FEATURE: I am happy to report that the Virtual Gourmet is linking up
with four excellent travel sites:
Menu sketched by Maestro
Luciano Pavarotti at a dinner in his honor
at San Domenico Restaurant, NYC, 1992
➔ QUESTIONS? TO REACH JOHN MARIANI
➔ ARCHIVE: Readers
may now access
Archive of all past newsletters--each annotated--dating back to July,
2003, by simply clicking on www.johnmariani.com/archive
➔ SUBSCRIBE AND
UN-SUBSCRIBE: You may subscribe anyone you wish
to this newsletter--free of charge--by
ATLANTA, Part Two by Suzanne Wright
NEW YORK CORNER:
by John Mariani
FROM THE WINE CELLAR: Tracking the
All-American Wine List by
Part Two (with a Decatur Detour) by Suzanne
1397 N Highland Avenue Northeast
plot of Morningside real estate has
never been culinarily charmed. But as I approach the front door,
there’s the unmistakable smell of barbecue—always a good sign.
Turns out Chef Ron Eyester is smoking a pork shoulder on the patio for
an event the next day. The scent wafts down the sidewalk tempting
other would-be diners to take a peek.
Rosebud has a serious commitment to
food quality and sourcing, evident on their website, the backside of
their menu, and from their servers. Whether the bread comes from the
bakery across the street or the fish from Boston, you’ll know
The interiors are handsome, with a
monochromatic color palate that is warm and comfy but nicer than your
average neighborhood bar. Oversized black and white photographs on
canvas hang on the walls and chalkboards list specials. The
similarly down-to-earth. My only complaint is the rather erratic music,
which was too loud and veered toward punk at one point.
The food is affordable and
wholesome. Tangy housemade pimiento cheese was served with
cayenne-spiked housemade saltines and served in a mini cast iron
skillet—great grazing. We sipped zinfandel by the glass, but
there’s a menu of specialty cocktails for $8 a pop. Curry ketchup
provides a fruity note for dipping fried tempura eggplant chips.
We were split on this appetizer: my gal pal gobbled them up but I
felt the texture was a bit odd. However, we agreed that the
chicken liver bruschetta was
obscured by an off-putting, acidic
balsamic and bacon topping, while butternut squash soup with the
surprise of roasted fig was a successful twist on a
The fabulous fork-tender, slowly
braised Painted Hills pot roast with butter poached potatoes and glazed
carrots was aromatic and better than many moms’. Eyester says he’s
spent ten years making shrimp and grits, and it shows: his
with andouille sausage is less gummy and more flavorful than
For dessert, we tried the sweet and
salty sundae, which tasted like a rice crispy treat (and that’s not a
complaint) and the drunken cherry bread pudding, fluffier than many
sodden versions and goosed with bourbon-soaked cherries.
When we left it was SRO at
Rosebud. Perhaps this patch of real estate is charmed at last.
Rosebud is open for lunch and
dinner and weekend
brunch. Dinner appetizers range from $6-11; entrees from $13-31.
121 Sycamore Street
to writer Bill Addison of Atlanta
Federico Castellucci III resembles an “olive-skinned
Clark Kent.” He does indeed. And the fifth generation
restaurateur has Kent’s charm.
I took a friend who lived in Spain
for seven years on my dinner visit, the only person I know who owns a churro maker; she knows
Spanish food, or, as our server dubbed it,
“Spanish with benefits.” (That’s tapas to you and me).
Located in downtown Decatur on the square, the room was pleasant if
unremarkable, with dark woods and overly obtrusive
I’ve dined here before, when it was
another restaurant, but I can’t recall how much it has or hasn’t
morphed. We sipped Mas Igneus by glass, an intense and enjoyable
blend of granache, cariñena and cabernet while pondering the
menu’s errors (which my friend graciously offered to correct).
Kent/Castelluci remained charming, if a bit…clueless. The
same might be said for some elements of the meal.
Sadly, the Jamon Ibérico,
famous black-footed prized pig, wasn’t melt-in your-mouth silky, as it
In fact, it was forgettable, strangely devoid of flavor. Call
yourself the Iberian Pig and you ought to have top-notch ham. We
fretted and refilled our glasses. Ditto the #1 selling pork
tacos, which were greasy. And though it’s not a literal
boar sausage stuffed with piquillo
and roasted tomatoes, and finished with a crèma sauce—were simply
delicious, a much-needed rebound for our bellies. The heirloom tomato
composition was dearly priced at $13, but it was a beautifully
presented plate of smooth-blended gazpacho, fresh mozzarella,
watermelon foam and a white balsamic reduction.
The cabrito carbonara was our
favorite thing on the menu. Slow-roasted goat’s meat tossed with chitarra (egg rich
pasta), Benton’s bacon, fresh cream and topped with
a poached egg. This dish nailed nouveau—and
would be the perfect
hangover antidote. Merluza y gambas,
flaky Gulf of Maine hake with
Madagascar prawns on a sherry-spiked bed of Spanish ratatouille was
perhaps a tiny bit undercooked, but was true to its roots.
The housemade churros, dusted in
sugar and finished with a cinnamon chili-infused chocolate dipping
sauce, were perfect dipped in espresso as Catellucci bid us goodnight,
his smile never wavering.
Iberian Pig serves dinner seven
nights a week. Appetizers from $4-13; entrees from $ 13-29.
560 Dutch Valley Road
some reason French-inspired
restaurants are a tough sell in Atlanta, though the High Museum had no
trouble attracting art lovers with its much-ballyhooed three-year
Louvre partnership. Arnaud Michel of
Anis and Andy Alibaksh of
Carpe Diem are banking that theirs is “the little bistro that
can.” After dining there, I hope they are right. It’s a
cozy, priced-right spot run with real heart.
The location doesn’t afford them
much room for error, tucked away as it is on a destination street on
the bottom floor of a condo development. The night I visited, it
rained torrentially, but the room was welcoming and whimsical, with
bowler hats over the bar and belts lashed around pillars throughout the
room. A roussanne by the bottle was an easy and inexpensive
accompaniment to a host of starters: charred chile and mint
octopus (a bit tough), luscious, chilled hummus-like roasted
cauliflower with candied pistachios, fine mussels marinière and puckery,
vinegar-roasted wild mushrooms.
Steak frites, in a nod to local
(and global) titan Coca-Cola, were marinated in the beloved beverage,
unusual and tenderizing marinade. The ahi tuna with bok choy was
a special that pleased a seafood-eating companion, though I found it
ho-hum. The chocolate ganache torte
with sour cherry gelato and
the saffron crème caramel both reawakened my palate.
May Amuse fare better than the last
tenant, which was an Italian restaurant already faded from
dinner seven days a week and brunch
on weekends. Appetizers at dinner run $4-13; entrees $12-21.
905 Juniper Street
If there’s a theme
collection of restaurants it’s this: banish all memories of previous
inhabitants. In this case, owner Riccardo Ulio (of Fritti and
Soto) has had to scrap his own failed concept (Cuerno, Spanish) less
than six months in. Will re-christening it Lupe—named for the
patron saint of Mexico, our Lady of Guadalupe--do the trick?
The patroness makes for a striking
icon: a wall of her fragmented likeness lit by candles. Under her
watchful eye, I nipped at a kicky cocktail with creeping
heat: the chipotle gimlet
with Hangar One chipotle vodka,
fresh lime juice
and agave nectar. Sharp and satisfying, it whet my
My beau and I sopped up frijoles
charros with their rich, homey,
soup-like consistency. The ceviche
de pescado, a fine dice of
tilapia with red onion, cilantro, tomato, jalapeño, and lime was
a bit too mannerly and dry for my taste. When questioned about
other, wetter, chunkier versions, Ulio claimed the chef, who hails from
Acapulco says it is a regional recipe.
The pollo en mojo, chicken
with red mole was juicy,
though the Mexican rice was uninspired.
The evening’s standout dish was durados
de pollo: crispy chicken
taco dips in chicken consommé, comfort food for a cold
night. Sorry to say to my vegetarian friends that the
portobello and zucchini tacos were poorly seasoned. Stick with
I hear Lupe is doing so well Ulio
is thinking of expanding into his own Beleza, next door. You
might say success is for the faithful.
Tacqueria serves dinner seven night a
week, with appetizers from $6-12 and entrees from $9-14.
60 Andrew Young International Boulevard
photos by Ed Seiber
means “Troy” in Turkish, according to our charismatic server,
Yusuf. Truva is a long way from that fabled land, having taken
over a former Steak and Ale in downtown Atlanta. Gone are any remnants
of the dark steakhouse interiors—it’s now cosmopolitan but in an
accessible way. It’s astonishing what the designer has fashioned
from a palette of Mediterranean colors: curved turquoise
banquettes, gold patterned wallpaper, red and sand accents. I
just hope it will be discovered by locals, not just convention-goers.
My dining companion (who lived in
Iran for several years) and I found plenty here to love. Cold and
hot mezes (appetizers) fill
the front side of the menu. Order a
variety: The shepherd's’s salad with tomato, green pepper,
red onion, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice is refreshing, especially
when paired with the haydari,
a tangy strained yogurt, walnut, mint and
garlic dip. Salsa-like acili
ezme is a hot tomato dip that pairs
well with earthy rice and raisin-stuffed grape leaves. We lapped
everything up with excellent house-baked bread and washed the lot down
with a bottle of food-friendly Skuros chardonnay from the Peloponnese
region of Greece (think mineral, not oak).
cigar-shaped phyllo dough
stuffed with feta cheese and parsley then deep-fried, are faithfully
executed, crispy on the outside and yielding inside. Though
momentarily dismayed by news of the sold-out Albanian-style chopped
liver, I opted for adna kebap,
traditional hand-chopped lamb with red
bell peppers, paprika and onion. The flavor was great, thought
the meat was a bit overcooked. Not so the lamb shank, which was
falling-off-the-bone tender, braised in coriander and mint and served
atop roasted eggplant.
Though we were full, we nibbled on baklava; dibi, caramelized milk pudding, and
our favorite dessert, irmik helvasi,
cake made with semolina and pine nuts enrobing
ice cream (a concession to Armenian tastes, explained Yusuf).
The owners, brothers Muzo and Ali,
are affable, offering continuous service from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., belly
dancing nightly and a (cold) lunch buffet on weekdays. A doner (the rotating roast used to
make gyros) is promised
born in Istanbul of Armenian parents, so I’m pulling for Truva.
The big evil eye over the entrance will ward off bad spirits; may it
also beckon area foodies. I’m already planning a second visit
soon to try the flatbread.
Truva serves lunch and dinner
seven days a week.
Appetizers are $6-11; entrees $14-32.
908 Brady Avenue
photos: David Naugle
the news: Miller Union was nominated as “Best New Restaurant” by
the James Beard Foundation. After a long-delayed visit, I was
looking forward to sampling their gastronomic artistry.
The Westside restaurant (once the
the Miller Union stockyards) is intelligently designed, with several
small-ish dining rooms and a bar. By breaking up the space, the
noise level—even when packed as it was on the mid-week day I dined—is
manageable for conversations. The décor is subdued—our
farmhouse rustic—attractive and unforced. Ditto the menu, which
Chef-owner Steven Satterfield has tightly edited; dishes are
based around the weekly harvest.
Co-owner Neal McCarthey works
the room with aplomb, his English accent and dapper attire charming
“It’s Miller Thyme” is how to order the
well-balanced signature cocktail, made with Miller gin, lemon and thyme
syrup; the Manzanilla Sour, chamomile-infused pisco, and lemon made
frothy with egg whites is another all-season winner.
We tried nearly a dozen plates and
not one faltered. Among my favorites were three kinds of
unadorned radishes simply served with a whipped feta spread; grilled
rustic bread dipped into a luscious farm egg baked in celery cream (we
sopped up every bite); velvety chicken liver mousse partnered with
pickled radish and cranberry-walnut toasts; and fat, greaseless fried
Apalachicola oysters dipped in a hot pepper vinegar. Our server boasted
that the griddled poulet rouge
was the “best chicken we’ll ever eat”
and the boast is earned, its crispy skin and succulent meat accompanied
by slow simmered white beans and sautéed greens.
The slow-braised rabbit with wild
mushroom and creamy grits was another slam-dunk, as were grilled new
Vidalias, whose stalks looked like asparagus and tasted like leeks.
Over mild protest from my fellow diners, I ordered the orange cornmeal
cake with buttermilk sherbet and it was the evening’s must-try.
Dense, but not heavy, it brought to mind pineapple upside-down cake,
the tangy sherbet a clever foil to the rich citrus glaze. The
rhubarb tart with its excellent crust is another honest, non-gimmicky
dessert. A trio of herb ice creams: rosemary, thyme and an
odd, slightly oily sage (I write this with admiration) shows a
willingness for the kitchen to take risks.
Word has apparently gotten
out: author Salman Rusdie was in the house (he’s now a professor
at Emory University). Rusdie didn’t cause the sensation of, say,
a Ludacris or Usher (I’m not sure how many diners recognized
him). But clearly, Miller Union is worth flouting a fatwa.
Miller Union is open for dinner
six nights a week with
appetizers from $4-11 and entrees from $17-32.
To read Part One of this article, click
Wright is a writer living in Atlanta and founder of
by John Mariani
The Pod Hotel
230 East 51st Street
Side Social Club is not the first attempt at recapturing a time when
Italian-American food ruled
New York. Carmine's, opened in 1990, did this to great success, even if
the food was no better than at most of the mediocre of restaurants in
Italy. East Side Social, owned by Billy Gilroy, his
brother Jim, and Patrick Fahey, does
what it does with enormous exuberance and a wink of the eye suggesting
is all to be taken in fun.
It's got the looks: Roomy tables and booths
with red checkered tablecloths, a radiant crystal chandelier,
wood-paneled walls hung with old photos of Italian immigrants and
celebrities, and shiny wood floors--not unlike the revered
décor at Rao's uptown. The place is loud, and
people seem to want to shout rather than speak to their fellow
diners. The service staff is well informed, the prices right,
with no main course over $38 (and most in the $26 range).
Gilroy has managed some of NYC's hipper
nightclubs, including Nell’s and Lucky Strike, and there's
a clubbish whiff about ESSC, which its website describes as "a
restaurant, based on our Italian-American heritage. It hearkens back to
the days of wise guys, Sinatra,
Marciano, and the races. . . a private Italian-American
the public." I'm O.K with most of that reverie but I would urge
the owners to take out reference to "wise guys," which
perpetuates the despicable stereotype of Italian-American restaurants
to mobsters who in real life would as soon torch this place for the
insurance money as eat
With that caveat, I can heartily
recommend the place for its food, under Chef Devon Gilroy (the owner's
son), who has worked at Chanterelle and A Voce. His own pedigree has an
Italian bloodline via his maternal grandmother, and he is deft at all
the old favorites, done with a good modern spin in terms of ingredients
and flavor. Proof positive is his appetizer of stuffed eggplant,
as fine a rendition as I've ever had, spiked with red pepper, pecorino,
and a dash of balsamico.
Also exemplary are the arancini,
croquettes that, were it not for their huge size, would become an
addiction preventing you from going on to anything else.
Curiously enough, Gilroy deviates from the expected by offering a
finely grained terrine of foie gras with radicchio.
There is a sensible
number (six) pastas offered, from a hoity-toity raviolo enclosing an egg yolk
that gushes out when cut into; good mushroom ravioli with black
trumpets, arugula, and a veal jus;
a plate of spaghetti with as delicious a tomato sauce as you'll find in
the city; and ricotta gnocchi with a nicely rendered bolognese ragù.
For a main course, the
grilled chicken is simple, crisp, and juicy, its leg stuffed with
kale, pancetta, and garlic, accompanied by cannellini beans and garlic jus--a steal at $24. The
Berkshire pork chop shows its pedigree well, tender, nicely cooked,
with chanterelles, chestnuts, and farro
grain; There's a 30-ounce
porterhouse ($78) for two or more people, and a very good sirloin, dry
aged for 28 days, with rich flavor and a side of braised radicchio,
baby onions, and vin cotto.
The only disappointment was grilled swordfish, an anemic, flavorless
slab, with cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, and golden raisins.
Broccoli di rabe with garlic also showed signs of long overcooking.
Desserts are of the usual
Italian-American kind and perfectly all right. There is also a
choice of cheeses.
ESSC's winelist is just long enough for
the kind of place this is, not too many high-priced trophy bottlings
and enough in the mid-range.
No one is going to come away from ESSC
raving about novelty, but it's hard to complain about food with such
soulful goodness and the air of retro-cool in the place makes for a
night of fun, more for those who better appreciate the nostalgic
charms of a play
like "Jersey Boys" than a piece of decaying flotsam like "Jersey Shore."
East Side Social Club is open
for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, till 4 A.M. Appetizers runs
$7-$14, pastas (full portions) $17-$22, and entrees $24-$38.
NOTES FROM THE WINE
All-American Wine List
by Mort Hochstein
we started in ’93, we carried a wine from every region in the country,
even if some of them weren’t very good. The restaurant is in our
nation’s capital and it seemed the right thing to do.”
Mort Hochstein, former editor and producer
for NBC News and the Today Show, and former managing editor of Nation's
Restaurant News, writes on
wine, food and travel.
Charlie Palmer, the innovative chef whose
Aureole in Manhattan is now the flagship for 13 restaurants in New
York, Washington, Texas, Nevada, and California, was talking about his
steakhouse a few blocks from the halls of Congress. “We’ve trimmed that
list and while it no longer represents every state, it shows the best
of what is being produced across the country. There are surprises here
for people who think good wine comes only from California, or the
the knowledgeable sommelier at Charlie Palmer Steak in
Washington (left), gave me one
of those surprises. She opened
a sparkling wine by L. Mawby, from Michigan’s Leelanau
Peninsula, made in true French méthode
champenoise style. Mawby,
which makes only sparkling wines, has been producing bubblies since
1978. The Michigan house also fields a less expensive
line under the M. Lawrence label, produced in
the cuvée close method, where wine ferments in a
tank rather than a bottle and comes to market sooner than the
The Mawby sparkler was a
revelation, rich, full-bodied and surprisingly complex with
citrus and apple overtones, making me sorry this was my first exposure
to this label. Ms. Brown also put us onto a lively 2008
Tablas Creek Viognier and a 2001 Jarvis Cabernet, a cult favorite,
accompanying a selection of oysters and a 16-ounce ribeye, which was
more than enough for the two of us. Because many of these less
known wines are limited production and in short supply, the steakhouse
wine list changes frequently. Mawby, for instance, makes only 8,000
cases a year.
When in Rome, as the saying goes, do as the
Romans do, particularly with wine lists which seldom offer anything but
Italian wines and are even more tightly wrapped when it comes to wine
regions. It wouldn't be all that easy in Tuscany or the Piedmont to
wines from Sicily, or the Alto Adige or southern Italy.
Similarly, wine lists in France or Germany, or other winemaking
nations, would be almost 100% local.
That hardly follows in this country, perhaps because
this nation came to wine in a major way only in the last 30 years and
had hardly any winemaking tradition. Even the most
celebrated restaurant in Napa, the French Laundry, allots barely more
than half of its list to domestic wines.
Back in ’07, Tina Caputo, now
editor of Vineyard and Winery
Management, then a columnist for the
trade journal Wines and Vines,
wrote : “It appears that the United
States still suffers from a wine-inferiority complex." Citing
instances of wine lists heavily favoring
imports, she asked, “While I understand their reverence for the
great wine regions of Europe, I couldn’t help but wonder: Would
this happen in any other world-class wine producing country? Can you
imagine opening a wine list at a top restaurant in Paris to discover
that 80% of its selections were produced in California?”
There are about 60 American restaurants that go
the All-American route, primarily in wine-producing regions. At
one point, the New York area had five restaurants waving the flag in
that manner, but closings have brought their number down to
three, including Brooklyn’s Buttermilk Channel, where
owner Doug Crowell focuses on local foods and “so it seems natural to
concentrate on American wine. People are always surprised at the
variety. I have great options, from Oregon, Washington, California
and, closer to home, Long Island, the Hudson River Valley
and the Finger Lakes.”
upper west side of New
York City, Henry Rinehart at Henry’s seeks out American wines made in
the European style. His list features wines from small producers
such as Stephen Vincent of Sonoma, Ponzi in Washington State, and
Barboursville in Virginia. For patrons uneasy about trying unfamiliar
labels, Henry’s runs a generous return policy: “If you don’t like
it, we’ll drink it.” Rinehart notes that he had to conquer his own
liking for imports before he switched to an All-American wine
If Americans do have a wine
inferiority complex, it’s primarily about Champagne.
At Henry’s, and on similar all domestic lists, the
exception to the rule is that the customer can indulge a
taste for the imported label. Sparklers such as Schramsberg
and Roederer Estate from California, and Doctor Frank from
New York, may have excellent reputations, but French champagnes have
built an image that is hard to displace.
Like Henry Rinehart, Cleveland
restaurateur Marlin Kaplan
of One Walnut keeps “some Moët and some Dom around for special
otherwise it’s all domestic wine. “People may come into One
Walnut predisposed to a European wine,” he says, “but we’re able to
convince them there’s plenty to choose from here in the United
States." It’s a mixed list at his other shop, Lux.”I’m more
there, “ he says, “and it allows me to offer some great values
from Chile and Australia, even Bordeaux, which I cannot list at
maven Pennsylvanian Jack
Czarnecki cultivated his wine palate at school in California, but when
he closed “Joe’s” in Reading, PA, and moved to the west coast, he
became an Oregon chauvinist. His Joel Palmer House in Dayton, in the
heart of wine country, offers an all-Oregon list and, he
boasts, “We’ve got 500 Pinot Noirs” in our cellar, the
largest Pinot Noir list in the nation.”
Similarly, the Lark Creek Restaurants in San
Francisco and the Bay area offer huge all-American wine lists
emphasizing, of course, California. Visitors to the Bay area can
find many hard to get small producers at One Market, Lark Creek
restaurants on the peninsula and at the original Lark Creek Inn in
Larkspur. Fittingly, The Kitchen In the state capital,
Sacramento, serves only California wines as do Bistro Ralph
and Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg in Sonoma.
Alex Sebastiani at the Wooden
Angel in Beaver (left), a
Pittsburgh suburb, one of the first restaurants outside of wine
country to go all-American, says the biggest problem is making
choices from all the wines available to him “We have all
fifty states on the list and they get better each year.”
Until recently, Jay Kazlow, owner of Dan
Downtown and Dantanna’s Buckhead in Atlanta, would not touch Kendall
Jackson Chardonnay, known familiarly in the trade as KJ, and sold in a
majority of the nation’s restaurants. “It was too sweet and too
popular. I don’t want a wine that I’ll see on an endpack at the
supermarket. I have two guidelines: I want wines that I like for
my customers and the wine must be reasonably priced.” But he
tasted KJ recently, found it no longer too sweet and put it on his
list. “You have to be flexible, and it’s a lot easier if I like the
wine,” the sports bar operator observed.
In the nation’s most chauvinistic state,
restaurant deep in the heart of Texas wine country sells only local
wines. At the Cabernet Grill in Fredericksburg, chef-owner Ross
Bortwell lists 75 wines from the Lone Star State, and says he gets no
resistance from people visiting the Hill Country. Does he cater to the
occasional visitor with a taste for champagne? “No way,” Bortwell
responds. “We lacked a bubbly until just recently when
Messina Hof, one of our neighbors, released a trio of sparkling
wines. We jumped all over it.” The eyes of Texas are upon
Fredericksburg. Bortwell covered his sparkling wine
gap with a brut, a raspberry and an almond bubbly.
Now, could that happen anywhere but Texas?
DRINK TO THAT!
May Help Fight Weight Gain In Women: According to a study
published in the March 8 issue of Archives
of Internal Medicine, women
who drink moderately gain less weight despite alcohol's calories.Women
of a normal weight who consume alcohol in moderation appear to gain
less weight over time than nondrinkers. But those who didn't drink
alcohol gained on average 8 pounds, while the women who reported
drinking alcohol gained less, with those who drank 30 to 40 grams of
alcohol a day (the equivalent of around three to four 4-ounce glasses
of wine) gaining the least, at an average of 3.3 pounds.
OPEN LA BOUCHE! SPEAK! STICK LE FOOT IN LA BOUCHE!
In an interview with Time
Out New York Magazine, restaurant entrepreneur Alain Ducasse (left) said of New
Yorkers, "What makes them the most difficult?
There’s so much
diversity; they’re like spoiled children. A spoiled child is never
happy. They’re a very demanding clientele. There’s a sense of struggle;
it’s not a quiet relationship. There’s a certain rush to have to
satisfy their demands. That’s a positive facet to it. New Yorkers are
demanding but all the while still pleasant. In Paris, they’re demanding
and unpleasant. New Yorkers, if they’re satisfied, are much more
responsive than a Parisian."
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
TO THE NUMBER OF EASTER-RELATED EVENT ITEMS SUBMITTED TO THE VIRTUAL GOURMET, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE
TO INCLUDE ANY BUT THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY.
During Mar. and April in Dallas,
TX, Lavendou Bistro
Provençal presents Celebration of French Culture prix
fixe dinner. Three courses featuring traditional classics from
Grenoble, Normandy and Southern France, prepared by Chef
François Soyez and paired with wines recommended by Owner
Founder Pascal Cayet. $34.95 pp. Call 972-248-1911 or
On March 24 in San Francisco, CA,
Urban Tavern hosts a
Samuel Adams beer dinner with six paired courses and 5 hours of free
parking, $45 pp. Call 415-923-4400 www.urbantavernsf.com.
On Mar. 25, in Miami Beach,
China Grill’s executive
chef Tim Nickey invites you to partake in a “Bring Your Own Wine”
8-Course Tasting Dinner. $60 pp. Call 305-534-2211.
On March 26, in Atlanta,
David York, of Fulton County Animal Services and owner of Barking Hound
Village, will host the final week of the "Celebrity Chocolate Buffet"
at Park 75 Restaurant at Four
Seasons Hotel Atlanta with Chef Robert Gerstenecker with over 20
other chocolate desserts. $20 pp.;
On Mar. 27, in New Orleans,
The Southern Food and Beverage
Museum will host Lolis Eric Elie, of Smokestack Lightning
for a viewing of the movie and a Q&A session exploring all the
varieties of BBQ throughout the South. Free for SoFAB Members, $10 for
non-members. Call 504-569-0405 or email email@example.com. .
. . On Mar. 28, The Museum celebrates the opening of 3 new
exhibits. Spoiled: Tom Varisco's post-Katrina photographs of
personalized refrigerators, Food Photography by Eugenie Uhl, and an
exhibit devoted to Galatoire's Restaurant. Free and
open to the public. Call 504-569-0405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Mar. 29, in Delray, FL,
Henry’s on Jog Rd. is
celebrating Passover with a traditional 4-course dinner, starting at
$35.95 pp. Kosher
wine available upon request. Call 561-638-1949.
On Mar. 30, in San Francisco,
at EPIC Roasthouse, Chef Jan
Birnbaum will prepare a special 5-course Passover menu
with wine pairings featuring contemporary interpretations of his
childhood favorites passed down from his mother, aunts and
grandmother. The meal will begin with a short Seder service with
Cantor Hilda Abrevaya. $95 pp. person (Children 10 and under, $45).
On March 31 in Larkspur, CA,
Left Bank Brasserie hosts
a French-German Friendship Dinner with three courses, $34.00 pp. Call
On Apr. 6, in Williamsburg, NY,
Aurora Williamsburg is
hosting a wine dinner, highlighting the flavors of Lombardia,
in Northern Italy. Enjoy 4 courses of chef Adam Weisell’s
interpretation on traditional Lombardy fare, each course paired
with 4 wines from Lombardia selected by wine director Gianluca
Legrottaglie. $60 pp. Call 718-388-5100.
On Apr. 7 in NYC, the Celebrity Chef Tour Benefitting the
James Beard Foundation will feature a dinner with Award-Winning
Michael Lomonaco of Manhattan's Porter House Restaurant at The
Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square. $175 pp. Call 720-201-1853. .
. . On Apr. 8 in , the
Celebrity Chef Tour Benefitting the James Beard Foundation will feature
a dinner with Award-Winning Chef MIchael Schlow of Boston’s Radius, Via Matta and Alta Strada together with
Host Chef Ben
Pollinger at Oceana Restaurant.
$175 pp. Call 720-201-1853.
April 10 in Oakland, CA,
the East Bay Vintner's Alliance
their 3rd annual "Passport to the East Bay Wine Trail" tasting event
where 19 East Bay wineries will pour their wares. Seven distinct
tasting rooms located
in Emeryville, Oakland, and Alameda will showcase the best of
California winemaking. Call 510-473-2821 or
21-May 15, and Sept. 20-Oct. 30, in Capri, Italy, the Capri Gourmet
Package will be available at Hotel
Caesar Augustus. incl.: 3-night accommodations incl.
breakfast daily, welcome amenity of fresh fruit and flowers, candle-lit
Dinner for two at Lucullo Terrace, private boat or taxi tour of the
island, 3-hour cooking lesson with the hotel’s Executive Chef,
personalized apron, and transfer from and to the port of Capri. Rates
starting at €2,161 in a Deluxe Seaside accommodation; based on double
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." THIS
WEEK: Is This the Best Travel Bookshop in the US? Atlantic City: An
Affordable Winter Escape by the Sea
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).
Family Travel Forum (FTF), whose motto is "Have Kids, Still Travel!",
is dedicated to the ideals, promotion and support of travel with
children. Founded by business professionals John Manton and Kyle
McCarthy with first class travel industry credentials and global family
travel experience, the independent, family-supported FTF will provide
its members with honest, unbiased information, informed advice and
practical tips; all designed to make traveling a rewarding, healthy,
safe, better value and hassle-free experience for adults and children
who journey together. Membership in FTF will lead you to new worlds of
adventure, fun and learning. Join the movement.
All You Need to Know
Before You Go
An engaging, interactive wine
column by Nick Passmore, Artisanal Editor, Four Seasons Magazine; Wine
Columnist, BusinessWeek.com; email@example.com; www.nickonwine.com.
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.
John Mariani is a columnist for Esquire, Bloomberg News, and Diversion.
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
Any of John Mariani's books below
may be ordered from amazon.com by clicking on the cover image.
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
so many wonderful things seemed possible.
For those of you who don't think
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 amazon.com
or click on Almost Golden.
© copyright John Mariani 2010