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FOOD BOOKS FOR THE
HOLIDAYS by John Mariani
NEW YORK CORNER:
by John Mariani
FROM THE WINE CELLAR: Wine
Books for the Holidays by
BOOKS FOR THE
by John Mariani
at a time when publishing is having a tough time selling books of any
kind, the industry has this season turned out what I think are some of
the best food books in quite some time, from authoritative compilations
of recipes from neglected food cultures to exhaustive compendiums of
others you would have thought had been covered to the extreme.
There are some good short memoirs, a few
celebrity chefs' books that you can actually cook from, and some single
subject volumes that would seem to be the last word.
It is troubling that books have gotten
so expensive these days, although some beautifully illustrated books
seem a steal. But as everyone knows, to pay full price for any
book these days is like paying rack rate for a hotel room. Checking in
with any of the online bookstores offer tremendous savings of sometimes
30 to 40 percent off list price. Then again, a book that costs
$40 and rewards you with just five recipes you'll want to make forever
still strikes me as one of life's cheapest and most delectable rewards.
Here are some of my favorite books this season.
Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy by Lidia Mattichio
Bastianich and Tanya
Bastianich Manuali (Knopf, $35).
The continuing excellence and consistent value of Lidia Bastianich's
PBS-TV show is a loving antidote to all the wretched excess over on the
Network, and in her new book Lidia takes you further into the regional
of Italy with stories and recipes that are inextricable from each other
and show that food is as much a culture as it is nourishment. It is
full of unusual recipes, from polenta with black beans and kale from
Valle d'Aosta to a Basilicata wedding soup. (Also, see my article on
Lidia's restaurant Felidia, below.)
Momofuku by David Chang and
Peter Meehan (Crown, $40).
David Chang is the most controversial and overhyped chef of our era,
and his restaurants can be endurance tests of noise and
discomfort. But for all that, he has brought stunning new ideas
to the fore and repositioned prole food among the most exciting urban
fare to be found. In this very candid, though sometimes
foulmouthed book, you can see how a man absolutely driven to cook as he
ants and riven by self doubt has created something uniquely his own,
shared with readers in a cookbook that draws on Asian tradition in
order to refine it into a Chang sensibility.
Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître
Fromageur by Max McCalman and
David Gibbons (Potter, $40).
Max McCalman is the cheese guy at NYC's posh Picholine restaurant and
the bistro Artisinal, with its own retail cheese store with online
delivery. No one has done more to popularize what had a decade
ago been a novelty--scores of cheeses that show the amazing variety of
the genre. In this, his second book on the subject he shows both
the acolyte and the cheese aficionado how best to order, store, and
serve cheeses of all kinds, along with his pick of the best of each
type, how to sequence a tasting, wine and beer with cheese, and a great
deal more in a beautifully produced and illustrated volume.
Eating: A Memoir by Jason Epstein
It's always nice to be the head of a publishing company, in Jason
Epstein's case, Knopf, so you can pretty easily publish your own
memoirs. But Eating
seems less an ego trip than a heartfelt indulgence, with plenty of
fascinating publishing anecdotes, not least of great chefs he's
published, like Alice Waters, Wolfgang Puck, Maeda Heatter, and Patrick
O'Connell, along with workable recipes for everyday production at
home. It's a memoir remarkably free of bragging, even if he
wrongly, that his publication of Rao's
Cookbook caused a "demand for tables that swamped" the
restaurant's ten tables, which had never been empty for 40 years.
The profile of manic lawyer Roy Cohn is telling, and Epstein's own
appetite for life, good conversation, books, and good seem in just the
The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones
What goes for Epstein
also goes for Judith Jones, the legendary food editor at Knopf who saw
the brilliance of Julia Child's Mastering
the Art of French Cooking and went on to publish many of the
seminal food writers and chefs of the past forty years. Here,
with somewhat less comment than I would have loved to have seen, she
gives her own favorite recipes culled from decades of cooking, testing,
and editing, and every one of them reads very much like Jones must have
labored happily to make it again and again to make it perfect.
The Silver Spoon Pasta (Phaidon, $39.95).
Does anyone really need 360 pasta recipes? Maybe not, then maybe so, if
they are as tantalizing as those on every page of this well-illustrated
compendium of regional pastas and lore, from elbow macaroni with
pumpkin and radicchio to classic tagliatelle
bolognese, from trofie with
potatoes and turnip greens to sea bass ravioli. Pasta is but the stage
for presentations imbued with the soul of the region that produced
sometimes out of poverty, sometimes out of jubilation in plenty.
Encyclopedia of Pasta by Oretta Zanini de
Vita ( U. of California Press, $29.95).
What was I just saying about needing 360 pasta recipes? Well, since
there are at least 500 shapes
of pasta in Italy, you really should get to know them by name and
nature. This is what this remarkably comprehensive and impeccably
research (and translated) volume does in 375 closely printed pages of
history, anecdote, and illustrative material that prove what Oretta
Zanini de Vita asserts in her preface, that "this heritage is an
Italian gift to gastronomic culture on a par with what the Florentine
Renaissance gave to art." From gnudi
to krafi, from millefanti to scucuzzu, from caicc to malloreddus, this is as exhaustive
a volume as we're likely to have for a long time to come. And there are
recipes for every one!
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy by The Italian
Academy of Cuisine (Rizzoli, $45).
What? Another encyclopedia of Italian food? Yes, you need this one too,
because it is not just about pasta but about the thousands of dishes
from thousands of towns and villages where the true distinctions
between dishes still reside, from rye flour porridge from Valle d'Aosta
to marrow sauce with pepper from Veneto. There are 2,000 recipes here,
in a 930 page tome produced by the Italian Academy of Cuisine, whose
members have been ferreting out the old recipes from all over Italy for
60 years now, and here are the results, explaining how, though not
always why, in Le Marche eggplant is sliced into rounds and boiled in
vinegar, and how making a rustic Molise dish like scattone ("pasta
pick-me-up") was "born as a simple and popular relief against winter
WHY ITALIANS LOVE TO TALK ABOUT FOOD by Elena
Kostioukovitch (Farra, Straus and Giroux, $30).
Converts often make the most indefatigable scholars, as evidenced by
Russian-born Elena Kostioukovitch's
exuberant testament to Italian food culture. True, the title is
rather flighty. but this is a hefty work of investigative reporting on
subjects that range from the Slow Food Movement and how the Americas
influenced Italian cookery to the political ramifications of tortellini
and the erotic content of food. Arranged by region, the chapters
incorporate historic documents, poetry, and personal narrative
seamlessly into a big zuppa of
great breadth and depth. As Umberto
Eco, whose work Kostioukovitch has translated into Russian, says in the
foreword to her book, "when a foreigner, moved by a great love for this
land yet still
able to maintain the detached gaze of an outsider, begins to describe
Italy to us through its food, then Italians themselves will discover a
country that they had (perhaps) largely forgotten."
The River Café Classic Italian Cookbook by Rose Gray and Ruth
Rogers (Penguin, ₤30).
I can't help it if publishers keep coming out with more and more
wonderful books about Italian food--now the world's favorite--and I am
always delighted to see a new book by two of the pioneers who made it
so: Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers brought simple, rustic, wholesome Italian
food to London at their River Café in 1987. Several cookbooks
they have culled more than 200 of their favorites from their travels
throughout Italy, where they learned techniques and good stories from
the home cooks and trattoria owners to come as close as possible to the
true taste and texture of the foods they admired. They even slept
overnight in a bakery in Puglia "just so we could watch the many stages
involved in the making of huge four-kilo semolina loaves throughout the
night." Such dedication pays off on every page of this lovely book (not
yet in print in the U.S but available online), from "silk handkerchief"
pasta from Liguria to "fish in crazy water" and guinea fowl with
Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller
Most fans of Thomas
Keller know him for the kind of French-American haute cuisine in
lavish, long menus as served at The French Laundry and Per Se, but in
fact his last book was based on his recipes at his Bouchon bistro and
bakeries. Ad Hoc is a tiny restaurant down the street from The
French Laundry in Napa Valley, started as a precursor for a hamburger
joint he never opened but which has become enormously popular for its
downhome, simple, good food, not least his now famous fried
chicken--the recipe for which is given here, among a pile of others you
will want to get started on as soon as you open any page of the
book. This is, however, a very expensive book at $50.
Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York by William Grimes
(North Point Press, $30)--Former NY
Times restaurant critic William Grimes helped mount a superb
exhibition on NYC restaurant history at the NY Public Library a few
years back, and apparently he had plenty left over with which to fill
this thorough, highly readable, anecdotal narrative on the subject,
from the opening of Delmonico's in the 1830s to the culinary
deprivations of Prohibition through to the present day when celebrity
chefs rule and the diversity of dining options is greater than
ever. His profiles of master restaurateurs like Joe Baum, Warner
Leroy, and Sirio Maccioni prove just how much showmanship goes into
unique restaurants like The Four Seasons, Tavern on the Green, and Le
Cirque, and the illustrations from the distant past are wonderful
evocations of days when posh uptown restaurants like Rector's vied
with downtown saloons and oyster bars.
Real Cajun by Donald Link, with
Paula Disbrowe (Potter, $35).
Donald Link is arguably the most Louisianian of New Orleans' top chefs,
for he can take Creole and Cajun traditions and marry them with his own
personal creativity. His new book is linked to the spirit of the
bayous, to zydeco bands and boucheries, and every page is larded with
personal memories and an insistence that you can't make the real thing
if you don't do it the right way--even to curing your own bacon. The
gumbos, the crab dishes, the boudin, the stewed lima beans all bespeak
a passion on Link's part never to let go of this rich culinary
heritage. Taste his food once, and you won't either.
The Blackberry Farm Cookbook by Sam Beall (Potter,
Blackberry Farm in
the rolling hills of Tennessee is one of the most stunningly gorgeous
inn resorts in the South, and owner Sam Beall has fashioned a place
and a cuisine reflective of the finest traditions of southern and
global food cultures, drawing on his own gardens for his produce,
"studying what the land offers each day through the prism of extensive
training, travel, talent, and knowledge with one thing in mind: to help
the food be what it wants to be and to use that essence to create a
dish that expresses a particular place on a particular day." Even
if the home cook hasn't such access to artisanal quality, the sentiment
itself is worth keeping in the front of your mind as you make these
wonderful seasonal recipes.
Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook by Chris and Idle
Hastings, with Katherine Cobbs (Running Press, $35).
Aside from their belief in all things Italian, publishers seem also to
have a belief that southern cooking is the next big thing. Chris and
Idle Hastings of the curiously named Hot and Hot Fish Club, opened in
1995 in Birmingham, Alabama, have never been of any other mind, and
their new book shows just how far from the cloying Paula Deen model
Southern cooking has come. Thus, you get wonderful shrimp and
corn fritters, but the Hastings add a chive aïoli; shovel nose
are baked with cherry tomatoes and field pea salad; a Low Country
is done with clams, sausage, shrimp, and Carolina gold rice; and
bobwhite quail with a white bean cassoulet.
Baking by James Peterson (10
Speed Press, $40).
I don't know how James Peterson turns out so many authoritative volumes
on all aspects of cookery so consistently--Glorious French Food (2002),
Essentials of Cooking (2003),
Cooking (2007), and Sauces (2008).
Now comes Baking, and it is
as thorough and as beautifully produced as
his best, with no aspect of baking left unexplained, no technique
unexplored, and he makes it all seem like something a home cook can
accomplish, although to finish some of the more complex recipes will
indeed be an accomplishment. This is as thorough a text as the
will ever need and a prod to the professional to tackle some new ideas.
Classic Lebanese Cuisine by Chef Kamal
Al-Faqih (Three Forks, $24.95).
It's been a very long time since a good Lebanese cookbook has hit the
stalls, and it's probably not
the next big thing, but I am very glad that this new volume is so
authoritative, from the correct way to make hummus to the fine craft of
producing delicious fish kibbi. There is great range here and the food
is different from other Middle Eastern cuisines. The delightful cookie
chapter shows off the glories of that genre in Lebanese kitchens, and
there are plenty of tricks by this former caterer for making big
family-style meals without worry.
Griswold and Wagner Cast Iron Cookbook by Joanna Pruess
A Parisian friend of mine, once shown the endless utility of a black
cast iron skillet in our kitchen, promptly went out to buy one and
still raves about how her friends at home marvel at what she produces
American original. Joanna Pruess shows that you can cook almost
anything in a cast iron skillet--as the pioneers and cowboy camp cooks
knew full well--from cornbread to baked beans, from Southern fried
chicken (where it is crucial) to Tuscan pineapple upside-down cake,
where it is a real surprise. As in all Pruess's books, the
thoroughness of her testing and her ability to simplify carries this
well above other treatments on similar subjects.
The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews
Colman Andrews, formerly co-founder and editor-in-chief of Saveur, then restaurant columnist
for Gourmet, has somehow
found time to produce a book that has long been needed--a modern look
at what is happening in the kitchens of Ireland, now full of
enthusiastic young chefs and keepers of the old flame. A
sumptuous production (it better be at $50!), The Country Cooking of Ireland is
well titled, because the least interesting cooking is happening in the
cities. There are splendid appreciations of colcannon, boxty, and
crubeens, along with fine contemporary dishes like smoked cod and Irish
Cheddar soufflé. If you can simply learn to make the Irish
breads included here, you are already in Andrews' debt. The
photography, by the incomparable Christopher Hirscheimer, brings
everything to vivid life, page after beautiful page.
How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic
Cooking by Michael Psilakis
(Little Brown, $35).
The subtitle is rather odd, but pretty much singlehandedly Michael
Psilakis brought Greek cookery into the haute cuisine firmament upon
opening his restaurant Anthos in New York three years ago. Since
then he's opened more downhome taverna-like eateries, and in How to
Roast a Lamb he demonstrates his command of everything from
chicken and pork shiskebab to grilled lamb heart with shaved fennel
salad. The complexity of many dishes clearly in need of a
professional kitchen brigade will be off putting to the home cook, but
the results and the presentations will dazzle anyone who feasts on
FOR MY PICK OF THE BEST WINE BOOKS OF
THE SEASON, SEE BELOW↓
NEW YORK CORNER
by John Mariani
243 East 58th Street
and Felice Bastianich opened Felidia in 1981, it was immediately
clear that it was neither a traditional Italian-American restaurant nor
a faux-Northern Italian restaurant of a kind that had sprung up on
Manhattan's upper east side. Its décor incorporated old
archways, fine furniture, and good artwork, along with a fine,
convivial bar with a display of antipasti
at the end of it (left).
Time has only improved
looks to a more modern polish,
but its basic lineaments and upstairs private dining room still have
the ideal mixture of sophistication
and warmth, which is what you get from Lidia Bastianich herself (right and her daughter
Lidia, of course, is well known for her
PBS-TV show--which I think is the best cooking on show the tube by
far--and her numerous cookbooks (see above for her newest), and she is
one of the smartest,
savviest, and most authoritative people in the business. She and
her son Joseph, with Mario Batali, are involved with several other
restaurants, including Becco and Del Posto in
NYC, and two restaurants under her name in Kansas City and
She has never compromised on ingredients, and, though she has had very
few chefs over the year in her kitchen, they have all been allowed
their own creativity within the general tenor she has set here to be
expressive of the cuisine of her own childhood in Istria. Together with
the formidable Chef of many years, Fortunato Nicotra (below), this is the most
consistently fine Italian restaurant in NYC.
The wine list is
one of the best in NYC, though it is certainly not cheap.
When you sit down at the
well-set table, you'll be served a basket of warm focaccia and breads, then you hear
the specials of the
evening, now a slew of lusty cold weather items Nicotra has
created. The antipasti
are many, from
lustrous prosciutti sliced
thin to cannellini and chickpeas, mushrooms
and peppers in olive oil, to glistening housemade mozzarella. Grilled
octopus and a lovely mosaic pattern of the same comes with a cream of
chestnuts and toasted almonds; broccoli di rabe is married
to acorn squash and mozzarella di
bufala; and a salad of matsutake mushrooms is the base for
a salad with baked Alaska King and stone crab meat.
Pastas are, each and every one, among
the best in NYC, textbook examples (Lidia wrote the textbooks!). My very
favorite--ever since Felidia opened---is krafi, an envelope-shaped
Istrian pasta with three cheeses and filled with citrus rind and rum,
sauced with a roast veal sugo--magnificent!
Nicotra's autumn pastas include a non-sweet chocolate squash
ravioli with amaretti cookies that was not in the least odd, just
unusually good; a lustrous pear and pecorino
risotto with porcini,
coffee, and truffles; and something called "orecchiette farina arsa with
broccoli `ndjua," a dish of
ear-shaped pasta with toasted farina and broccoli with peppery ground
For our main courses the tail of a large bass
was baked in a salt crust and served with steamed romanesco broccoli, a
wonderfully steamy, succulent way to prepare fish. A pretty saltimbocca
of quail came with a sunny-side up quail egg, Brussels sprout
and sweet parsnip puree, while veal tenderloin was
enriched with Castelmagno cheese fonduta,
cheeks braised in red wine and Jerusalem artichoke and spinach. A
nice slice of tuna was grilled on one side only, served with grilled
radicchio, and a beet
Such dishes are not as simple as Italian
dishes tend to be, but there is never a question as to the rationale
for every flavor, ingredient, and texture to be on plates of this
For dessert go with
anything--the sweets here are all quite well rendered, from
a creamy Nutella flan with pistachio ice cream to a crespelle pancake with poached
quince, candied chestnut, and Mont
Blanc, from a fine panna cotta with vin brûlée to a
wintry spiced beer cake with poached cranberry, and pumpkin
ice cream that would have made a perfect Thanksgiving
dessert this week.
One small caveat: On
a night not long ago when neither Lidia nor Tanya were in house, the
food was as superb as ever, but service went downhill considerably, but
again, that was one night among so many wonderful evenings I've had
here. There's nothing to make me
think that in twenty-five years I wouldn't be writing exactly the same
thing about Felidia, for even if I have to be wheeled into the dining
room, I know that the krafi will
still taste the same, the waiters will
know my name, the wine will be at the perfect temperature, and Lidia
will still want to know if I was completely pleased.
Felidia is open for lunch
Mon.-Fri. and for dinner nightly. There is a $29.50 lunch special and
tasting menus that begin at $55;
otherwise antipasti run $12-$21, pastas (as full courses)
$22-$38; and main courses $24-$38.
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
Books Keep Flowing for the Holidays
by John Mariani
like to think that winelovers are also book readers, at least to feed
their enophilia. And for holiday gifts I can guarantee that the
following wine books will make your drinking buddies very happy.
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.
25th anniversary edition of Kevin
Zraly’s Windows on the World
Complete Wine Course” (Sterling, $27.95) is the summation of the
author’s mission to make wine as accessible as possible to both the
complete novice and the winelover who needs a good update.
Zraly, held his first elementary classes
back in 1976 as cellarmaster at Windows on the World, destroyed on
9/11. Using his book as the text, Zraly has graduated nearly 20,000
students. His own passion for wine began at 18 when he was a bartender
at a New York restaurant, and he began studying wine and visiting
vineyards every chance he got, although he didn’t get to California
until he reached the state’s 21 year-old drinking age.
In the anniversary edition Zraly has
added a tremendous amount of new material on countries that 25 years
ago had little clout in the wine market, including Austria, Hungary,
Canada, New Zealand, Greece, and South America. In a section entitled
“25 Years of Wine Changes (1985-2010)” he shows just how evolved the
global wine world has become, from the importance of sustainability and
organic winemaking to his prophecy that the U.S. will be the world’s
largest wine consumer within five years.
As it did a quarter century ago, Zraly’s
book covers wine in easy to digest segments, starting with the absolute
basics and moving through chapters to greater sophistication. Wholly
revised and expanded, it’s the one book I would give both the newcomer
and the veteran winelover to make sense of wine in 2010.
Randall Graham’s Been Doon So Long (U. of California
Press, $34.95) is what used to be called a chrestomathy—a
collection of wide-ranging essays, poems, arcana, and humor.
Graham, 56, is founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard, whose irreverent naming
of wines and satiric labels has earned him the nickname “Willy Wonka of
the Wine World.” He is also the one most responsible for bringing
Rhone Valley-style varietals to California as one of the original
Included within his “Vinthology” Graham
writes his own hilarious take-off on Dante’s “Divine Comedy” called the
“Vinferno by Al Dente Allegory”—in terza rima!—as well as deft parodies
of Philip Roth (“Trotanoy’s Complaint”), and James Joyce (“Cheninagin’s
Wake”). He gives 20 reasons to use screwcaps on wine bottles, ten ways
to recognize a real wine geek (“He has brought his own food to the
restaurant”), and an essay on “How I Overcame my UC Davis Education”
(“Merlot actually does pretty much suck.”) I know of no other
compendium of wine lit so erudite, so witty, and so straightforward as
Graham’s remarkable new book.
George M. Taber, the award-winning
author of The Judgment of Paris
about the notorious 1976 taste-off between French and California wines,
has turned his twin enthusiasms for wine and travel into a narrative of
visits to the world’s most interesting and beautiful wine regions, in In Search of Bacchus: Wanderings in the
Wonderful World of Wine Tourism (Scribner, 294 pages, $30.
Unlike other books in this genre that simply give listings, highlights,
and hours when the tasting rooms are open, Taber’s focus is on the
terroir itself, meeting the winemakers, and showing the renegade streak
that runs through so many of them, like Australia’s Denis Horgan who in
1984 thought it a capital idea to bring the entire London Symphony
Orchestra to his Margaret River Leeuwin Estate “in the bush.” Five
thousand people showed up.
As a former correspondent and editor for
Time Magazine, Taber is a thorough investigator and his prose is
reportorial, though the subject calls for something a bit more
vigorous. Still, this is a book that well might well cause winelovers
to plan a trip to Colchagua Valley, Chile, Stellenbosch, South Africa,
maybe even Margaret River, Australia.
Finally, my pick for the most
beautifully produced wine book of the year is Fine Wines: The Best Vintages Since 1900
by Michel Dovaz (Assouline, $40), first issued in 1999, now as a needed
update a decade later.
The profiles of wineries and winemakers are
insightful and to the
point, the assessments of the vintages sound, and the evocative photos
throughout make this a first-rate gift book as much for the whole
package as for the informed opinions.
THINGS TO DO IN BENNINGTON, VERMONT
Bennington, Vermont, four people tried to steal a giant chili pepper on
the roof of a Chili's
restaurant (left). Police said
they ran 470 feet of extension cord across a four-lane road and through
Home Depot parking lot to power an electric drill that was used to
detach the logo sign. The sign is valued at $8,000. The attempted
perpetrators were forced to write five-page essays on "Wasting
"Tender Volume 1: A Cook and His Vegetable
Patch by Nigel Slater (Fourth Estate, £30) – Ingredients
which often mooch around in walk-on parts are here cast centre stage
from first act to final curtain, but receive stellar support from meat,
fish and cheese in the line-up of irresistible recipes."--Book review
in London Daily Mail
for submissions: QUICK
only events, special dinners, etc, open to the public, not restaurant
openings or personnel changes. When submitting please send the
pertinent info, incl. tel # and site, in one short paragraph as simple
e-mail text, WITH DATE LISTED FIRST, as below. Thanks. John
IMPORTANT NOTE: Owing to
the number of Christmas holiday announcements received, QUICK
publish any but a handful of the most unusual.
* On Dec.
4 in Dallas, Nana at the Hilton Anatole will
feature champagne for December’s Friday Night Flight, a trio of
champagne, sparkling wine and complementing bites prepared by Executive
Chef Anthony Bombaci. 6-8pm at Bar at Nana. $20 per person.
Call 214-761-7470; www.nanarestaurant.com.
Wed. in Dec. in San Francisco,
Park Chalet offers their
entire food menu for half off as a holiday gift to their loyal
customers. Call (415) 386-8439; www.parkchalet.com.
* On Dec.
6 in Scottsdale, AZ, Sassi presents "Sunday with Chef
Peter DeRuvo," a three-course dinner and Italian wine featuring the
regional cuisine of Sicily. $45 pp. Call 480-502-9095.
Dec. 7-13, Bottega hosts
Settimana del Tartufo Bianco di Alba, a weeklong truffle-infused
celebration honoring the restaurant's first year in Yountville, CA. Chef
Michael Chiarello will create a 5-course tasting menu as well as a la
carte truffle dishes with the option of a specially chosen Italian wine
pairing. $95 pp for tasting menu and $35 pp for wine pairing.
* On Dec.
10, in Louisville, KY, Proof on Main chef Michael Paley
will host James Beard-winning chef Paul Kahan and Old Rip Van Winkle
master distiller Julian Van Winkle for The Hog and The Barrel Dinner, a
6-course meal celebrating pork and bourbon. $81 pp. Call
502-217-6360 or visit www.proofonmain.com/hog.
* On Dec.
14 in Colorado Springs, Summit Restaurant at The Broadmoor
will host a private wine dinner to celebrate the continuation of the
Mondavi Legacy, incl, 4 wine-paired courses. Carlo Mondavi will present
the continuation of the Mondavi history with Continuum, along with
wines from Grigich Hills and Royal Tokaji $150 pp incl. the welcome
reception and wine pairings. Call 719-577-5896.