and Wine Spectator, among others.
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