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Two by John Mariani
YORK CORNER: Sel
Poivre by John Mariani
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR: ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE FOR NEW YEAR'S by John Mariani
is the case
everywhere else in the world, hotels are now home
to many of the finest
restaurants in major cities, and nowhere is this
more the case than in
London, whose hoteliers compete fiercely with
restaurateurs in the highly competitive London
landscape. Of course, there is a long
tradition of hotel dining
in the city, dating back to the late Nineteenth
Century with the
opening of the Savoy in 1889, then the Ritz in
1906, where Auguste
Escoffier commanded the kitchen. Here are three
that have maintained
British traditions of fine dining and superb
service while bringing
their menus into modern focus.
has long been my favorite grand hotel in London, not
splendid location on Hyde Park but for its art
unsurpassed front desk and concierges, and its truly
posh rooms. Its
list of famous personages
since opening in 1931 has included Dwight D.
Eisenhower (there's a
suite in his
name), Winston Churchill, T. S. Eliot, Julie
Warren Beatty, Johnny Depp, The
Beatles, Duke Ellington, and Lady GaGa, who, according
to the gossip
columns, once dropped off 20 pieces of luggage then
got back on her
tour bus and did not return to sleep at the hotel that
The Grill's décor was changed a
few years ago from
an oddly Spanish motif to a proud Scottish one, with
Highlanders in full regalia, a novel cast some
others see it as entirely appropriate to the food
The Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Starters run £14.50-£29, main courses £19.50-£47.50; Menu of the day prix fixe, Two courses £29, three course £33. Prices include VAT and optional 12.5% service charge.
it's been sitting on Kensington Court looking over the
Albert Hall, the Victoria & Albert, and Harrod's
for a long time
its Victorian architecture fits nobly into its
neighborhood. With a
the hotel likes to boast
of its ability to provide anything for any guest, even
Russian visitor who discovered his own private
was in need of 24 English swans, which the Milestone
and arranged to have
shipped back to his home. Then there was the American
woman who, while
researching her grandfather's military service in
World War II, decided
souvenir of her visit would be a Sherman tank, if it could be
the next day. The Milestone made a few calls (believe
there are several websites, like www.tanksforsale.co.uk
found a Sherman, loaded
it on a flatbed truck, and delivered it to Madame to
bring home with
breakfast, lunch and dinner. Starters range from
main courses £20-£33; 2-course table
courses £26.50. Prices include VAT and
request too large, no detail too small." And during
my stay there, that
seemed to be precisely the case. Although I
didn't put the
concierge through hoops, all my requests were met
and a look of, "Well, of course, we can do that for
Butlers is open
breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At dinner starters run
£9.50-£17.50, main courses
pre-theater dinners at £21.50 and
£25.50. Prices include
VAT and optional 12.5% service charge.
Part One of "London Dining," click
small restaurant, preferably one that's
been around for a good long time. Thus, an
welcoming, traditional French bistro is where I want
to go with
friends, a place where the food is wonderful but the
chef is not
showing off, an atmosphere of warmth and good
reception, and a place
where I know whatever I order will taste as it always
Sel & Poivre is open for lunch Mon.-Fri., for brunch Sat. & Sun., Dinner nightly. Dinner entrees $12.95-$28.95; fixed price (with glass of wine), $27.95.
Bryant Park Hotel
40 West 40th Street
Hotel is known for being one of
New York’s more fashionable, and with the presence of
its high style
Asian-inspired Koi Restaurant, it has become one of
the most happening
Midtown. I dined there this
past Monday night around eight pm, and I was amazed to
see a crowd of
huddled around the hostess stand at half-past nine, so
I can only
bustle come Friday and Saturday.
Koi is open for lunch
Mon.-Fri. and for dinner nightly; appetizers run
$5-$32, main courses
Mariani send an email to email@example.com
NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
Far be it
to perpetuate the idea that
Champagne is only for holidays, business deals,
weddings and World
but the December holidays are upon us and drinking a
requisite. And to my mind
there is none
more celebratory than the rosé, which was once
regarded as “the
Rosé non-vintage ($47-$55)--Unlike the
vintage cited above, this is a sleek, gorgeously
constructed wine with
and ripeness. If this is a workhorse Champagne, it’s
from very fine
G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut Rosé non-vintage ($56-$63)--Good old Mumm-sy, the Champagne you always see in movies being splashed about. Its former predictability has evolved into admirable consistency in a style that has depth and celebratory sparkle.
Bruno Paillard Rosé Brut Premiere Cuvee non-vintage ($60-$75)--The charm of this pretty rosé is in its adaptability to so many foods, from lobster to chicken, from smoked salmon to light desserts, and its high color is a joy in itself.
Henriot Brut Rosé non-vintage ($56-$60)--If you expect fruit in a rosé, Henriot delivers gushes of it, which makes it a fine aperitif to kick off the evening and ideal with holiday sweets and cookies, even dark chocolate.
Rosé Reserve non-vintage ($70)--Deep
married to floral, almost rose-like
Louis Roederer 2004 Brut Rosé ($65-$76)--Absolutely luscious and downright creamy. For me, this is the very essence of a rosé Champagne.
Majeur non-vintage ($47-$55)--Since Bollinger
this small estate in 2005, it has improved greatly
with a light-bodied
direct contrast to Bollinger’s staid, classic
a glass or two of before dinner, though perhaps it
doesn't have enough
John Mariani's 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.
“The De Gustibus column on Nov. 24 about coffee makers referred incorrectly to the Maestro coffee grinder. It crushes beans; it does not slice them.”—NY Times, Dec. 4, 2010).
AS IF YOU NEEDED STILL MORE REASONS
TO VISIT IZTAPALAPA!
Residents of Iztapalapa cooked up a 230-foot-long, one-and-a-half ton enchilada, which a Guinness Book of World Records official announced was the world's biggest. "With this Guinness record we are showing the world that Iztapalapa is a high-level tourist destination," said Alejandro Rojas, tourism secretary of Mexico City, which also holds the world record for the largest number of people dancing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and for most people kissing simultaneously.
✉ Guidelines for submissions: QUICK BYTES publishes only events, special dinners, etc, open to the public, not restaurant openings or personnel changes. When submitting please send the most pertinent info, incl. tel # and site, in one short paragraph as simple e-mail text, WITH DATE LISTED FIRST, as below. Thanks. John Mariani
PLEASE NOTE! OWING TO THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF NEW YEAR'S-RELATED EVENT ITEMS SUBMITTED TO THE VIRTUAL GOURMET, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO INCLUDE ANY BUT THE MOST EXTRAORDORDINARY.
* On Jan. 11 – 12 in New York, NY, Turks & Frogs wine bar is offering a Lesson in Turkish Wine. Two people can enjoy two glasses of Turkish wine from a selection of five and a spread of meze to accompany it. Turks & Frogs’ sommeliers will offer the selections and explain the elements of each wine in order to help guests choose the ones that best suit their individual palates. The special will run every Tues. & Wed. throughout Jan. $25. Call 212-691-8875.
* On Feb. 9 Strip House Houston is paying homage to
classic gentlemen of "Mad
Men," by hosting a Rémy Martin dinner pairing.
The dinner will
feature a four-course dinner prepared by Executive
Chef John Schenk
feature a Louis XIII Infused Butter & Black
will be paired with a variety of Remy Cocktails, with
the grand finale
Louis XIII night cap. $158. Call 713-659-6000.
* On March 26, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke's Bay New Zealand will host a 3 Chefs Dinner, featuring Thomas Keller, Heston Blumenthal, & Neil Perry with NZ wines by Dry River. Three night minimum stay incl. dinner, breakfast, dinner over three days. From NZ$3400 pp (twin share)Visit www.capekidnappers.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." THIS WEEK: SKI TOWNS WITH OLYMPIC FLAIR
Eating Las Vegas is the new on-line site for Virtual Gourmet contributor John A. Curtas., who since 1995 has been commenting on the Las Vegas food scene and reviewing restaurants for Nevada Public Radio. He is also the restaurant critic for KLAS TV, Channel 8 in Las Vegas, and his past reviews can be accessed at 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).
nickonwine: An engaging, interactive wine column by Nick Passmore, Artisanal Editor, Four Seasons Magazine; Wine Columnist, BusinessWeek.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.nickonwine.com.
MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly. Editor/Publisher: John Mariani. Contributing Writers: Christopher Mariani, Robert Mariani, John A. Curtas, Edward Brivio, Mort Hochstein, Suzanne Wright, and Brian Freedman. Contributing Photographers: Galina Stepanoff-Dargery, Bobby Pirillo. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.
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