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  March 30, 2014                                                                                             NEWSLETTER

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By John Mariani

By John Mariani

Il Cantinori
By John Mariani



by Andrew Chalk



By John Mariani

    It’s been a bad month for bad pizza. First, Sbarro announced the closing of 155 of its 400 U.S. stores, then declared bankruptcy. Again.  Then, in one of the few conservative judicial decisions I actually applaud, Justice Antonin Scalia, born in Trenton, NJ, declared that Chicago-style deep-dish pizza “shouldn’t be called pizza. It’s very tasty, but it’s not pizza.” 
      Curiously enough, these two seemingly unrelated incidents actually prove that inferior pizza is on the wane.  (Well, not entirely, Pizza Hut, which makes the worst pizza on Earth, still has more than 6,000 U.S. locations, and more than 5,000 in 94 other countries.)  The good news is that pizza is going through a renaissance of quality, having passed from its humble Neapolitan origins as poor people’s food to its first outpost in New York--Lombardi’s (left) opened in 1905 on Spring Street and is still there--to becoming a favorite snack food across the U.S. by the 1960s, when the corruption really set in.  Sbarro, which started out in 1956 in Brooklyn and became a staple of mall food courts when it went public in 1985, is far from making truly bad pizza, even if its crust is too doughy and its toppings insipid. The demise of pizza in America really began when chains--most of them out of the Midwest--like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesars, and Godfather--these last two blithely and despicably trading on Italian gangster stereotypes (below)--created a Middle American style pizza of daunting size, heaviness and distaste than bore no resemblance to the Neapolitan model.   Then the very American impetus to pile on became competitive:  Little Caesars' Ultimate Supreme Pizza is topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, and onions on a thick crust with the consistency of a bread stick, while Pizza Hut’s Super Supreme Pizza (goes way beyond that, described as a “feast of pepperoni, ham, beef, pork sausage, Italian sausage, red onions, mushrooms, green peppers and black olives”--just the thing to give pizza a bad name as artery-clogging, gut-busting junk food.
      A pullback came innocently enough, when California Earth Mother Alice Waters began serving authentic, marvelously crusted, charred and bubbly Neapolitan-style pizzas at her Café at Chez Panisse, about the same time Wolfgang Puck opened Spago in L.A., where he made pizzas whose crust was just as rigorously authentic but with out-of-the-ordinary first-quality ingredients that included smoked salmon, caviar, dill and sour cream, which he dubbed “Jewish pizza” (below).
      But it was not until Italian food in this country transcended the image of being greaseball fare that pizza came along for the ride to eminence as a legitimate dish that demanded respect for its traditions as poor people’s food in 19th century Naples. 
      The problem was, as always happens in the U.S., overeager young cooks decided to exalt pizza by deconstructing every element of the pie in an attempt to justify an entirely new array of excesses in the name of “gourmet pizza.”   Wood-fired ovens were held to be requisite for a good crust; the flour had to be imported from Italy (even though the Italians import their flour from Minnesota); the chemical make-up of the water was considered crucial; and along the way the crust got fashionably thinner and thinner until it was more a flatbread than a pizza.
      Pioneers like Chris Bianco (below) of Pizza Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona--who once prided himself on making every pizza, until the flour dust got to his lungs--became heroes, even icons.  Entrepreneurs flew to Naples, ate at ten pizzerias, declared themselves experts, then ordered handcrafted pizza ovens to be shipped to the States, which always arrived at least six months late.                                                                                
                                                                                                                 Photo: Nikki Buchanan
      Inevitably followed scores of articles in national and city magazines in high dudgeon over who made the best pizzas in America, and the whole thing became typically overblown, overthought, and really really boring.
      But, as is also the case in America, these dithyrambs of exhaustive scrutiny got old and the copy got thin, as the next new thing demanded immediate attention. 
    And this is why we are now in a pizza renaissance: after pizza wars in New York, L.A., Boston, San Francisco, and other major cities, the wonderful fall-out of those battles is that you can now get a good pizza just about anywhere in the U.S., as long as it’s not at a chain.
      The mystery of making a good pizza has been solved, and it’s not all that difficult, assuming some publicity-freak cook doesn’t intend to top his pizzas with, oh, I don’t know, leaves and lichen.  Contemporary ovens, which need not be made of brick or wood- or coal-fired, almost guarantee a good crust if the cook has a commitment to the crafting and stretching of the dough in order to create those charred bubbles, chewy-crunchy crust, and yeasty aroma that permeates the ingredients put on top of the pie.  And, of course, high quality ingredients are easier to buy than ever before--excellent olive oil, fine salami and sausage, fresh basil, artisanal cheeses.
      As a kid from the Bronx I no longer feel the need to declare all pizzas outside of New York second-rate--not that I don't have my favorites here--although I totally agree with Justice Scalia about the abomination called Chicago deep-dish pizza.  I have had first-rate pizzas all over the U.S., classic Margheritas, spicy pepperoni, with Gorgonzola and caramelized figs, arugula and goat’s cheese, and pastrami and fontina.  
      And while I rarely took the time to make pizza at home--which takes incessant practice to perfect the dough, then heating up a pizza stone for an hour till it’s maybe 500 degrees--I’ve actually found a little miracle device called the Newwave Pizza Maker that heats up to 600 degrees in five minutes and makes a perfect pizza
in under five minutes--provided you buy good pizza dough, now readily available. The thing’s made in Taiwan and you can find it for $79-$100.
      So, in its renaissance, pizza is returning to its humble roots, and with the dissipation of gourmet madness on the subject, we very easily go to a neighborhood pizzeria with a name like Vinny’s Original or La Dolce Vita Pizza, sit down and nurse a Peroni beer (which is really pretty good now), then swoon when the steaming hot pie is brought out and set on a metal stand, and the waiter says, “It’s really hot. Don’t burn your mouth.”   But you can’t wait, and you do.



By John Mariani


         The news that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (right) is expected to sign a bill that will allow licensed guns in bars, restaurants, schools, churches and airports is simply chilling.
    Indeed, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll that found more than 70 percent of voters opposed such a measure, as well as the state’s police chiefs association, restaurant association, and Episcopal and Catholic churches, not to mention the Federal Transportation Security Administration.

       Fueled by The National Rifle Association (NRA) that calls the bill “the most comprehensive gun” bill in recent state history, the enthusiasm for such an appalling idea among state legislators will run right over their own constituents’ concerns about going out to dinner and sitting next to a guy packing heat.   Are parents going to take their children to McDonald’s and stand in line with a hungry NRA stooge with a G22 Glock stuck in his belt?  And who wants to go down to the well tonight to drink his fill and see some lush slap his new semi-automatic gun on the bar?

Georgia is not alone in such legislation: the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence lists three states that already allow guns in churches, two on college campuses, eight in schools, and four considering allowing them in bars; South Carolina already does. One can only hope these laws are challenged in state and federal courts.

         I am not about to debate the Second Amendment here but to equate carrying an unlicensed gun into a bar or restaurant with a basic American right is sheer idiocy.  Alcohol and guns don’t mix well in bars, and what possible rationale is there to allow them into a restaurant?  Well, here’s one possibility: under the rules of Stand Your Ground, if the guy at the next table flirts with your wife and you ask him to stop and he tells you to go screw yourself and you see he’s got a pistol in his belt, then you have a perfect right to pull out your own gun and blow the sucker way—all perfectly legal.  By the way, the same goes for the other guy.

         A champagne cork pops across the dining room. A guy whips out his revolver, it accidentally discharges, and you get hit in the chest.  Oops!

         It is well to remember that in the Old West, contrary to fictionalized movie shoot-outs in saloons, the first things everyone had to do upon arrival in town was to surrender his guns to the sheriff’s office or at least hand them over to the bartender.  Had someone relieved “Crooked Nose” Jack McCall of his pistol in Deadwood, South Dakota, he couldn’t have walked into the No. 10 Saloon that August day in 1876 and shot Wild Bill Hickok dead with a bullet to the back of his head (right). 

         I would have thought that Georgia's legislators would be more enlightened than some western states about the dangerous consequences of allowing guns in bars and restaurants, and all it will take is a few bar owners and restaurateurs to test the law by posting signs saying “No Guns Allowed.” 
    Until that happens, cancel my reservations in Atlanta, including at a restaurant called Gunshow, whose chef-owner, Kevin Gillespie, named the place as homage to his father, who took his young son for bonding experiences to gun shows on Sundays.

         The Second Amendment is a reasonable one, but any reasonable person will wonder whether it was intended to promote the kind of arrogant license now being shoved through state legislatures.  Reminds me of the lyrics in the song by the Charlie Daniels Band, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”:

   Fire on the Mountain. Run, boys, run!

      The Devil's in the house of the rising sun.

This article originally ran in





By John Mariani


32 East 10th Street (near Fifth Avenue)

        Il Cantinori is that rare thing in New York: It’s going into its fourth decade, looks pretty much the same as it did in 1983, has a menu that does not stray far from its Tuscan roots, and has a fiercely faithful clientele that comes time after time either to eat their favorite dishes or to see what seasonal items Antonio Ciardi—here from Day One—will tempt them with.
         Il Cantinori’s design is handsome rather than dazzling, yet from the start it has always attracted the downtown artists, musicians and fashionistas (the street is lined with galleries), who bank on seeing one of the city’s grandest, most effusive floral displays in the dining room’s center table.
         In the beginning, when nearby Da Silvano was the hot restaurant for the Greenwich Village celebrity crowd, Il Cantinori offered a fresh alternative.   Owners Steve Tzolis, Nicola Kotsoni (of Periyali and Bar Six), and Frank Minieri, teamed with former Da Silvano g-m Pino Luongo (now owner of Moreso on the Upper East Side), who was very much a proud Tuscan, and soon Il Cantinori was catering to Vogue fashion editors, Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Keith Haring, who one night drove a Vespa right into the restaurant dining room.  The Hollywood crowd followed and all the attendant glamour.
    Today, you might not always spot the higher echelons of the arts and movie crowd on an every night basis, but Il Cantinori’s regulars lend the place an atmosphere that wholly fills the bill as a New York-style trattoria. Frank Minieri is always there to greet them by name.
         The menu breaks no new ground for Italian cuisine, but the Tuscan theme is still largely intact, so you might well begin with crostini slathered with goose liver, garlic and a chestnut puree ($20) or a cauliflower stew with bread scented with thyme and doused with grated Parmigiano ($14).  On the night I visited the mozzarella di bufala and prosciutto ($19) came out cold, the tomatoes pink, so the whole dish lacked flavor.
         Of course, pastas are always the standouts in Italian restaurants and Chef Ciardi has focused in on simple flavors with the right texture and condiments.  So, fettuccine with rabbit ($21), scallions, white wine and thyme ragù is as fine a rendering as you’d find in a trattoria in Siena, as are the potato gnocchi, light but substantial, with wild mushrooms and a rich cream sauce ($19).  I urge you to go for the evening’s risotto, for Ciardi cooks the rice to the perfect texture and suffuses it with the chosen ingredients of the night and the aroma of slowly cooked vegetable.
         There is also a grilled fish of the evening, and when I visited there could have been no improvement in the moist Mediterranean sea bass ($34) as an example of impeccable timing.  Roasted squab ($31), cooked pink, was earthy, accompanied by lush garlicky spinach and a light mustard sauce, while a broiled marinated rack of lamb for $38 is a remarkable price for such a generous dish.
      Having been around for more than thirty years, Il Cantinori’s wine list has grown and been renewed with an eye towards quality at a reasonable price.  There are some older bottlings but it is from the small estates that you find the most interesting labels.
         The desserts, as is so often the case in casual Italian restaurants, are not Il Cantinori’s strong point, though I think you’ll enjoy the house cheesecake.
         Il Cantinori carries on not only because of its glam image—which was heightened when the character Carrie in the TV show “Sex in the City” had her forlorn 30th birthday party in the restaurant (left)—but because its patrons have adopted it as their neighborhood go-to place, even if their neighborhood is far uptown or across the ocean.  You might call it Pan-trattoria.
         True, it was Restaurant Week when I visited, so the place was jammed, but it’s pretty much that way every night.  After 31 years, that is testament to a kitchen and staff that really cares.

Il Cantinori is open for lunch Mon.-Fri. and for dinner nightly.




by Andrew Chalk

     The increasing interest in the Tannat grape as a varietal with a bright future, especially in Argentina  and Uruguay, bolsters its traditional role in France, where it is produced, sometimes as a  monovarietal, in the southwestern enclave of Madiran and grown as an important, but not the major, component in Cahors.  
      Tannat has a reputation for intense, tannic wines that display long aging potential. In fact, it was in Madiran that a controversial winemaking  technique called micro-oxygenation was invented, apparently as an attempt to soften Tannat’s powerful tannins.

     Even in Texas the varietal has seen considerable growth and promise, and it is being made with accomplishment, as well as palpable passion, at Bending Branch Winery in the Texas Hill Country northwest of Austin. Bending Branch Winery is not the only Tannat producer in Texas, but it is the first one I had heard about and the one that got me appreciating the grape’s possibilities in the state.
       Here was a chance to see if my enthusiasm for Texas Tannat was warranted. How would 2010 Bending Branch  stand up, not against any old domestic Tannat, but with other global examples? I bought a bottle from the Bending Branch web site (Texas wines are almost never sold outside of the state) for $30. It has won gold and silver medals in California and Texas competitions.
      As luck would have it, I ran into Bending Branch’s V.P. of Winery and Vineyard Operations at a conference and told him of my plans. He offered a bottle of the 2011 Bending Branch “Estate Grown” ($60). This is the first vintage from the winery’s estate vineyard and was produced in a tiny quantity of only 75 cases. Among its accolades was the ‘Top Texas Wine’ award at the 2014 Houston Livestock & Rodeo Wine Competition, one of the state’s top wine competitions.
       I wanted to match it up with a Tannat from Monterey, California--Cambiata, which was a bit trickier to get hold of. It is not available locally or through the winery web site and there were only a few sellers on the Internet. It took some time to find one, Sunfish Cellars , that could ship to Texas.
       Who would judge these wines? I figured that if I did the tasting solo, the results would have about as much credibility as Lance Armstrong’s views on cycling and diet, so I pressed-ganged a couple of trained professional palates in for a blind tasting. One was a Master of Wine, Dilek Caner, and one Advanced Sommelier and candidate for the Master Sommelier  exam, Steve Murphey.
       The results were interesting. Dilek thought the 2010 Texas Bending Branch better than its 2011 Estate Vineyard wine. The former had a very appealing fruit nose with notes of black cherry, basil, thyme, tarragon, vanilla, nutmeg clove and cranberry. On the palate the wine was very well balanced with plenty of ripe tannins. With the 2011, she felt that the nose was not clean, affected by notes of acetic acid. Overall, she placed the Cambiata best overall for its powerful expression of dark fruit and complexity.
     Steve veered the other way on the two Bending Branch examples. He found the palate on the 2011 to be ‘juicy’ with notes of red delicious apple skin, roses, violets, blackberry cobbler. There was briary, tart and ripe fruit at the same time and a wet river rock minerality. He concluded that it  “seems like a more complete wine with elements of minerality, oak and fruit.” He also gave the Cambiata the nod as the best wine of the three.
     For my part, I preferred the 2010 Bending Branch to the 2011, but this may have been because its extra year of age had given the palate time to develop. In addition, I liked the dark fruit (plums and blueberries) that I found in the nose. The Cambiata again took the brass ring, but, since I am talking about my own tastes here, I can say that it was not by much. Given the lean bench of experience making Tannat at Bending Branch, the results of this tasting are a real success story and the grape's prospects are promising.


Wine Column Sponsored by Banfi Vintners

by Cristina Mariani-May         
co-CEO of Banfi Vintners America's leading wine importer

In English, we say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, at least in the northeast US.  In Italian, the saying is more to the point:  Marzo é matto – March is mad.  Beginning or end, you never know what you’re in for – snow-capped daffodils, frost on the pansies, hail in the gardenias, a weekend heat wave broken by a blizzard… light the fireplace or turn over the garden? Matto, matto, matto.  What to wear?  Forget that! What to drink?

The abundance of fresh local vegetables hasn’t quite hit the supermarket shelves yet, and even the spring lamb hasn’t quite sprung.  Delicate white wines and light bodied reds are still on hold until the barbecue gets lit.  On the other hand, those heavy roasts and full-bodied reds conjure too many memories of deep winter snowstorms.  So for Marzo il Matto, March the Mad, let’s continue the alliteration with our theme for the month: Medium. 

Medium bodied wines may sound willy-nilly for such an assertive month, but in reality they represent the flexibility we’ll need to deal with this seasonal Sybil.  On the white side, a well-balanced Chardonnay would fit the bill nicely.  Of late it seems that there has been a tremendous backlash to the over-lived trend of over-oaked Chardonnays, and the word ‘un-oaked’ has become a battle cry.  As much as I appreciate those clean, crisp sippers, I defer from an over-reaction from one extreme to the other.  I submit that, as in all things, moderation is good thing when it comes to the marriage of wine and wood.  If we can think of wine as a beautiful piece of art, with the fruit as the painting on the canvas, then the wood should be the subtle frame that holds it all together, adding balance and perspective.    

Fontanelle Chardonnay is such a piece of artwork, a single vineyard Chardonnay from Montalcino in the heart of southern Tuscany.  Okay, so Chardonnay is not a varietal that you would normally associate with Tuscany, but this one from the land of Brunello will show you that man (and woman) cannot live by red alone.  This is a rich wine from poor soil, the magic formula of any good winemaker.  The land around Montalcino, and my family’s estate in particular, is very rich in clay and poor in nutrients, making it challenging -- think of it as surviving more than thriving -- for all but the heartiest of fruits and vegetables to grow, and a particular effort for these grape vines.  But as my mother likes to remind me, only a parent who knows suffering can bear good fruit… and this wine is a child to make any parent proud. 

The grapes for Fontanelle Chardonnay are grown in the southwestern part of our estate, on a ridge that runs east to west and slopes slightly to the south, centered by a farm house built around a small fountain – the literal translation of the site and the wine, fontanelle, the little fountain.  After the hand-selected grapes are cooled and crushed, the clear must is racked and 75% of it put in 2-year-old barrels to start fermentation.  Over the course of the next five or six months, the wood helps the wine breath and adds some character and depth, which is also accented by time spent on the lees – the natural yeast cells that offer complexity and roundness. 

This wine is a fountain of flavors, and reminds me of the peaches and apricots that grow in the nearby orchard, with a hint of rosemary and sage that grow in the farmhouse garden. 

From further north, I’ve chosen a lovely red wine from Piedmont.  While that border region has long been known for its big red Barolo (made from the Nebbiolo grape) and its lighter bodied Barbera, once again I’ve avoided the extremes and gone with a relatively new varietal that is actually a genetic cross between vines of those two.  The varietal, developed in the 1930s but not re-planted until we and some of our neighbors resurrected it at the turn of this century, Albarossa. The name literally translates as ‘red dawn,’ and so our offering from Banfi’s cellars in southern Piedmont is called La Lus, local dialect for ‘the light.’  La Lus Albarossa is another perfect child, taking from its Barbera mother a gorgeous aroma of rose petals, red berries and cherries, which also linger as fruity notes on the finish.  But the mid-palate is all the pedigree of its Nebbiolo papá, with structure, body and ‘presence.’  These traits harmoniously come together in a velvety, elegant wine that is the perfect bridge for this ‘mad’

Cristina Mariani is not related by family or through business with John Mariani, publisher of this newsletter



Katz's Delicatessen
, the 125-year-old Jewish deli in NYC, has sued the owners of a food truck company named Katz & Dogz for stealing and tarnishing its good name. The truck owners also referenced the famous Katz's scene from When Harry Met Sally when Sally fakes an orgasm with a sign on the side of the Katz & Dogz trucks  reading,  "Are you ready for the REUBEN ORGASM?!".


  At R-Rex Cafe in Downtown Disney at Florida's Disney World a large fish tank burst, spraying water into the dining room. . According to witness reports in the Orlando Sentinel,  "Employees scooped up the fish in a net as the water level dropped quickly and brought out trash cans and long-handled squeegees."


 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."  THIS WEEK: HOTELS IN HAWAII AND NYC.

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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