Virtual Gourmet

April 20,  2008                                                        NEWSLETTER

"Cowboy and Cop" (1940) WPA Photo by  Lee Russell

NOTE: This Week's edition of the Virtual Gourmet arrives earlier than its usual weekend appearance, owing to travel plans.

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In This Issue

WHERE THE VEGANS EAT-as in LAS Vegans by John A. Curtas

NEW YORK CORNER: Bar Blanc by John Mariani

WINE: WINES OF SOUTH AFRICA, Part Two by Mort Hochstein




by John A. Curtas

    The world is still surprised to find that not everyone in Las Vegas lives or works on The Strip, despite the fact that greater Clark County has a population of over 2 million people-many of whom never gets within a mile of a major hotel or casino.  And it is a fair bet that a vast majority of residents do not ever dine there.  Nor do they want to.  With Vegas’s phenomenal growth over the past ten years have come so many overblown, outlandishly expensive restaurants, that even well heeled locals dismiss them as playgrounds for the expense-account crowd.  Residents want quality and value, too often the latter at the expense of the former (hence the proliferation of franchised, fast food suburban blight.)  But serious, off-Strip restaurants do have strong local followings, such as these three hot spots that deliver serious bang for the buck.  Best of all, they are also open for lunch.

2620 Regatta Drive # 106

    There are few things more pleasant in the Vegas Valley than sipping wine on the patio of Marché Bacchus on a weekend afternoon. Started eight years ago by Burgundians Gregoire and Agathe Vergé, the place was sold to their good friends Jeff and Rhonda Wyatt late last year, who have updated the décor; expanded the wine offerings (that have always been deep in quality Burgundies); and brought the food in line with the well selected bottles in Las Vegas’s most charming wine shop.
    Obscurely situated in an upscale neighborhood twelve miles west of The Strip, this wine shop/bistro has bucked the odds by carving out a prominent place for itself among chefs, foodies and oenophiles.  Saturdays finds the place packed with tasters, as the wines poured are always of top quality, usually with a mixture of lesser-known labels with Parker-blessed bottlings, while Sundays and Mondays find the likes of Charlie Palmer kibbitzing with Alex Stratta, John LaGrone (Postrio) feeding his family, or Gregory Gorreau  (Payard Bistro and Patisserie) gabbing away en Francais with Guy Savoy’s Franck Savoy, Damian Dulas and Bruno Davillion (MIX).  
    Bringing on Christophe Ithurizze as a partner/chef has been a real plus for a menu that had suffered under the prior ownership.  A Spago veteran (he was Executive Pastry Chef of all Wolfgang Puck venues in Las Vegas, for ten years, and a Puck employee for seventeen), Ithurizze has markedly improved the simple menu of bistro classics.  Lunch runs towards simple soups, salads and sandwiches, all of good quality, but dinner is where Ithurrize’s talent really shines.
    Nothing is too fancy or overwrought (the dinner menu has but 8 appetizers and 10 entrees, but real love is given to lamb chops with roasted gnocchi, Atlantic salmon with lentils, or a definitive steak frites.
Best of all, the wine store at Marché Bacchus is the wine list.  Regulars stroll among the aisles, pick a bottle from among the racks, and take it to their table for just $10.00 over retail.  Other than the privacy of your own home, there’s really no reason in Las Vegas to drink a good bottle of wine anywhere else.

Starter courses for dinner are $7-$13, and main dishes run from $16-$38.  At lunch, sandwiches are $9-$11 and the $15 La Bavette de Bacchus (a grilled flat iron steak with frites and maitre d’ hotel butter) is a steal.

Lotus of Siam

953 East Sahara Avenue

    No less a wine guru than Robert Parker has proclaimed the wine list at Lotus of Siam the best list of German Rieslings in America.  Gourmet magazine has also called it the best Thai restaurant in the country, although to look at it, you may at first be unconvinced, because calling its location undesirable is an understatement.  My standard advice to those seeking this mecca of fabulous food is to ignore the wig shops, billiard parlors and dilapidated storefronts that surround it, and concentrate on the small, modest foyer, where you will notice that every famous chef and food writer in America (and more than a few from across both ponds) has their picture on the wall with Chef/owner Saipin Chutima.
    All of them make a pilgrimage here to taste the Northern and Issan Thai specialties for which this kitchen is so renowned.  Too many Thai restaurants-in fact just about all of them in this country-make do with the same old same old menu of Thai classic dishes-with the only difference being the quality of ingredients going into one pad Thai or tom ka kai versus another.  Chutima, a self-trained chef, provides more than adequate versions of todd munn (deep fried fish cakes) and a variety of Thai curries to be sure, but the real strength (and the reasons for coming here) are dishes from the central and northern Thai provinces that you cannot find anywhere else.
    Dip a fresh fried pork rind (or a slightly blanched broccoli floret) into Chutima’s nam prik noom (a northern Thai green chili dip pounded fresh in a mortar), and you will immediately taste that you are not in Bangkok anymore.  Likewise her house-made grilled Issan sour sausages (below) are so addictive you will want to make a meal out of them.  You shouldn’t, of course, because you will want to try her incendiary chili and lime dusted koi soy (minced raw beef), or perhaps another jackfruit curry dip that is not for the faint of heart or tongue.  Next perhaps a salad of grilled spicy beef with green eggplant, lemongrass and fresh chilies, followed by a whole, deep fried catfish with fried and fresh Thai basil.  And although it is something of a cliché on Thai menus, no one does a better sliced mango with warm sticky rice and coconut milk ice cream. 
     The best way to order is to put yourself in the kitchen’s hands, and let them build a meal for you, with your only admonition to the staff being you like your food medium hot.  I’ve found that anything beyond that level of spiciness will test your ability to take a second bite.
    Husband and Riesling hound Bill Chutima has chosen that extensive list of German and Austrian bottles that allow his staff to demonstrate how the rich mouth feel, residual sugar, and clean acidity of these wines make the perfect compliment to the highly seasoned food.  As with Marché Bacchus, Lotus has become a foodie and oeno-destination. Monday nights usually find what seems like half the sommeliers in town partaking of spectacular Ausleses and Spätleses at criminally cheap prices.
    Lunch or dinner for two with 3 or 4 courses off the special Northern or Issan menu will run around $40-$60.  The wine prices would be a bargain at twice the price.

400 East Sahara Avenue      

    It doesn’t get any more old school than Pamplemousse Le Restaurant.  A Vegas landmark since 1976, this small, cozy,  very pink dining room puts one in mind of a French farmhouse, albeit one with pictures of Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich on the walls (right).  Owner Georges LaForge (below) will tell you that his friend Bobby Darin suggested the name (it means “grapefruit” in French) shortly before he died in 1973.  Since that time every Rat Packer and Vegas headliner from Frank and Dino to Wayne and Siegfried and Roy have graced the tiny, almost stoop-shouldered entrance facing Sahara Avenue to partake of the cuisine classique of France.
    Until recently, however, that menu felt as dated and past-its-prime as some of those performers.  Enter Jean-David Groff-Daudet, a Burgundian who trained under Marc Meneau at L’Ésperance in Vezeley, and who manned the stoves at Drai’s in the Barbary Coast for years.  Daudet is a classicist at heart, and what he’s done with LaForge’s hackneyed menu is not so much modernize it, as turn his attention to making us remember why these old-school dishes were worthwhile in the first place.
    On a cold winter’s day (yes it does get cold in Las Vegas), nothing warms the body and soul like Daudet’s pot-au-feu (boiled round steak, carrots, potatoes, broth, marrow bones and sea salt)-simplicity itself that could have come straight from a Lyon farmhouse.  Likewise his ouefs meurette (poached eggs with red wine sauce), and oeufs brouille (slow scrambled eggs in butter), are as good and rich and well turned out as these cholesterol-busters can get.
    Daudet is capable of lightening things up, as with his soy and ginger glazed sea bass, or a goat cheese and tomato tart, but his heart lies with the wine-friendly food of his homeland; such as a full rack of lamb under a crackling pistachio crust, or a crispy duck confit, well-accented by a tangy cranberry sauce. 
    No doubt he’s playing to his audience, many of whom remember when Julia Child and Jacques Pepin ruled the airwaves, but one bite of his lobster bisque or Emmental-laden onion soup will make you forget all about that ponzu-yuzu-fugu foam you’ve been dying to try.

Pamplemousse is open for lunch and dinner.  Starters are $12-$2, main courses $30-$48, with lunch prices being roughly half that.

Since 1995, John A. Curtas 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

by John Mariani

142 West 10 Street (near Waverly Place)

       New York is an astonishing place for the depth and breadth of its culinary talent, whether it's imported from France or Italy or homegrown.  The scores of amazingly talented young chefs graduated from the top kitchens in the city invests even the humblest of storefronts in every borough with the kind of weekly excitement that other cities could not match in a year.
     The talent at Bar Blanc, a new restaurant in a former carriage house on one of the prettiest streets of the West Village, is testament to the wonderful enthusiasm that a passel of experienced professionals bring to a new venture.
  Kiwon Standen, a former lawyer, managed the business operations of the Bouley restaurant group for five years before going on her own to become a restaurant consultant.  Didier Palange was most recently  GM of Bouley.  And Chef César Ramirez had been Chef de Cuisine of Bouley and, prior to that, Sous Chef at Danube. This is the formidable résumé power behind Bar Blanc, one of the loveliest, most amiable, and best new restaurants to open this year in New York.
     When you walk in off that darling narrow street you are effusively greeted by Ms. Standen and Mr. Palange,  whose gregariousness is the first signal you will have a good night.  To the left of the white interior is a 12-stool white stone bar whose black lacquered walls carry wine bottles in lighted niches.  In the 60-seat dining room the floors are wood, the walls white brick, and the banquettes white leather. 
Lighting is warm and flattering throughout, with silvery lamps hung from the ceiling; somehow the designer has managed to keep the noise level fairly reasonable, although tablecloths would have helped measurably. The bar seems to attract a line of  attractive women for whom the décor and ambiance of Bar Blanc seem perfect for a night out with their friends for drinks and dinner.
       Chicago-born Ramirez (below), 36, describes his cooking as "creative French"; fair enough, for it bears traces of the kind of finesse David Bouley brought to modern cuisine twenty years ago.  Still, there are plenty of Italian ingredients and concepts here too. He shows himself a master of balanced flavors, no ingredient, no starch, no pepper overpowering the next; so, too, his textures are admirably American.  Even a dish that doesn't sound all that enticing--baby Boston lettuce and hearts of palm with a poached egg, pecorino cheese, and a balsamic vinegar oil--has just the right combination of acids, proteins, farm flavors, and crispiness to make it a winner. Big-eye tuna comes raw, with baby arugula, crispy shallots, ricotta salata, balsamic, and a light lemon vinaigrette, while a perfectly cooked jumbo sea scallop takes on subtle saline dimensions from being wrapped in porcelry belly, served with a broccoli puree in a baby leek broth--what a lovely dish!
     Among the entrees I enjoyed seared black cod--not done with the ubiquitous soy-sake soy, but with a saffron-mussel sauce with spinach, roast burdock, and a squirt of squid ink. Crispy striped bass comes in a surprising stew of organic coca, diablo and cannellini beans, and a little chorizo oil to give it fat and flavor.  Tubular casarecce pasta comes with braised organic chicken. oven-roasted tomatoes, sugar snap peas, fava beans and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, which constitute an ideal light dish for springtime. The best of all I tasted that evening was a roast veal breast (why don't more chefs cook this succulent cut?) with wild watercress in a marvelous Parmigiano broth.
     All desserts, by Daniel Keehner, were superb, from the warm almond cake with poached Asian pear, pear sorbet, and mascarpone to the coconut napoleon with kumquats and a touch of coriander in an exotic fruit sorbet. And don't miss the warm beignets with bittersweet chocolate jam, passion fruit, and toasted cocoa bean ice cream.
       Not always does a chef's menu all seem part of a complete thought process.  Too often they put on items merely to please a customer, or they try to do some outrageous items in among the other more sensible dishes.  Bar Blanc delivers at a style of modernity and good taste that even New Yorkers don't  see very often in their restaurants.  Bar Blanc is like a nice little white box that when opened exudes goodness and refinement and lots of little delicious surprises.

Bar Blanc is open for dinner nightly.  Appetizers $10 - $18, Entrees $22 - $36, with a 4-course tasting menu  at $72.



by Mort Hochstein

                                                                Fairview Vineyards

   Little more than a half hour from Cape Town in South Africa, heavy trucks servicing the huge Swartland Winery dominate the roads near the busy market town of Malmesbury. The American beverage giant Gallo has planted its flag and vision in wine country here, attempting to produce a brand to rival Australia’s Yellow Tail, the leading imported wine in the United States. Swartland, which produces more than 2 million cases of wine annually, has created a full line of international varietals for Gallo under the name Sebeka, with an eye-arresting label of a golden cheetah racing across the bush and a suggested retail price of $8.99. The Sebeka line is a win-win proposition for Gallo and Swartland. Gallo has found a reliable source of value wines in a region with huge production and Swartland is making its entrance into the United States.
      Gallo’s massive effort at Swartland is just one facet of the rapidly changing face of South African wine. To me, any discussion here should start with Pinotage which has been to that nation’s wine industry what Retsina has been to Greece—a problem. Greece, however, has tamed the wild Retsina and South Africa has done the same with Pinotage, that strange blend of graceful Pinot Noir and truck-horse dependable Censault,  unique to the region. But both Retsina and Pinotages have left footprints on my memory and each testing seems like a trial. At Swartland, Gallo has favored blends for its Sebeka Pinotage, offering a Cabernet Pinotage and a Shiraz Pinotage, both styled for easy drinking. My favorite here is the ’06 Shiraz Cape Blend, a pleasing marriage of blackberry, cherry, and spice flavors from the Shiraz with the more aggressive red berry flavors of Pinotage.
    The Cape Blends, a descriptor required for any wine that is at least 30% Pinotage, have fared well in the United States, according to a Gallo representative. But on most store shelves, you are likely to find more of the varietals which need no introduction , explanation or hand-selling; Cabernet, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Merlot, each reflecting an easy-drinking style created by cellar master Andries Blake at Swartland , working with winemakers and marketing whizzes from headquarters in Modesto, CA. Launched just a year ago, the Sebeka line appears to be meeting the goals set by Gallo marketers and the trucks keep rolling out of the Swartland facility.
  When South Africa rejoined the wine world after the collapse of apartheid, its winemakers had little to offer but Pinotage and to say it was awful is an understatement. Over the years, they have refined its flavors and textures into acceptable wine and several producers make commendable versions.
     One of the champions of Pinotage is Beyerskloof  (left) in the Western Cape region, which bottles it in several forms; as a varietal, blended with Cabernet and Merlot, as a Rosé, and as a sparkling Rosé. Its ’05 Pinotage Reserve stands out with strong fruit and acid, with fruit and acid components melding together after 14 months in French oak, half new, half old,  Simonsig , one of the larger wineries with a history dating to 1688, also has raised Pinotage to great esteem Its Red hill Pinotage ’05 is an  elegant wine with rich red fruit and gentle coconut notes most likely from partial aging in new American oak for 15 months. Swartland makes several fine Pinotage wines at various price levels under several labels and in a line of wines created for the British chain,  Tesco similar to its alliance with Gallo.
     Charles Back of Fairview , the man who sent the French and the EU into consternation with Goats Do Roam, Goat Roti, and Goat Door taking the mickey to the Cote du Rhone, Cote Roti and Cote d’Or of the Rhone,  gets serious with his powerful and far more upscale ’06 Pinotage Primo, a sinister, brooding monster with hints of licorice and dark fruit. Fairview‘s huge line of varietals at several price levels also includes a Pinotage-Viognier, with just a small amount of the aromatic white grape, about 4%, adding subtlety to the vibrant red fruit flavored Pinotage.
     In a short visit to the beautiful wine country west of Cape Town, I toured several outstanding wineries and tasted a handful of keepers at restaurants. In that last batch, I enjoyed wonderfully drinkable Shiraz from Robertson, and awesomely good Chardonnay from Hamilton Russell and Ataraxia Mountain Vineyards, both from the increasingly productive Walker Bay Region.
     One of the little gems of the region is Iona, which sits on an often cold and windy plateau, nearly a half mile above sea level, bordering on a national forest and the Atlantic Ocean. Owner Andrew Gunn cultivates the coldest vineyard in South Africa and harvests in March, long after his neighbors have pulled in their white grapes. His Sauvignon Blanc, stony, yet loaded with gooseberry and lime flavors, is one of the best in the Cape and its aging potential is high, promising an even more attractive wine after five or six years. Gunn bought a rundown farm in 1997 and made his first harvest in 2001, so he has only a short, but enviable track record.
    Hard to find on a dusty back road, Iona (right) is still a destination for wine travelers. Gunn has no restaurant, but does operate a modest self-catering facility, a simple house with spartan sleeping and kitchen facilities. For finer dining, he refers visitors to small seafood restaurants along the nearby coast. The rooms are usually fully booked during the busy season.
     Walker Bay seems to be the up-and-coming district for fine wine in South Africa; much as Carneros was to Napa a couple of decades ago. Winemaker Kevin Grant, who helped put Hamilton Russell on the map a few years ago before founding his own Ataraxia label, calls the region, particularly the area near Hermanus Bay, ideal for cool climate wines and nurtured by the breezes blowing off the ocean waters nearby. In addition to Chardonnay, Kevin Grant produces small quantities of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, and a red blend, Serenity. His Ataraxia winery takes its name from an ancient English term meaning calmness and emotional tranquility. In the hills and valleys off Walker Bay, where you can ride for miles without seeing a house or a car, ataraxia  abounds.

To read Part One of this article, click here.

Mort Hochstein, former editor and producer for NBC News and the Today Show, and former managing editor of Nation's Restaurant News, has written  on wine, food and travel for Wine Spectator, Wine Business  Monthly, Saveur and other food and wine publications.


"Perhaps instead of offering fat people money, which they will only spend on pies, we should once again stigmatise them. Fat adults could be forced to pay for two seats on public transport, could be given the worst seats in restaurants and scolded over their choice of dessert. `Have the fruit salad, you fat pig,' and so on."--Rod Lidle, "Laugh at lard butts – but just remember Fatty Fritz lives longer,"  The Sunday Times (1/27/08)


A "Gastrological Dinner" series is being held at The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa.. with astrologer Tom McMullan explaining how "the movement of the constellations and planets influence the lives of dinner guests as they enjoy a gourmet meal under the night sky." McMullan has worked with celebrities such as Regis Philbin and Robert Downey Jr.


To all public relations people: Owing to the amount of press releases regarding Mother's Day Day dinners, I regret that it is impossible to list any but very special events

* On April 22nd Hudson River Cafe in NYC presents a Spring Food  Wine Festival, a night of outdoor grilling by Chef Ricardo Cardona and tastings of over 100 wines and spirits for $35 pp.

* On April 24-26 The Grand Wine & Food Affair in Sugar Land and Houston, is offering  a vintner dinner in the Texas Hill Country with air transportation included by  private corporate jet to Becker Vineyards in Stonewall. Other events incl:  a biodynamic, organic and sustainable viticulture seminar at a luncheon at the Sweetwater Country Club; 
 Champagne with the Masters, at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square ; 
silent auction;  Riedel wine glass seminar; visit

* On April 28 Chef-owner Jody Adams of Rialto in Cambridge hosts a 4-course  dinner with four women winemakers with small productions specializing in organic and sustainable agriculture: Diane de Puymorin from Chateau d’Or et de Gueules; Nathalie Blanc from Mas Carlot; Sylvia Cornut from Mas Guiot; and Carolina Furque from Furque.  $100 pp. Call 617-661-5050.

* On April 29th, T.W. Food Restaurant in Cambridge will feature an artisanal spring food menu in collaboration with bio-dynamic winemaker Tony Coturri, of Coturri Vineyards, Sonoma California.  $95 pp. Call 617 864-4745.

•    The Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland. OR, offers a “Growing Up Gourmet” package that incl: Welcoming bottle of Vintage Plaza private label wine and First Blush varietals Merlot and Chardonnay grape juice for the kids.;  3-course dinner from Chef John Eisenhart at Pazzo Ristorante; The one-night package starts for 2 people, a grown up and a child, at $299; additional $55 per person per evening. Call 503-228-1212 or visit

* On May 5 in Dallas, Mattito’s is throwing their annual Cinco de Mayo celebration with a live performance by Salsa and Meringue band Carabali. Call (214) 526-8181.

* Inspired by the Broadway revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “SOUTH PACIFIC” now playing at Lincoln Center, Terrance Brennan, Chef-Proprietor of NYC’s Picholine has unveiled a 3-course South Pacific menu priced at $95, combing Asian and Hawaiian flavor profiles with traditional French cooking techniques, a complimentary glass of Tahitian Royale. Call 212-724-8585.

* On May 10 Westport Rivers Vineyard will host the 2008 Coastal Wine Trail Kick Off, a  2-hour tasting of the 7 wineries of the Coastal Wine-- Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod, Langworthy Farm Winery, Newport Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards, Sakonnet Vineyards, Running Brook Vineyard as well as Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery. Sample local artisan cheeses, local baked goods, natural gourmet products from Wicked Good Foods, a cash raw bar. $35 pp. Visit
. Call  508-636-3423.

* On May 13 a 5-course Rosenthal Winemaker Dinner will be held at Brooks in Ventura, CA,  prepared by Chef Andy Brooks, with the winemaker from Rosenthal Winery.  $125 pp. Call 805- 652-7070.

NEW FEATURE: I am happy to  report that the Virtual Gourmet is  linking up with two 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."  To go to his blog click on the logo below:


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). Click on the logo below to go to the site.



MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly.  Editor/Publisher: John Mariani. Contributing Writers: Robert Mariani,  Naomi  Kooker, Suzanne Wright, John A. Curtas, Edward Brivio, Mort Hochstein, Brian Freedman. Contributing Photographers: Galina Stepanoff-Dargery,  Bobby Pirillo. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin .

John Mariani is a columnist for Esquire, Wine Spectator, Bloomberg News and Radio, Diversion.,, and Cowboys and Indians.  He is author of The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink (Lebhar-Friedman), The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink (Broadway), and, with his wife Galina, the award-winning Italian-American Cookbook (Harvard Common Press), and other books below..

 Any of John Mariani's books below may be ordered from by clicking on the cover image.

6y6My newest book, written with my brother Robert Mariani, is a memoir of our years growing up in the North Bronx. It's called Almost Golden because it re-visits an idyllic place and time in our lives when so many wonderful things seemed possible.
    For those of you who don't think of the Bronx as “idyllic,” this book will be a revelation. It’s about a place called the Country Club area, on the shores of Pelham Bay. It was a beautiful neighborhood filled with great friends and wonderful adventures that helped shape our lives. It's about a culture, still vibrant, and a place that is still almost the same as when we grew up there.
Robert and I think you'll enjoy this very personal look at our
Bronx childhood. It is not yet available in bookstores, so to purchase a copy, go to or click on  Almost Golden.
--John Mariani

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 © copyright John Mariani 2008