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  August 5, 2012                                                                                                NEWSLETTER

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The Kitchen Brigade in "Downton Abbey" (2011)



Chicago Highlights

by John Mariani

by John Mariani


by Mort Hochstein



Chicago Highlights
by John Mariani

The Billy Goat Tavern, Chicago

    The vivacity of the Chicago dining scene continues unabated, with new gastropubs and the emergence of yet another molecular cuisine restaurant serving lab food. There’s still a commitment to Midwestern hospitality, and here are some new places and new faces I like right now.


NoMI Kitchen

Park Hyatt

800 North Michigan Avenue



NoMi (North Michigan) has always been a splendidly situated restaurant, perched above the Avenue on the Gold Coast are, and its history of fine chefs has now been extended with the appointment of Ryan LaRoche, 34, who has had long experience at places like Tru in Chicago, and Joël Robüchon L’Atelier de  in Las Vegas. At NoMi he’s showing all the influences of global cuisine in thrilling, light dishes that begin with the “Ocean Bar” featuring a large selection of oysters, shellfish, crudi and ceviches in addition to sushi, which has always been featured here.

         You don’t see nettle soup on many menus outside of Italy, and I’m glad LaRoche (below) has brought it to American attention, for it's a splendid flavor, deep and intense. Just-pulled mozzarella, glistening and creamy, stacked up with some of the best I’ve had this side of Naples, and there’s was nothing to dislike about foie gras—now happily back on Chicago menus after a freakish moment of prohibition—with kumquats. A meaty prawn and avocado salad was good and refreshing.

         LaRoche gets his cooking textures just right, obvious in pan-seared sturgeon and a dish of juicy, braised pork cheeks. He devotes as much attention to desserts like a wonderful fromage blanc parfait and brioche beignets that are difficult to stop eating ever after a full meal here. And there's the key to his cooking: nothing is labored, no dish contorted, nothing overly rich. You go through course by course with sheer satisfaction and a smile. 

    NoMI's extensive wine list features a selection of more than 500 labels of wines.

    There is now a Garden terrace with 30-foot teak and concrete bar, and the main dining room has gone more casual, alas, now without tablecloths. But service, from start to finish, is first rate.  

    NoMI Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.  Dinner appetizers runs $11-$26, main courses $26-$39, with entrees to share higher, for two.


Bar Toma

110 East Pearson Street



         For a generation now, Tony Mantuano has been a guiding light for chefs in Chicago, doing a refined cucina italiana at Spiaggia, whose consistency makes it perhaps the best restaurant in the city.  Now, going way down market, Mantuano's opened a place where you can get a perfect espresso and brioche on a quiet morning, dig into the mozzarella bar and have a consummate pizza—from a list of 18--at lunch--then come back for a bustling dinner that might begin with a glass of prosecco, some lovely cured meats, and a selection of jars containing Tuscan chicken liver spread, baccalà, crudi, and treviso and goat’s cheese with marmalade.

         Then you must consider the rosticcini dishes, maybe marinated chicken scented with rosemary and lemon or skirt steak with grana padano cheese, or Modenese guanciale-wrapped sweetbreads with sage.  Still hungry? Probably not, even though these are small plates,  so go back another night for rock shrimp polpette or a Tony Beef sandwich with crispy shallots and spicy tomato sauce.    Have some luscious gelati  and you’re happy.

         You should know about the nightly specials too, Monday through Sunday, like Monday’s porchetta, Friday’s fritto misto of seafood, and Saturday’s “not your grandma's’s braciole,” which may or may not be as good as my grandmother’s, but if it’s Tony’s, it’s going to be terrific.
    Bar Toma is three sections, the first on the street--with outside chairs in good weather--a bar and room to the right, and a somewhat less loud area to the right, all with the feel of  cool new spot you'd find off a piazza in Rome or Milan.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Antipasti run $3-$9, pizzas $14-$18, and a lot of small plates $8-$16.



2656 W. Lawrence Avenue



         It is, of course, a cliché to say that a small family-run restaurant is a labor of love, but it is certainly a back-breaking way to make a living, even if love is involved.  This becomes evident at Goosefoot, which is a ways out from downtown in what I’m told is the burgeoning Lincoln Square neighborhood.

         Here, in a tiny room that only does one seating of 34 people a night, Chris Nugent, formerly at Chicago's Les Nomades, and his wife Nina serve an eight-course, $90 tasting menu, B.Y.O, which is amazing since restaurants make their real money from wine and spirits. (They offer the locations of nearby wine shops.)  There is also a 12-course menu available.

         There’s little to brag about in the décor, which is based on banquettes, bare tables, and shades of pale gray-green.  And because the room is small, when it's full, it's loud.
    “Goosefoot”  refers to one of many plant species by that name, and plants and vegetables play a big role on the menu here, which, it is said, is made from seed paper you can stick in the soil and grow from.        

         Dishes change all the time, so I can only give you a sense of what awaits you at Goosefoot, like a small beginning of lobster, scallop, Hubbard squash, licorice root and curry. There was a sweet sunchoke soup with potato, shrimp and truffle essence, and roasted quail (left) with spiced beluga lentils, ginger and compressed apple, all artfully designed around the main ingredients, so things look a bit twee on many dishes. For dessert there was chocolate with sea beans, orange and mulled wine. There are some passé trendy ideas here, including a liberal use of foam,  and there are no alternatives to what’s listed on the single sheet of paper.

         Goosefoot is expensive, but the personalized experience at Goosefoot and obvious adventure of a set menu can be worth it, especially when you bring your own wine.  

Goosefoot is open Tues.-Sun. for dinner.




2853 North Kedzie Avenue 


         Yusho bills itself as an Asian  small plates yakitori restaurant, and that it is, but you need to be careful of not over-ordering—which the waiters urge you to do--or the bill can easily mount up fast.  It’s a good sort of drop-in place, too, and despite some excellent local reviews, when I dined midweek, it was far from jammed.  You can sit at the counter or take a booth, or a table to the rear.  You'll be cordially greeted and seated whenever you go.

         Yusho is own by chef Matthias Merges, formerly of the soon-to-closeCharlie Trotter's, where whatever devotion to meticulousness he learned is exacted here in the tastes, spicings and textures presented, including three types of fried skins—chicken, pork and salmon. There is also twice-fried pork with lime and matcha (finely ground green tea), and I recommend the succulent beef tongue with soy, bitter kale and a sharp bite of horseradish. Tofu with too tiny bits of pork was rather bland, though seas urchin with nori seaweed, shiso and “Buddha's hand” (a multi-fingered citron) had a delicious chemistry.

         As is often the case in Asian restaurants, desserts don’t come up to the scrumptious levels of American sweets, so that kalamansi with peanut butter and coriander and soft serve black sesame, coffee and “crunchy business" were nothing to rave about. Better you should order more savory items.

         There are some signature cocktails here, along with a half dozen sakes, plenty of artisanal beers, and some well-chosen wines that may go with most of this food.


Yusho is open for dinner Mon.-Sat, for “Sunday noodles” on Sun. till 5 PM; dishes range from $3-$14.






Four Seasons Hotel

120 East Delaware Place



         The once staid, but always very, very good, dining room of the Chicago Four Seasons has been transformed into a colorful, more casual modern dining room of mahogany, big barrel leather chairs, low lighting, and big splashes of abstract art. The cuisine has changed too, once French-American,  now under a farm friendly concept developed by Chef Kevin Hickey, a Chicago guy who’s cooked in California, Dublin and London.  “Our menu gives guests the opportunity to have whatever dining experience they desire,” he says. “Diners can try two or three small plates, or splurge on a larger entrée or a premium, regionally sourced cut of meat.”

         One glance at the large menu proves his point, from luscious, hand chopped bison tartare with waffle chips, zippy beer mustard, and quivering egg (left) to a well-wrought scallop-and-green garlic risotto. There’s an emphasis on Midwestern generosity here, shown in his hefty boudin blanc sausage with morcilla grits and a welcome shot of chimichurri.

         Hungry for a light lunch of just some burrata with crusty bread? It’s on there. Pasta? Try the summery mint gnocchi with a rich, lusty lamb bolognese ragù and sheep’s milk cheese. Heading to a Sox game? Try the nice, fat Chicago style hot dog with “homemade everything.”  There is a well-marbled wagyu-style skirt steak with cheese and herb fries that could double for a deluxe Philly cheesesteak, and sliders of the shortribs with white Cheddar and an assertive horseradish aïoli was one of my favorite dishes here.

         It's obvious that Hickey really loves his own food—too many Chicago chefs still cook for show not taste—and I can just see him noshing on those sliders before service, maybe finishing off after service with a cheesecake sundae of blackberries, Graham cracker crunchies, cream cheese mousse and grapefruit.  Maybe he'll take some home. It would be a sin to waste food this good.

         Unless you order beef tenderloin ($65) or ribeye ($52), the prices here are very reasonable, with smaller plates $10-$17, main courses $14-$32.  The wine list could use a lot more labels under $50.

Allium is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.



151 West Erie Street



            Ryan Poli has always been well regarded in town and I have shared that regard ever since he was as a place called Butter.  Tavernita is his newest place, and it is huge, vast, going from bar areas to dining rooms, all as loud as a jack hammer, and it’s very tough to carry on a conversation here, which is why most of the young clientele seem perpetually on their iPhones. If that’s your style, then you’ll find it a place to drink, dig in with friends on small plates, and people watch.
front, 92-seat Barcito is a standup drink-and-eats bar; the 122-seat dining room, with a communal banquette in the center, raw bar and a 10-seat stone bar; and a 72-seat dining lounge that offers late-night bites and cocktails. Then there is outdoor seating for 24.

    The menu here is rife with Mediterranean dishes, particularly a large array of tapas-style items, from the oysters and crudi to cured charcuterie, from an “en pan” selection of flat breads; then there are “platos” of everything from grilled baby octopus, soups, pastas, and parilla-style grilled meats.

    Here are some of the dishes I really enjoyed: hamachi with avocado, lime, jalapeño, and cucumber; blistered pimientos shot through with with sherry vinegar that you just pop into your mouth and let work their incendiary charms; escalivada, a mélange of eggplant, red peppers, hazelnuts, romesco and goat’s cheese on crostini—tastes that will never go out of favor; crunchy-soft croquetas with fine Serrano ham and saffron aïoli; and a sensationally delicious corn pudding with shrimp, chile poblano and herb salad. If you’re not yet tired of pork belly, you’ll like the bocadillos with sweet-tangy apple jam, pickled red onions on a buttery brioche bun.

    I don’t quite understand the “kegged cocktails” (isn’t a cocktail supposed to be made to order?), but there are many small estate wines served  on tap, and tap house-made vermouth, in Spain called “vermut de grifo.”


Tavernita serves lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner Mon.-Sat.; brunch Sat. & Sun. Dishes range from $8-$21.




by John Mariani


346 West 52nd Street (near 8th Avenue)

    The term "hole in the wall" has become high praise among the food media that almost always attaches the word "hipster," seeming to indicate that it may not be all that pretty and have a staff that may even be downright belligerent to its guests, but if two or three dishes rise to the level of "awesome," it gets showered with kudos.
    Danji is and is not such a restaurant, for while it is basically a Theater District storefront with minimum but pleasant décor, owner Hooni Kim, who's worked at both Masa and Daniel, is applying what he learned at those totemic spots--a combination of exquisite attention to detail and a building of layers of taste. At Danji he is doing his version of Korean food in which, as he's said,
“I apply everything I learn to Korean food. I think that makes it taste better. . . the way New Yorkers like to eat.”  He originally wanted to become a doctor and, if you like, you can make some sense of his treating every dish as a physician might a diagnosis to effect the best outcome.

    Danji is simply decorated, with just 32 seats, a bar and counter up front, and tables that have slender drawers that open to reveal the menu. The service staff, even when the place is full, which is every night, sometimes doing five turnovers, couldn't be more cordial, none brandishing an armful of tats, always ready to recommend the right way to order, suggesting this or that wine or beer, and urging you to be open to flavors.  The music is not too loud, thank God, and the prices are modest. Kim prefers to send out the small plates one or two at a time for a table, when they are ready, because he likes to build towards a crescendo of flavors and richness.
    On my latest visit, I joined a party of five, so we sampled almost the entire menu, starting with dishes under the "modern" section--perfectly crisp calamari with a wasabi mayo; tofu with ginger and a scallion dressing; and a spicy salad of whelk with buckwheat soba noodles. Everything was gobbled up fast, awaiting new taste and textures.  Next came a terrific scallion and pepper pancake and chicken wings laced with garlic honey and sesame seeds from the "traditional" side of the menu. Braised pork with scallion, dried daikon kimchee and a cabbage wrap counted among the best finger foods of the evening, and we downed spicy pork belly sliders  (right) in two bites each. Kimchi added heat and dazzle to a bacon and chorizo paella, as the fiery relish did to a dish of grilled pork belly with warm tofu. Last but certainly not least was a dish of braised short rib with fingerling potatoes, baby onions and roasted pine nuts.
    Just listing all these dishes seems enough to draw any Asian food lover to Danji, and Kim makes no apologies for not setting down the usual smoky brazier on which to self-grill meats, as is the tradition at Korean restaurants  found all over town.  He does have a tendency to add a lot of sweetness to several dishes that might be even better had there been a balancing with sour flavors.
    So Danji functions on many levels, as a delightful place for a quick lunch, as a pre- or after-theater meal, or as a place to bring friends and, as we did, order like mad this kind of ravishingly delicious food with such rare flair.  Danji is no rude hipster eatery; it is a fully realized expression of a chef with a great future ahead of him.

Danji is open for lunch  Mon.-Fri. and for dinner Mon.-Sat. Dishes range from $6-$20.




by Mort Hochstein

    On the day I learned that Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars  in New York's Finger Lakes   would observe its fiftieth anniversary this summer, I also learned that Jordan Winery in Sonoma would mark its 40th at roughly the same time.  What an interesting opportunity for a story about contrasts, I thought: a small hard scrabble New York winery and a well funded, top drawer California house modeled on the great estates of Bordeaux.
   The contrasts were amplified as I developed my research.  Doc Frank (left), as his neighbors knew him, was a penniless émigré  from the Ukraine who came to the United States in 1951,  worked as an unskilled laborer at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station  in Geneva,   and made little progress until Dr. Charles Fournier of Gold Seal recognized his credentials and experience and hired him to cultivate European grapes, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon,  at a time when the region’s growers felt only the  hardy native labrusca and hybrids could survive   the frigid  winters of the Finger Lakes. 
   In 1962, Dr. Frank established his own winery overlooking Keuka Lake (below), scoffing at his neighbors’ reluctance to change. “I grew vinifera in Russia,” he declaimed, “where spit would freeze before it hit the ground.” Fiercely advocating the uprooting  existing vineyards, he planted vinifera, showing that mounding up the soil around the vines in winter and improving grafting techniques would allow the more desirable grapes to thrive in the Finger Lakes.  Irascible, opinionated, stubborn, and not always tactful, he often antagonized his colleagues, but also built a following of “cooperators” throughout the Northeast who adopted his techniques to propel the revolution which transformed the vineyards of the region.  
      He once showed me jars holding dead, almost  skeletal baby chicks. “I fed them hybrid grapes and juices, and see what happens,” he gloated. Doc Frank  detested the hybrids that had been created in France after the American root louse phylloxera devastated the vinifera vineyards of Europe, and he saw little future for the area’s native varieties. On another visit, he directed his outrage toward a neighboring winery, Bully Hill, where Hermann Weimer had been imported to prove wines made from hybrids and indigenous American grapes. “That Herman the German,” he ranted, “he’s poisoning America.” Weimer eventually left Bully Hill to create prize winning Riesling and Chardonnay at his eponymously named winery on nearby Seneca Lake, and never again made wines from hybrids. In the years that followed, he and Dr. Frank became friends.
     In 1972, ten years to the day that Doctor Frank, underfunded, singlehandedly  began building a humble,  small winery, Tom and   Sally Jordan purchased 275 acres of orchards in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley.  Jordan  had successfully developed oilfields in Indonesia,  and, it is said, dreamt of purchasing one of the great French estates. He never  believed the United States  could produce equally fine wines until a sommelier in San Francisco introduced him to an early bottling of Beaulieu Georges de Latour, produced by renowned winemaker André Tschelitscheff, and that tasting redirected him to California.   Intent on producing   wines to rival those of Bordeaux, he  found promising property in  Sonoma where he hired architects to build a stunning  French château-styled winery (below), enlisting Tschelistcheff as consultant; in 1976 he released the first of  an unparalleled  series of highly ranked Cabernet and   Chardonnay wines. For a long time, Jordan focused on restaurants and hotel dining rooms but is now in more general distribution.
    Both wineries are today very successful, but on different planes. Jordan produces about 66,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon  and 33,000 Chardonnay annually while Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine  Cellars releases about 45,000 cases, primarily Riesling and Chardonnay, and smaller amounts of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, and its uniquely Russian specialty, Rkatsitelli.   Dr. Frank’s rise to public recognition,  however,  came  after three decades of struggle and two changes at the top.  Doc Frank was skilled in the vineyard and in the winery, but was not a great organizer or businessman. His son, Willy, working full time as a traveling salesman in the camera business and traveling weekends from Long Island to help  at the winery, altered its direction  after his father’s  death in 1984. One year earlier,  Doc  Frank, struggling and ill, had reluctantly turned the business over to Willy, who became even more of a road warrior, traveling night after night to sales events and wine dinners to promote  the winery and the sparkling wine facility he had founded nearby  while working for his father.
   I never met Tom Jordan, though I had visited the estate and  interviewed his daughter Judy, who went on to launch her own label,  “J,” a sparkling wine. I overnighted  at the stylish  house, where I was treated like royalty, as were distributors, retailers and restaurateurs who had obtained a treasured invitation to the Sonoma showplace. You had to know the way. There was no sign at  the long, unmarked road   to the winery. On my most recent California visit, I found  a small Jordan sign at the highway entrance and visitors—not only   those in the trade--are   welcome. They are, however, advised to write or call in advance. The small guest area is discreetly populated  and I saw no signs of the bus tours that flood the tasting rooms of many California wineries. 
  Those and other changes came under John Jordan, an attorney, after his father asked him to take over in 2005. While Jordan has prided itself on fielding an estate  wine, he and winemaker Tom Davis, who had  been there from the first years,  were redeveloping the vineyards, and for the first time, purchased grapes to fill gaps. Since that period,  the wines, while still structured for the long haul, have changed   to become less austere and more  accessible at an earlier stage.                                           John with his father Tom and mother Sally.
      I knew Willy Frank well, attended several of  his wine events in New York, and went  sailing with him on Keuka Lake. He was a born salesman and a facile orator. In  1933, in a much smoother transition than  Dr. Frank’s reluctant  retirement,  Willy Frank appointed his son Fred president and majority stockholder.  Fred, who’d trained at  the Geisenheim Institute in Germany, had run  vineyards for 10 years as  a managing director for Banfi Vintners on  Long Island, thus bringing to the job a rare combination of winemaking and business background. He expanded the line to make a high volume Chardonnay line, added plantings, and enlisted skilled American, French and Australian winemakers to improve and diversify his  production.   
   In July,  I was in Hammondsport when  Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Celllars celebrated its first half-century. Fred Frank staged a modest celebration for approximately 300 people , including 39 family members, at the winery, provided great tastings, a light lunch, tours of the grounds, a film about the winery and a few, thankfully , brief speeches by local notables. And that brings up the final comparison.
      A few weeks earlier,  Jordan also celebrated, staging elaborate, well attended,  tastings and lushly catered celebrations for tradespeople and journalists in Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami and New York. The triumphal continental observances  also included a competition  in which Jordan awarded approximately $35,000 to artists who had created works honoring their cities and the winery’s four decades.   As Mel  Brooks famously declared, “It’s good to be the king.”




"Stuffed with passengers and piled high with luggage, our minivan careened down a twisting mountain road, descending across northern Laos. The spot where I got carsick, I later learned, was precisely where the unfinished French colonial road had reached its westernmost end in 1932."—Elizabeth Eaves, “In Laos, the Lady and the Jars,” NY Times (7/15/12).



In NYC's East 10th Street,  Molecule, the Water Café, is serving water for $2.50 a bottle that is NYC tap water filtered "to its purest form."  Said owner Adam Ruhf, who plans to expand to L.A.,
"It's about treating water a little more consciously, mindfully and respectfully."


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

My latest book, which just won the prize for best book from International Gourmand, written with Jim Heimann and Steven Heller,  Menu Design in America,  1850-1985 (Taschen Books), has just appeared, with nearly 1,000 beautiful, historic, hilarious, sometimes shocking menus dating back to before the Civil War and going through the Gilded Age, the Jazz Age, the Depression, the nightclub era of the 1930s and 1940s, the Space Age era, and the age when menus were a form of advertising in innovative explosions of color and modern design.  The book is a chronicle of changing tastes and mores and says as much about America as about its food and drink.


“Luxuriating vicariously in the pleasures of this book. . . you can’t help but become hungry. . .for the food of course, but also for something more: the bygone days of our country’s splendidly rich and complex past.  Epicureans of both good food and artful design will do well to make it their coffee table’s main course.”—Chip Kidd, Wall Street Journal.


“[The menus] reflect the amazing craftsmanship that many restaurants applied to their bills of fare, and suggest that today’s restaurateurs could learn a lot from their predecessors.”—Rebecca Marx, The Village Voice.

My new book--Now in Paperback, too--How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave Macmillan)  has just won top prize 2011 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, Gotham Bar & Grill, 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."  THIS WEEK: Migis Lodge in Maine' Feynan Ecolodge in Jordan.

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. 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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© copyright John Mariani 2012