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  April 6, 2014                                                                                             NEWSLETTER

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Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in "Notorious" (1946)



By John Mariani

By John Mariani

Wines I'm Drinking for Spring
By John Mariani



By John Mariani

    The Ninth Annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival was celebrated last month, and, as always, I was delighted to be asked to be a part of it, hosting, for the second year in a row, a Wine Tasting river cruise.  As ever, the admirable focus at the Festival is on the cuisine of the South, and the wide majority of the chefs invited come from the region; unlike the food and wine festivals in Aspen and Miami, which depend almost entirely on the same tired TV food and travel show celebrities, Charleston celebrates new people each year, and they have a lot of great talent to choose from.  The "Heart of the Festival" is the tented Culinary Village (left), where back-to-back demos, book signings, and music jams are held throughout each day. Testament to the success and popularity of the Festival is not just that it's grown, but that its various events sell out weeks in advance. 
     Next year I expect it to be bigger and better than ever.  Of course, I got to eat around town, including some new places opened since the last Festival, all showing the traditional depth and the continuing innovation of the city's cuisine. Charleston, in just a few years, has emerged as one of America's most enticing dining cities, and there's much more to come.

167 E. Bay Street

    Upon its opening in 2001, I pronounced Cypress to be one of America’s Best New Restaurants in Esquire; now, 13 years later, I can safely say it is one of America’s Very Best. Period.  A decade ago Cypress represented a significant leap forward in design that shied away from the then typical Low Country genteel dining room look.  The place was vast, with a great wall of wine behind glass, an open kitchen, and dramatic lighting.  (The company that owns Cypress also runs the estimable Magnolias and Blossom.)
Today, Craig Deihl, Pennsylvania-born but Charleston-trained, is the chef, and he is toeing the line of sumptuous, modern Low Country cuisine, and, as a founding member of the Butcher’s Guild, has added to it an array of house-made charcuterie (left) that is positively daunting--80 varieties, a score of which are offered on any given evening--and they are some of the finest I’ve tasted anywhere in this country.  (He’s done a Cypress cookbook and was chosen in 2010 as Chef of the Year by the Charleston chapter of the American Culinary Foundation.) The choices are amazing--andouille, apple cider salami, bologna, jerky, bratwurst, bresaola, and so many more, all with condiments and mustards and pickles on the platters, which range from $12 to $20.
    My wife would have happily gorged on the charcuterie and gone no further on the menu, but I’m glad we did, because the lobster bisque with shrimp and chervil ($10) was superb and a generous plate of chicken and dumplings ($26) was warming on a very rainy night, chock full of chicken and homey in the best way.  So, too, was a side of peas and gold rice scented with saffron, cumin and bacon. Scallops were married to pork belly ($32) very honorably, enriched with caramelized onions, sweet potatoes, a luscious bacon jam and curried raisins.
    A duo of American lamb cuts ($36) with polenta, turnips, mustard, apples, radishes and celery seemed as much vegetarian as carnivorous.  But for the bigger meat-eaters go for the superb grilled ribeye (right) for two at a very reasonable $56. (Ask them for the best aged ribeye they have; there is quite a difference.)
    Desserts are every bit as good here, from a chocolate crème caramel with raspberry coulis and Madeira reduction ($8) to a terrific buttermilk tart laced with bourbon and accompanied by an orange-tamarind puree Chantilly cream and citrus candies ($8).
    Cypress’s wine list is among the finest in the South, with hundreds of well-chosen bottles from every corner of the Earth.

Open for dinner nightly.

526 King Street

        Charleston’s most prominent restaurateur, Steve Palmer, is at it again. As the developer of first-rate restaurants around town, his Indigo Road Hospitality Group has opened Oak Steakhouse, O-Ku, The Cocktail Club, The Macintosh, The Oak Table, and, this year, Indaco. Palmer has an uncanny sense of what the Charleston market is absolutely ripe for, and, since the Italian offerings around the city have been dismal--with the notable exception of Ken Vedrinksi’s tiny Trattoria Lucca--Indaco is a significant addition to the genre. 
        It’s a long dining room set off upper King Street, and the place gets very loud as the evening progresses. (It's also much darker than the photo at left indicates.)  Unlike so many Charleston restaurants, people keep coming in after 9 PM.  A reservation in advance is highly recommended, since Indaco is unquestionably the city’s new hot spot.
        Exec chef Michael Perez (right), originally from Portland, Oregon, brings a good résumé to Indaco, which includes work at Scarpetta in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, although his never (as yet) having set foot in Italy shows in a few dishes that are more elaborate than they should be.   Even so, a lavish antipasto of raw snapper ($14) was first rate, anointed with black olives, celery, radish, pickled mustard seeds, jalapeños, olive oil and lemon.  So, too, very refreshing was a panzanella salad ($15) with burrata, spring onions, basil, arugula and Parmigiano. 
    We tried too pizzas, one a classic Margherita ($16), which was fine, but an unusual octopus pizza ($17) with tomato, fontina, broccoli di rape and Calabrian chili was overwhelmed by salt and thus tasteless.
    Indaco’s pastas, as at most Italian restaurants, are what most people will want to order, including delicious agnolotti ($24) with beef short rib, pickled shallots, salsa verde and pecorino sprinkled on top. Pappardelle ($24) were treated to a pork sugo, herb-whipped ricotta, orange and pecorino, while black pepper tagliatelle ($22) was a variation on Roman carbonara, with pork, egg yolk, chives, and pecorino.  Rather bland, however, was the risotto ($22), overcooked that evening, with grilled pork cheeks, Parmesan, chives and a balsamic vinegar.
    There are four secondi on the menu, though roasted tuna with coriander, fennel, pea shoots ad grapefruit had too much going on on the plate.  The wine list, as any Palmer compiles, is very well selected and all Italian, with dozens of bottles under $50.  Red wines may arrive too warm, however.
    Indaco is pumping on all cylinders right now and with a bit more finesse and a few less ingredients, it should evolve into a very good Italian trattoria before too long, especially after Chef Perez visits Italy later this year.

Indaco is open nightly for dinner.


624-L Long Point Road
Mt. Pleasant, SC

        Cross over the sweeping Ravenel Bridge and pretty soon you’ll come to the quickly developing town of Mt. Pleasant, where, in the nondescript Belle Hall shopping center is a restaurant that might well be worth the drive, if only to see what chef-owner Brannon Florie is doing here.
        The overuse of the term “farm-to-table,” especially in Southern restaurants, rarely turns out to have much truth to the claim, but Florie is adamant about sourcing his produce, chicken, duck, eggs, lamb and pork from McClellanville’s Thornhill Farms, and he makes his own charcuterie, breads and pastries. set out on family-style plates.
        There is space for 75 people inside, including a chef’s table and communal bar table. The restaurant is friendly, casual, and very, very good.  I really loved the duck confit with Charleston Gold rice, crowder peas (you rarely see these), kale (you see way too much of this), and a flavorful egg sunny side up.  Pork belly is good thick bacon, not too salty, with stone ground grits--which make a big difference--another egg, pesto and pecorino.  I might have been entirely happy with just the platter of beautiful heirloom tomatoes, watermelon radish, basil and goat’s cheese dressed with sherry vinaigrette.
        The main dishes I liked were an organic chicken with butternut squash, puckery preserved lemon, olives, onions, pickled cauliflower and cous cous, which strayed far from Low Country cookery, but Florie won me back with a truly wonderful, very tasty vermillion snapper with a carrot and curry puree, new potatoes, spinach and a brown butter orange vinaigrette. Acid is an important flavor brightener in Florie’s cooking.
        For dessert the way to go is with the simple almond cake gussied up with rich crème anglaise, Meyer lemon whipped cream, and an almond tuile.
        Some of Florie’s dishes would probably be improved if they were not quite so fussy with so many ingredients.  But the flavors are true, honest and, for the most part, authentic, showing what can be done when the farm-to-table mantra really means something.

The Granary is open for dinner; lunch and brunch.

207 Rutledge Street

        I consider it as much a sorry omission to miss eating at least one meal at Hominy Grill as to go to Venice and not drop into Harry’s Bar.  For both are icons, for very different reasons: one is an international watering hole famous for its bellinis and carpaccio; the other is a down-home eatery equally famous for its catfish Creole and shrimp bog. Guess which is which?
     Located, since 1996, in a pink and white shotgun house dating to 1897, recently appended with another dining room, Hominy Grill is bright, with antique tin ceilings and slow-moving fans, wooden floors, captain’s chairs, and windows that let in the Low Country sun.  You could not wish for a more amiable, friendly staff, which is crucial to keep the long lines of waiting guests at bay in the hot South Carolina sun.
    Chef-owner Robert Stehling cooks up all the old dishes, like soft shell crabs with baked cheese grits, a curried chicken dish called country captain, pork with Creole sauce, and, if you come for breakfast, scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes and country ham.  None of which will cost you very much: nothing tops $20, and those prices haven’t really inched up in years.
    The morning we were there for brunch, one of the staff had made some “pop tarts,” absolutely delicious short pastries filled with fruit paste, perfect fare with the good hot coffee they serve here.  There are salads and sandwiches here all day, and always a lavish vegetable plate.  Specials are on a blackboard.
    You just can't go wrong with anything. I chose a Sunday special--fried chicken breast on a huge crumbly biscuit with pan milk gravy.  They call it the Nasty Biscuit (right), and it’s meant as legit high praise.  My wife had a mushroom and egg torta full of vegetables all at the right texture.  We polished off a single slice of buttermilk pie and wanted more. 
    But there was a plane to catch and we went home, knowing that next time we’re back, Hominy Grill will still be there and so will we.

Open for lunch Mon.-Fri., for brunch  Sat. & Sun., and for dinner Mon.-Sat.


1081 Morrison Drive

        According to their website, “Edmund Egan was an English-born brewer who came to Charleston in the 1760s and started producing beer soon after. He had great success and donated large amounts of money to the American Revolution, earning him the name `The Rebel Brewer.’. Oast is an old European term for a kiln used in the drying of hops. Together the two make the name.”
    So, this new gastropub pays homage to the traditions of Southern breweries while offering a wide array of small plates with which to enjoy those brews.  Owners Scott Shor and Rich Carley are transplanted New Yorkers who first met in college, afterwards going their separate ways in business before moving to Charleston, where they decided to open the state’s first all craft beer store--The Charleston Beer Exchange--as a hobby, which, as hobbies often do, turned into something much grander, this enormous, 130-seat interior (in good weather that number will appreciate substantially) with an arched, wood beam ceiling and a magnificent wall of craft brews on draft.
        But be forewarned: this is one of the most crashingly, dizzyingly loud restaurants anywhere, and conversation is nearly impossible when the room is full.  Piped-in music sure doesn't help.
        Chef Andy Henderson, a Charleston native, was sous-chef at Chef Mike Lata’s influential FIG restaurant in town, traveled widely and returned to take the helm here at EO. The menu is largely small plates, including bar snacks--the cornbread  ($4) is terrific--a selection of charcuterie ($12-$20), braised lamb meatballs with apricots and cider mint ($11), a bacon-egg-cheeseburger ($16), and desserts that include pistachio cookies with rose water and vanilla crème fraîche ($3).
        Time will tell if EO has legs; right now everybody wants to be there, be seen, drink some excellent fresh draft beers, and nosh.  If it gets a bit tamer in the future, it will be much more appealing to more people.

Open nightly for dinner; brunch on Sat. & Sun.

A NOTE ON SOUTH CAROLINA GUN LAWS:  In last week's Virtual Gourmet I reported on the appalling probability that Georgia will pass legislation allowing concealed weapons with permits in bars and restaurants. It should be noted that in February, South Carolina passed the same kind of law, with the proviso that the gun owner does not drink alcohol in the establishment. Good luck with that!  Restaurateurs and bar owners may post their own ban on guns, which puts them in a very difficult position.   As the NY Times reported this week, when one bar owner in Clemson did so, "he was slammed with so many online attacks and harassing phone calls that he changed his number and started asking the police to open his mail."


By John Mariani

By John Mariani

           All the talk about how dining out has become more casual obviously ignores the fact that the overwhelming majority of restaurants are casual, not least--and especially in New York--the venerable Italian trattorias, distinct from high-end Italian ristoranti with Frette linens and Ginori china.  At the former, they perfected long ago the art of “dolce far niente,” that is, the sweetness of doing nothing, achieved through a lot of hard work.  The irony is that not too long ago, pizzerias were quite distinct from trattorias and ristoranti, until pizza went from being snack food to a gourmet item. Today even high-end Italian restaurants serve the now exalted pies.

        One of the best of the trattoria + pizzeria genre has been around for a long time--Naples 45, in the MetLife Building atop Grand Central Terminal.   Back in 1963 this space was called Trattoria--then a very unfamiliar term to Americans, and the restaurant was a vast, colorful, very stylish space serving highly authentic Italian fare (I still recall its lasagne alla bolognese as the best in the U.S.). But it didn’t serve pizza.

        Decades later Trattoria was recast as Naples 45 (left), the name referring to the city where pizza was invented back in the 19th century and to the number of the street outside the restaurant’s glass wall.   A great deal of research was done to obtain the perfect flour, tomatoes, mozzarella, even water with the same mineral content as the water in Naples, and the result was a glorious pizza (above), which it remains to this day.  Shaped like the Circus Maximus, the pizzas are impeccably crisp, the right thickness and steamy with fine ingredients.  They start, in size, at $16.95 and go up to very large ones at $35.50.

    Indeed, I would contend that it was putting such great pizza on the menu at Naples 45 that gave the O.K. to other Italian restaurateurs fearful of adding such a humble item to their menus. These days there’s hardly an Italian restaurant in New York, or anywhere else for that matter, that doesn’t serve pizza.

        Chef Stephen Rosenbluth also turns out fine Italian food that begins with crisp calamari with a spicy tomato sauce ($12) and crumbly arancini rice balls stuffed with mozzarella and served with a tomato ragù ($10).  The pastas, which come in enormous portions, include a lasagna bolognese ($19) that comes pretty close to the one I so loved when this was Trattoria, and there’s heft and heartiness in the spaghetti chitarra with pecorino and coarse black pepper mixed with runny egg for a creamy finish ($18).  The fat tubes called paccheri ($19.50) take on an admirable Neapolitan-style meat sauce.

   If you’ve still room, the striped bass is poached with clams, tomatoes, capers, garlic, and oregano ($26), and the crisply breaded chicken cutlet milanese is piled high with tomatoes, arugula and a sharp red onion salad ($26).

        Prices on everything at Naples 45 are extremely reasonable and you’re likely to take something home.  They also offer a four-course dinner at $32.

        Now that spring is struggling to arrive, they’ll soon be opening up the patio tables with their bright blue umbrellas. Come early: those tables go fast at lunchtime.

Naples 45 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.


  A brand new trattoria, with the forthright name Mozzarella & Vino, has opened on the former site of Il Gattopardo (now moved slightly east), across from the Museum of Modern Art.  Gianfranco and Paula Sorrentino, who also run the superb ristorante The Leopard across from Lincoln Center, have here fashioned a long bar and two dining areas, with a skylight in the back, for truly casual eating based on the glories of imported buffalo mozzarella and Italian charcuterie (above)--salami, salumi, fine hams--and a few antipasto.

        The mozzarella comes in several lovely shapes and varieties, all creamy white and moist, and for $16 you can have a tasting of provola and burrata. There is smoked mozzarella, eggplant-stuffed mozzarella, basil-scented mozzarella, and much more. The meats range from various prosciuttos to bresaola, Speck, mortadella, and rare culatello--all from the finest producers.  For lunch, the panini sandwiches are a first rate idea with a glass of wine at the bar.

        You should also consider the items from the friggitoria list--fried dishes, including rice ball arancini, fat panzarotti pasta filled with potato, mozzarella and salami, and golden fried zucchini.

        There are only a couple of pastas here--a vegetable lasagna and baked pasta of the day--as well as a platter of meatballs ($13/$19) and hearty beef stew ($18) with corn polenta.

    Mozzarella & Vino puts great emphasis on the vino part, acting as an enoteca where you can order a well-selected range of small estate wines in two-, four-, or six-ounce glasses.

        The Sorrentinos offer you a choice on 54th Street--either the posh Il Gattopardo or this casual new eatery. At both you can count on the same quality of ingredients and service, striking a fine casual balance of refined good taste.

Mozzarella & Vino is open Mon.-Sat from 11:30 AM to 10 PM, Sundays from 11:30 AM to 5 PM.



Wines I'm Drinking for Spring
By John Mariani

    Perhaps the title of this article is too optimistic, for spring has yet to settle into the Northeast.  But I did see crocuses rearing their purple heads this morning, so I will drink wines accordingly.   In early spring you can certainly still drink big-bodied red wines, and there are so many good ones from so many global vineyards right now in the marketplace, at just about every price point. Here is a slew I’m enjoying right now.

Argento Reserva Malbec 2010 ($14)—The characteristic flavor of Malbec, with its strong tannins, makes this wine a primer for the fine red wines of this varietal now coming out of Mendoza vineyards in Argentina.  It’s very well priced for the quality, especially since Argento only started making Malbec as recently as 1998.  The wine spends nine months in oak barrels, softening it to its present equilibrium.

Duckhorn Paraduxx Winery C Blend 2009 ($48)—Here’s a fine blend of cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel, with the latter providing dark fruit and a tobacco-and-chocolate finish. At 14.5 percent alcohol it’s just at that sweet spot where big means bold. The winery was founded in 1994 and opened to the public in 2005 in Napa Valley and is well worth visiting for its round barn architecture and state-of-the-art facilities (left).

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 2009 ($65)—Penfolds is one of Australia’s pioneering wineries in the Barossa Valley and they make a wide range of products at various prices.  This is getting to the top of the line and is very expressive of how Australian shirazes manage to retain fruit without being inky . . .. To really hit the heights, sell an antique at get the Penfolds Bin 707 ($265), but be prepared to wait for it to come to full maturity.  Right now there is magnificence lurking beneath the fruit, acid and, curiously subdued, tannins.

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay 2012 ($19)—Here's a good entry level premium chardonnay from the estate that created the California style for the varietal.  There’s oak and caramel here but enough acid for balance, and I found it tasted even better the next night when some oxygen got absorbed into the wine.

Steven Kent Folkendt Vineyard 2010 ($65)—a Livermore Valley, CA, 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon whose alcohol of 14.2 percent is admirable in a state that loves huge, out-of-whack cabs.  Full fruited, it is lively on the palate and has a fine, long finish that will be even better in two to three years.  (The winery is shown at left.)

Li Veli Pezzo Morgana Negroamaro Salice Salentino 2008 ($20)—Salice Salentino made from the Negroamaro grape is Puglia’s claim to red wine quality, and this distinctive varietal is ripe and ready to drink right now with red meats.  I found some sediment in the bottle, which suggests it won’t be this delicious forever. 

Brolio Riserva Chianti Classico 2010 ($30)—A remarkable price for such a beautifully crafted Chianti Classico in a blend of 80 percent Sangiovese, a soft 15 percent Merlot, and a backbone of 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, spending 16 months in oak and three in bottle.  It is ideal with the kinds of foods enjoyed in Tuscany and right now the baby lamb is being readied for Easter, when this wine would be perfect as a celebratory accompaniment. 

Veramonte Primus Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($14)—The Colchagua Valley of Chile has emerged as one of the country’s finest, and this Cabernet (with 5 percent Syrah) made by Huneeus Vintners shows how you put steel into a velvet glove and have both power and finesse in an intensely flavorful, admirably priced red wine.  More age will bring it into even better focus.





Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) recently  tweeted a photo of  a box of vintage Spice Girls pizza, for which each girl had her  own slice shaped like a letter in the word SPICE.  According to E! Online, Mel C’s “S” slice had tuna and cheese, Emma’s “P” slice had ham and cheese, Geri’s “I” had chilies and cheese, Mel B’s “C” had spicy beef and cheese, and Victoria’s “E” had red onions because “she knows what she wants, what she really, really wants when it comes to vegetables” (according to the box).




"The 1970 Jurançon Sec from Clos Joliette is a legendary wine - and deservedly so. It has a potent nose that knocks your olfactory senses sideways for a moment. `Peculiar' is the word I wrote down initially. Then it begins to reveal some lovely notes of tangerine, dried pineapple, Thai fish oil and adhesive glue. The palate is well balanced and comes armed with searing bone dryness. There is a pleasant waxy texture in the mouth with touches of marmalade on the saline finish that packs a might punch Wow. Not for the faint hearted, but electrifying to the senses. Tasted August 2013."--
Neal Martin,  eRobertParker



 Any of John Mariani's books below may be ordered from

The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink by John F. Mariani (Bloomsbury USA, $35)

Modesty forbids me to praise my own new book, but let me proudly say that it is an extensive revision of the 4th edition that appeared more than a decade ago, before locavores, molecular cuisine, modernist cuisine, the Food Network and so much more, now included. Word origins have been completely updated, as have per capita consumption and production stats. Most important, for the first time since publication in the 1980s, the book includes more than 100 biographies of Americans who have changed the way we cook, eat and drink -- from Fannie Farmer and Julia Child to Robert Mondavi and Thomas Keller.

"This book is amazing! It has entries for everything from `abalone' to `zwieback,' plus more than 500 recipes for classic American dishes and drinks."--Devra First, The Boston Globe.

"Much needed in any kitchen library."--Bon Appetit.

Now in Paperback, too--How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave Macmillan)  has won top prize  from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  It is a rollicking history of the food culture of Italy and its ravenous embrace in the 21st century by the entire world. From ancient Rome to la dolce vita of post-war Italy, from Italian immigrant cooks to celebrity chefs, from pizzerias to high-class ristoranti, this chronicle of a culinary diaspora is as much about the world's changing tastes, prejudices,  and dietary fads as about our obsessions with culinary fashion and style.--John Mariani

"Eating Italian will never be the same after reading John Mariani's entertaining and savory gastronomical history of the cuisine of Italy and how it won over appetites worldwide. . . . This book is such a tasteful narrative that it will literally make you hungry for Italian food and arouse your appetite for gastronomical history."--Don Oldenburg, USA Today. 

"Italian restaurants--some good, some glitzy--far outnumber their French rivals.  Many of these establishments are zestfully described in How Italian Food Conquered the World, an entertaining and fact-filled chronicle by food-and-wine correspondent John F. Mariani."--Aram Bakshian Jr., Wall Street Journal.

"Mariani admirably dishes out the story of Italy’s remarkable global ascent to virtual culinary hegemony....Like a chef gladly divulging a cherished family recipe, Mariani’s book reveals the secret sauce about how Italy’s cuisine put gusto in gusto!"--David Lincoln Ross,

"Equal parts history, sociology, gastronomy, and just plain fun, How Italian Food Conquered the World tells the captivating and delicious story of the (let's face it) everybody's favorite cuisine with clarity, verve and more than one surprise."--Colman Andrews, editorial director of The Daily

"A fantastic and fascinating read, covering everything from the influence of Venice's spice trade to the impact of Italian immigrants in America and the evolution of alta cucina. This book will serve as a terrific resource to anyone interested in the real story of Italian food."--Mary Ann Esposito, host of PBS-TV's Ciao Italia.

"John Mariani has written the definitive history of how Italians won their way into our hearts, minds, and stomachs.  It's a story of pleasure over pomp and taste over technique."--Danny Meyer, owner of NYC restaurants Union Square Cafe,  The Modern, and Maialino.



FEATURED LINKS: I am happy to  report that the Virtual Gourmet is  linked to 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,  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." 

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 Click on the logo below to go directly to his site.


Tennis Resorts OnlineA 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).

nickonwine: An engaging, interactive wine column by Nick Passmore, Artisanal Editor, Four Seasons Magazine; Wine Columnist,;;

MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly.  Editor/Publisher: John Mariani. Editor: Walter Bagley. 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.

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