Brigitte Bardot at Cannes, 1955
IN THIS ISSUE
DINING IN DUBLIN, Part Two
By John Mariani
NEW YORK CORNER
LAMANO and SARAGHINA
By John Mariani
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
LEDE WINES AIM FOR PURITY OF STYLE
By John Mariani
By John Mariani
"The Fish Market, Patrick Street" (1893) by Walter Osbourne
As I wrote a few weeks ago, Dublin has an impressive fine dining scene, but I assume visitors will also be looking for something more in the Irish culinary tradition. Fortunately, gastropubs and bistros have popped up to meet the demand. Here are some you should consider. (Just don’t ask for corned beef and cabbage.)
owners of the casual and cozy Coppinger Row, near
Grafton Street, don’t brag or even explain much
about their establishment on their website, letting
the “Mediterranean plates, bold wines &
signature cocktails” speak for themselves. Apparently,
they have been heard loud and clear, for this is one
of Dublin’s overnight hits.
Open Mon.-Fri. for lunch; weekends for brunch, Nightly for dinner.
course, eating out in Dublin will inevitably drive
one to more traditional fare, and
while most upscale pubs around town serve decent
versions of the usual grub, The Front Door, which is
very pub-like up front, is less than 18 months old
and quite serious about its menu. Nearby
Trinity College, it draws a young crowd; a stone’s
throw from The Olympia Theater, it gets a pre- and
after-theater clientele; and the place has caught on
with visitors from other countries, so you get a
good mix and a lot of conviviality. The Irish
incapable of talking to the next person
over without clinking glasses.
Open for lunch and dinner daily.
good indication of the global reach of Dublin’s
modern restaurants will be found at the new Medley,
in the old Irish
Times building, set on two levels, downstairs
for a hearty lunch or take-out, and upstairs for
events and catering. It’s been called by the local
press a “bustling New York-style café bistro,” which
seems to make sense.
Open for breakfast and lunch daily.
a real slump in 2008, Dublin’s hotels have started
to bounce back and increase in number. Since it is
not a large city, staying central is easy enough. (A
Four Seasons Hotel a wee bit outside of town
foundered and was turned into an Intercontinental.) On my
last trip I could not have been better located than
at the boutique Brooks Hotel
on Drury Street, and just a block or two from
everywhere you’d want to visit, shop or dine,
including Grafton and Nassau Streets, Trinity
College and St. Stephen’s Green. There’s also a
parking lot right across the street, which comes in
FOR FISH AND CHIPS.
Fish and Chips
at The Front Door
As a staple of food
culture throughout the UK and Ireland, fish and
chips, like all prole food, can be a great balm to
the spirit or a real let-down. I most
certainly recall in years past enough examples of
ammonia-smelling fish, mushy breading and oozing
grease to put me off fish and chips for good, but
that was then.These days, you’ll find that Irish
cooks are expending the same energies on fish and
chips as American chefs are hamburgers. The key to
getting the best is to go when a place is at its
busiest and turn-over high.
NEW YORK CORNERBy John Mariani
TWO NEIGHBORHOOD PLACES DESERVING
TO BE ON EVERYONE'S RADAR
Red shrimp in garlic at Lamano
Chelsea has long had a slew of good, small
restaurants and eateries, like Alta Linea, Cull
& Pistol and The Red Cat, it has largely avoided
becoming a caterwauling hipster foodie destination
like the Lower East Side and Bushwick. Lamano is
small, but surprisingly not all that loud, a very
friendly and fast-paced storefront closer to a
Basque-style tapas (or pintxos)
wine bar than other Spanish spots around town,
although here you don’t belly up to the bar to
order, as you would in San Sebastián.
Brooklyn has never wanted
for good pizzerias, and the hyper-praise heaped on
Roberta’s has made it seem that eyesore-ugly
Bushwick eatery invented pizza. The fact is, there
has always been great pizza of various stylizations
all over NYC, and the endless debates about which
place serves the best pie has become a tiresome
THE WINE CELLAR
LEDE WINES AIM FOR
PURITY OF STYLE
A Canadian construction
company entrepreneur who buys a vineyard in Napa
Valley to make Bordeaux-style wines and names
them after his favorite rock songs is about par
for the course for the idiosyncratic
investors in California viniculture. That’s what
Cliff Lede (pronounced lay-dee) did fifteen
years ago when he built a state-of-the-art
winery and cave system on 60 acres in the Stags
Leap district, giving his vineyard blocks names
like “Dark Side of the Moon” and “My
FURTHER EVIDENCE OF THE
FURTHER EVIDENCE OF THE
Apollo Peak says it's sold
$500,000 worth of catnip-infused colored water
called "pet wine" at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and 200
other stores in just the past year, and now has a
competitor in Florida-based Pet Winery, now
in 40 stores. Names of beverages includ
Catbernet, Moscato, and Purrgundy, and Mëow &
WAITER? WAITER? WAI-TER?
WAITER? WAITER? WAI-TER?
"At first glance Corridor seems like any other buzzworthy San Francisco restaurant: low lights, curated playlists, thoughtful wine list, reclaimed-wood tables set with stemmed glassware, artisanal china, fine flatware and a California-inspired American menu of on-trend plates . . . . It’s a fairly standard fine-dining operation in most respects, really, except for one little thing. There are no waiters. No one will take your order. Instead, when you arrive, you’ll walk up to a counter to order your entire meal there. You’ll be handed a discreet GPS device (it does not buzz), which locates you in the restaurant so a runner can deliver your food. Once seated, floor staff will refill water glasses, reorder drinks and add desserts as needed. Welcome to `fast fine,' a hybrid dining phenomenon sweeping San Francisco.”—Andrea Strong, “The Way to Save the Restaurant Industry? Put the Fast in Fine Dining,” Food Republic (1/25/17)
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❖❖❖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, 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:
Eating Las Vegas
JOHN CURTAS has been covering the Las Vegas
food and restaurant scene since 1995. He is
the co-author of EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50
Essential Restaurants (as well as
the author of the Eating Las Vegas web site: www.eatinglasvegas.
He can also be seen every Friday morning as
the “resident foodie” for Wake Up With the
Wagners on KSNV TV (NBC) Channel 3 in
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.
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