Aux Deux Frères
Charcuterie, Alsace (2006). Photo by Galina Stepanoff-Dargery
To Read my
article on Dining Out in Santa
in this month's Diversion
NEW YORK CORNER: COMMERCE by John Mariani
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR: Blanc de Blancs Champagnes by John Mariani
in Copenhagen by John Mariani
decades ago Scandinanavian food was very much a part of American
gastronomy, with numerous Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian restaurants in
New York, Chicago, and cities like Minneapolis where Scandinavians
settled in the 19th century. Even into the 1960s Swedish
meatballs and Danish pastry were staples of the American party table.
Now, there is next to nothing left of those food traditions in the
U.S., so that most people couldn't really describe what Danish food is,
unless they've seen the movie 1987 "Babette's Feast" (right), which seemed to consist of
nothing but dried cod and bread-and-ale soup until Babette prepared a
spectacular classic French dinner for the townsfolk.
Tivoli is a delicatessen with its own retail dairy and bakery that
their formal uptairs Restaurant Herman,
which specializes in classic Danish cuisine, and the casual brasserie
called Nimb, where the open stoves are set
right across from the big wooden tables (left) that afford a wonderful view
the Gardens. When I visited Nimb it was December so the menu was
featuring winter specials like sautéed foie gras with glazed
balsamic vinegar on buttery toasted brioche; pink, roasted breast of
duck and creamy rillettes with
potato fondant, and tangy red cabbage braised in
orange juice; and a Danish Christmas spcial--ris
à l'amande, which is a rich
rice pudding with cherry jelly and dried cherries on French toast
caramelized with gingerbread spices and a mulled wine sorbet--quite a
triumph of tradition wed to modern culinary ideas. Good winelist,
too, at Nimb, with some very reasonable regional global wines.
more adventurous and a whole lot larger is the restaurant SALT,
located in the historic Admiral Hotel
and done up like everything there
in bold angles of wood beams, teak, deep marine blue colors, and
soft chiaroscuro lighting, allowing you to peer through the windows to
twinkling lights of the harbor. The 100-seat dining room (below) was designed by London's
Conran & Partners (they have three other nearby restaurants),
with nicely spaced tables (the room also serves an extensive
buffet in the morning). The winelist is excellent at SALT.
new idea in Danish cuisine has taken on the
international colloquialsm "Smushis," served in profusion--several on
one plate--at the Royal
Café attached to the Royal Copenhagen
design and retail store. It's a long, sunny, fanciful and pretty
room (left), rather feminine,
with some high white marble tables where you sit and order your choice
of dozens of
small versions of the traditionally huge open-faced sandwiches called smørrebrød,
which are longtime staples of a Danish lunch. Smushis are
lighter, more global in their ingredients, and artfully crafted so that
you can easily eat four or five of them with a glass of Danish beer,
and be out the door happy and not much poorer for the afternoon.
If you wish
to read Part One of this report
on Copenhagen, click here.
50 Commerce Street
all Greenwich Village streets, narrow, tiny Commerce,
perhaps the loveliest. It reminds me of the old Warner Bros.
backlot streets of the 1930s or of an Edward Hopper painting, with a
hazy sunlight falling on red brick.
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
DELICACY OF BLANC DE BLANCS CHAMPAGNES
that New Year's is over--a time when too much good Champage is wasted
in letting it gush onto the floor or being served to throngs who
wouldn't know the difference between French Champagne and German Sekt,
it seems like a good moment to consider Champagne more specifically as
a wonderful wine with a good meal--throughout a good meal.
Mariani's weekly wine column appears in Bloomberg Muse News,
from which this story was adapted. Bloomberg News covers Culture from
art, books, and theater to wine, travel, and food on a daily basis, and
some of its articles play on the Saturday Bloomberg Radio and TV.
THAT’S WHERE THEY HID
In Tehran, Iranians tried to make the world’s biggest sandwich to get into the Guinness Book of World Records but before an inspector could get there the crowd rushed the chicken-and-ostrich meat sandwich and began to eat it, devouring it all in a matter of minutes. The planners said they had video footage of the sandwich in the hopes Guinness would accept that.
DON'T FORGET THE OLD MEN
“What Paris had lost to modernity was its pungency. Gone was the acrid Gitane-Gauloise pall of any self-respecting café. Gone was the garlic whiff of the early morning Metro to the Place d’Italie. Gone were the mineral mid-morning sauvignon blancs downed bar-side by red-eyed men. . . . Gone were the bad teeth, the yellowing moustaches, the hammering of artisnas, the middle-aged prostitutes in doorways, the seat-less toilets on the stairs, and an entire group of people called the working class.”—Roger Cohen, “Paris-Cuba,” International Herald Tribune (12/8/08).
* In Highland Park, IL, husband and wife team
Carlos and Debbie
Nieto of Carlos' Restaurant host
Carlos and Debbie's Dinner Film Club every second and third Friday of
the month. For $60 pp guests will enjoy a 3-course dinner, a classic
film, and discussion over fresh dessert and coffee. Call 847-432-0770.
* Galette des Rois, the
traditional French cake served on Epiphany, or the Feast of the Three
Kings on Jan. 6, are being made by Patissier Laurent
Dupal at Ceci Cela in
NYC (55 Spring Street; 212-274-9179), until the end of January. They
can be ordered a day in advance for $29.
* On Jan 12 La Cachette
in L.A. will present a 5-course wine pairing dinner
created by Chef/Owner Jean Francois Meteigner, featuring wines of
Jean Chartron Puligny Montrachet.$135 pp. Call 310-470-4992.
* To celebrate London's Victoria & Albert
“Magnificence of the Tsars” exhibition, The Egerton House Hotel offers
guests a "V&A Tsars package," through March 29, £309 per
night, incl. early check-in, late check-out and guaranteed upgrades;
English breakfast; Vodka martini and caviar blinis with afternoon tea
and pink Champagne; tix to the V&A with access to the
Members' Lounge. Guests staying 2 or more nights in the hotel's V&A
suite receive a complimentary private talk or tour by the exhibition
curators. Call +44 (0)20 7589 2412 or visit www.egertonhousehotel.com.
• * From Jan. 25 – 30 and Feb. 1 – 6,
the second annual dine LA Restaurant
take place, presented by
LA INC. and the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. Dining
experiences will be available in 3 price categories: Deluxe
Dining is $16 for lunch and $26 for dinner; Premier Dining is $22 for
lunch and $34 for dinner, and Fine Dining is $28 for lunch and $44 for
dinner . Visit www.dineLA.com.
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." To go to his blog click on the logo below: THIS WEEK: A Few Favorite Places for 2008.
Las Vegas is the new on-line site for Virtual Gourmet
A. Curtas., who since 1995 has been commenting on the Las Vegas food
scene and reviewing restaurants for Nevada Public Radio. He is
the restaurant critic for KLAS TV, Channel 8 in Las Vegas, and his past
reviews can be accessed at KNPR.org.
Click on the logo below to go directly to his site.
Tennis Resorts Online: A 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). THIS WEEK: A Report on The Four Seasons Jackson Hole. Click on the logo below to go to the site.
Family Travel Forum (FTF), whose motto is "Have Kids, Still Travel!",
is dedicated to the ideals, promotion and support of travel with
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MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly. Editor/Publisher: John Mariani. Contributing Writers: 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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