Virtual Gourmet

  December 23,  2012                                                                                                NEWSLETTER

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by John Mariani


by John Mariani



by Mark Golodetz




by John Mariani

    A s befits the City of Lights, Paris has finally found how to do Christmas  and New Year’s right, now the equal of London and New York.  The city now blazes with Christmas spirit, from the Eiffel Tower (which at night lights up like a sparkler every hour) to the Arc de Triomphe and all the way down the Champs Elysées, itself lined with seasonal boutiques for gifts and food.  Here are some places to dream about right now.


1 Place Vendôme
+33 (0)1 5504 5500

    If you want to stay in the most centrally located boutique hotel in Paris, drop your bags at the 29-room Hôtel de Vendôme, adjacent to the city’s omphalos point, the Place de Vendôme. 
    Opened just three years ago, the hotel has 29 very quiet rooms, each with a wonderful view of the streets of the First Arrondissement, just off the Place itself, close to the Rue Faubourg-St. Honoré, and a stone's throw from the Louvre.  The building was once a private mansion of the Vendôme family, built in 1723 and converted into a hotel in 1907. Single  and doubles rooms have queen size beds, deluxe doubles have king or twin beds, a junior suite a dressing room and sitting room, a deluxe suite has a separate living room and one and a half baths--all done in the Empire style of décor, while the extravagant Presidential Suite is on the top floor, done in Art Déco.  The photo at the left is taken from a balcony room. I love the amenities here, including good closet space and a set of stationery and utensils in a leather case at your desk.  
    I also like the idea that, if you arrive overnight, you can erase your jetlag by dropping your bags here, strolling the Place Vendôme, and having a light lunch, then flopping into the big soft beds for a nap, the shutters and curtains stifling the noise outside. The dining room here overlooks the Place Vendôme from the first floor (right), and in the afternoon the  hotel offers a unique afternoon Coffee Time, with desserts and ice creams, as well as sweets from La Chocolaterie de l'Opera, from 3 PM-7 PM.

Plaza-Athenée Hotel

25 Avenue Montaigne
+33 (0)1 53 67 64 00

    Long one of the most beautiful and glamorous of Paris’s “grand châteaux” hotels is the  Plaza-Athenée, with two Alain Ducasse-run restaurants. For the holidays the hotel is offering both a Romantic package with Deluxe Room, Champagne and chocolates, access to the Sauna & Hamman at the Dior Spa, and breakfast, from 950 euros.  Also a Family Package of two connecting rooms, children’s breakfast and gifts, cookies upon arrival, and access to the hotel’s own Christmas ice rink, from 1,450 euros.
    The room options at the hotel range from a Standard Guestroom to Deluxe Junior Suites to Prestige Suite to Presidential Suite to Royal Suite and an Eiffel Tower rooftop duplex, every one sumptuously decorated in a style that bespeaks true Parisian luxury, with bright marble bathrooms, flowers everywhere, and service that is never intrusive.  You are greeted in the lobby by a check-in and concierge staff that speaks several languages, and you have the option of dining at Alain Ducasse's namesake three-star dining salon here for dinner or at the charming, ever ebullient Le Relais, where I had my last meal on a trip last month to France.
    Dining alone, on occasion, is one of my favorite pastimes, and at Le Relais, the service staff, from maître d' Werner Küchler to waiter, demonstrates a bonhomie you will not always find in the higher altitudes of hotels in the city, especially on Sunday night, when most Paris restaurants are closed.  Yet on the Sunday I dined there Le Relais was jammed with hotel guests, people celebrating a birthday or a romantic anniversary, as well as foreign business people like the Japanese woman whom I treated to what was apparently her first glass of Champagne, which had precisely the effect on her that Champagne should have, which was to make her giddily happy in a way she had not heretofore quite experienced.

    The room has a sleek Art déco look that memorializes that of the French oceanliner La Normandie (burned and scuttled in New York harbor during the war).  As the staff presented little puff pastries to nibble on, I looked over the menu, which is classic French, with many bistro items along with imaginative dishes by Ducasse-appointed Chef Philippe Marc.

    I began the evening with plump grilled scallops with wilted leeks and ground black truffle, each ingredient enhancing the others, and it was all I could do not to order the duck foie gras, one of the best renderings in Paris, served with  poached figs in Sangria, with toasted brioche.
    My main course, which I ordered with a generous green salad, was sole meunière, gently sautéed in rich butter, served with a ramekin of  frothy butter, buttered spinach and what seemed butter-with-whipped potatoes rather than potatoes-with-whipped butter.  It was extravagant and utterly delicious in a way that proves the French may wink at other fats in their diet but will always be true to butter. For dessert Le Relais' signature millefeuille had a fragility of pastry and wonderment of cream that necessitated my finishing every morsel.
    Prices are certainly not cheap at Le Relais, though far less so than in the Ducasse dining room, and offers a quite reasonable 3-course menu at 46 Euros and another at 54.  At Saturday and Sunday lunch, they offer the "Menu for the Tribe," a 60 euro meal (needing to be booked 48 hours in advance) for "family and friends" at which the chef and staff will choose a menu for you according to your wishes, including what is special that day for a table of between six and twelve.
    "Swinging Relais" is a jazz band evening held every last Wednesday of the month with a 75 euro à la carte menu.

    I truly love the conviviality and style of Le Relais, which manages to balance the glamor of a meal in this shining space without  the hauteur, and it is a fine way to spend your first, last, or any evening in Paris.


Hôtel Raphael
17 Avenue Kléber
+33 (0)1 53 64 32 00

    Since the iconic Hemingway Bar at the Ritz is now closed for the hotel’s two-year rehab, the intimate Bar Anglais at the Hôtel Raphael near the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Élysée (the Metro Station is steps away) has become an oasis of cool chic and classic French style, with bartenders who really care about everything that goes into their cocktails.  It’s a place other Parisian bartenders come to drink. 
    The Hôtel Raphael, under the ownership of the Baverez family for four generations, has a consistency only that kind of longlived proprietorship can maintain.  People return here because they feel welcomed back, comforted, at ease.  Discretion rules.  With 38 suites and 52 rooms, it is a moderately sized, with wonderful intimacy, large rooms, and particularly commodious bathrooms. There is a fitness room and fine restaurant here, having now acquired a new chef, 32-year-old Amandine Chaignet, last sous-chef at the Crillon. too.



Le Royal Monceau Raffles
37 Avenue Hoche
+33 1 42 99 8800

    Oddly enough, the biggest buzz on the dining scene in Paris right now is the three-month pop-up of a Nobu restaurant taking over La Cuisine at Le Royal Monceau Raffles Hotel.  All Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature dishes are here--sea urchin sushi and Ōtoro and chūtoro tuna sashimi, Chilean sea bass with a jalapeño pepper sauce, spicy tuna sushi rolls and Kushiyaki skewers of Wagyu beef—all done with the finest French ingredients and graceful service.   The hotel, under the ownership of the  itself draws an entertainment biz clientele, and the rooms are themed to musicians, like the Ray Charles Suite (below).
    The night I visited, arriving around 8 PM, the dining room was not busy, but by 9:30 just about every table was occupied and the joie de vivre was palpable.  Paris has a few good Japanese restaurants, and sushi finds its way onto many French restaurant menus, but the city has nothing quite like Nobu.
    Our table of three left the menu up to the chef, with wines chosen by the sommelier. The sashimi included
Ōtoro and chūtoro tuna with salad; and  Chilean seabass with jalapeño, one of Nobu's signature items.  Salmon was lightly seared, doused with a karashi su miso dressing, and rock shrimp was done in a crisp tempura style. There were marvelous sushi rolls and a shrimp tempura cut roll.  For dessert we enjoyed a chocolate bento box and whiskey cappuccino.
    La Cuisine's regular winelist has been appended with a wide selection of sake  imported specially from the Hokusetsu House brewery on the northern Japanese Isle of Sado, along with  a menu of Asian inspired cocktails.
    I have written of the excellence of La Cuisine in the past, and would miss it if Nobu became a permanent fixture here.  But Nobu seems to fit like a velvet glove in this space, and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for Paris to acquire a branch of this global brand.




9 Place de la Madeleine

+33 01 42 65 22 90

    A few years ago the great Parisian master chef Alain Senderens handed back his three stars to Michelin (though the Guide refused to accept them) and brought his cooking and prices back down to earth in an an effort to stave off the stultification of haute cuisine and to make his own more available to a younger clientele. Now, right across from the Place Madeleine at Alain Senderens,  in a casual  dining room with undraped tables that look plucked from the Jetsons’ kitchen, save for some historic wood panels and mirrors left from the original design, Senderens (left) and Chef de cuisine Jerome Banctel are doing fabulous cooking. This was once called Lucas Carton, a stolid classic haute cuisine restaurant opened in 1925 (originally a tavern dating to 1732)and later taken over and renovated and run since 1984 by Senderens, listed as an historic monument three years later..  The prices are now half what they used to be, but the quality has not wavered. Service is also far more friendly and less formal.

    This being autumn,  it was nice to begin our meal with foie gras of silky texture came with fava beans and wonderful bread, and I had to order a new turn on one of Senderens' signature dishes--one I had back in the 1980s when he had a restaurant in NYC: then, it was made with lobster but now as open ravioli flavored with vanilla, served with spinach.  That addition of vanilla 30 years ago was one of the signal moments for la nouvelle cuisine, and the flavor, if now not unusual, was a delectable as ever.

    A more classic side was shown impeccably with a rabbit à la royale to his own signature dish, its reduction a textbook lesson in how to intensify flavors, as was pigeon with corn and a puree of peas.  Scallops were creamy and good, with glazed turnips and the crunch of hazelnuts.

    The desserts included a mousseline of pumpkin with vanilla jelly and bourbon ice cream, lemon zest and "chips" of pumpkin, as well as "pom. . . pom. . .pom," a dessert of apple confit, cooked very slowly, and roasted in wine.

    When this was Lucas Carton, a meal back n 2004 could easily reach 200 euros per person, but Senderens wanted a broader, younger clientele, which he has most certainly gotten here, and now, ordering à la carte, you might have a sumptuous meal for about 90 euros.  The loss in formality is now a gain in modern charm.





Mandarin-Oriental Hotel
251 Rue Faubourg-Saint-Honoré
+33 (0)1 70 98 78 88

    If you’ve just gotten out of the Louvre or coming from too much shopping on the Rue Faubourg and missed lunch, you can still dine well after 2 PM at Camélia in the Mandarin-Oriental Hotel, located on Rue Faubourg, open from 7 AM through 11 AM.  Eat light, maybe a pâté  in crust with herb salad (28 euros) or crab ravioli with infused yuzu (31 euros). There are also heftier items like Barbary duck with orange-glazed turnips and cabbage and lamb with dried fruits and a butternut squash cream. 
     The pretty well-lighted room has a fast-paced staff, 20 wines by the glass.  The hotel's haute cuisine restaurant is Chef Thierry Marx's very popular, ultra-modern Sur Mésur
, where a 5-course lunch is a very reasonable 75 euros, at dinner, 6 courses run 165 euros.  I have not dined there yet, but I'll keep you posted if I do. 


Le Quinzième
145 Rue Cauchy
+33 01 45 54 4343

    The 15th arrondissement on the Left Bank is becoming increasingly attractive to gastronomes, driven by the appropriately named Le Quinzième (“fifteen”) run by the movie star-handsome Cyril Lignac (below), who in fact has one of the city’s most popular TV cooking shows.  With its open kitchen and forest colors, it’s a very romantic spot in the evening but draws a full crowd at lunch, when the sumptuous three-course lunch at 49 euros is one of the city’s great bargains.
    Somewhat sequestered on a quiet street, the restaurant's doors open to a civilized ambiance and warm greeting.  To the left is an open kitchen, to the right the dining room, whose every table was taken at lunch when I dined there from the "Discovery Menu," bright with new ideas simply realized for maximum flavor without much frou-frou.  Two of us were able to sample everything on the menu, beginning with sheer scallop carpaccio (right) dressed with Ligurian rich olive oil, yuzu lemon and a dash of lime cream, and a very beautiful presentation of fresh goat's cheese from Maine and Loire,with ravioli packed into white beets and smoked goat's cheese, and sweet marjoram. (Ravioli rule in Paris these days!)
    The main courses were codfish slowly baked in citrus dotted with lemon caviar and served with a silver pot of cauliflower puree scented with Madras curry cream--a little triumph of excellence.  Roasted loin of veal was cooked with salted butter, marinated anchovies, Jerusalem artichoke puree and preserved lemons, a dish redolent of the Mediterranean. The meat was cut in very thin strips and the anchovy in no way overpowered the flavors, lying underneath them with a saline edge.
Desserts were superb: Araguani chocolate soufflé with caramelized hazelnuts and salted butter caramel, and preserved lemon and cream with shortbread and bourbon-flavored ice cream.

    This is cuisine with a light, modern touch of a kind that makes such a lunch less an extravagance than it might be across the Seine.  The whole enterprise has the sense of being chic but unpretentious, stylish without being fleetingly fashionable.  Lignac will be around for a long, long time and Quinzième hints at what may come in the future.  







by John Mariani

ATRIO Wine Bar Restaurant

Conrad Hotel

102 North End Avenue


    The 463-suite Conrad Hotel, with the Waldorf-Astoria, Hilton Hotels' entry into the high-end market in NYC, is a reconceiving of what had been an Embassy Suites, keeping, for reasons breathtakingly obvious upon riding the escalator up to it, the grand soaring atrium that makes me wonder about the true price of post-9/11 real estate downtown.  The size and airiness of the atrium, with 2000 pieces of artwork in the public spaces, puts me in mind of a modern hotel in Brazil or Barcelona.  The dominant work is Sol Le Witt's "loopy Doopy," at 10 by 80 feet taking up most of the wall in the atrium.
    The hotel is way downtown in the Financial District, which has seen an astonishing amount of development, including condos, that make it fertile territory for a hotel and restaurant, especially when the World Trade Center buildings are finished. Earlier this year Danny Meyer's USC Hospitality Group put in the free-standing North End Grill, Shake Shack,  and Blue Smoke, adjacent to the Conrad, undoubtedly with more to come.
    The restaurant here, at the top of that space age escalator, is called Atrio Wine Bar Restaurant, a name that candidly emphasizes its purpose, which is to satisfy all-day dining options for people staying here, taking a business meeting here, or rendezvous-ing after work.  Indeed, when I arrived at 7 PM, the atrium outside and the bar inside were thronged with men in shirtsleeves and their female counterparts nursing beers and cocktails, continuing after we left at 9:30.  It's a handsome, casual place fitted out to lounge in, with deep sofas and banquettes, beaded curtains, and lighting just at the right level to see who's coming and going.

    Chef Anthony Zamorra, who works out of a great-looking, very open kitchen, is touching all bases, with small plates, stone-fired pizzas, and a good dose of Italian dishes, and he and his staff are putting in the time to make it all consistently good.  It's a very contemporary menu, with a little for everyone, starting with crudo seafood and a quartet of warm-from-the-grill crostini,   including a delightful one with ricotta, truffle honey and sea salt (right), and another of roasted tomatoes, hot soppressata, and basil.
    The pizza we tried was very good, and that stone oven shows its stuff in the bubbles and char that the crust acquires. On top, caramelized onions, potato, Mountain Gorgonzola, and a Port reduction made for a sweet and savory combo of flavors.  It would make a great lunch, too.
    Zamora (left) sent out hand-rolled garganelli pasta with an osso buco ragout, but the addition of strong-tasting Gaeta olives upset the balance.  Chatham cod with Maila clams, toasted fregola and chorizo was a fine New England autumn seafood dish, and the Moroccan-style braised short ribs had the scent of lemon, with hearty chick peas and minted yogurt--a really terrific dish.
    To end off the meal there is a juicy ricotta cheesecake with Meyer lemon curd and blueberry compote I highly recommend.  Amarena cherries did nothing but overpower the subtly of chocolate panna cotta.
    Atrio, being a wine bar, has plenty of decently priced options, and they do know how to make a cocktail well and generously.
    On my visit, I found the waitstaff either overworked or inattentive, with stretches when there were no personnel within sight. This, I'm sure, can be remedied, but it may suggest that the sit-down dining part of Atrio needs more attention than the tables with drinks.
    So, if you are in that area and need an escape from the office or a good spot for dinner, Atrio is hitting its stride with real panache.

Atrio is open for all day dining. Appetizers run $4-$16, main courses $19-$32. Parking in the area is outrageously expensive, but the Conrad provide complementary parking for restaurant guests.



Welcome to the "A" Team

                                                                                                        by Mark Golodetz

    The French love their classifications. I have always felt that it's their way of keeping the universe in order, and it remains one of their more endearing traits. As far as wine is concerned, the Granddaddy and the most famous of all classifications was done in Bordeaux in 1855 when the merchants sat down and put one together for the Médoc, mostly based on the prices the wines were fetching in the marketplace. Although not the first, it was the one that stuck. In the more than one hundred and fifty years since it was done, there have been only two changes, Cantermerle was added in 1856 and Château Mouton Rothschild was elevated to first growth in 1973.

      Things are a little more fluid in St. Émilion, an appellation based around the beautiful medieval town on the right bank of the Gironde River. Its classification began in 1955 and changes every ten years, when châteaux may be  promoted or demoted. While it would be hard for even the most ardent American wine lover to distinguish differences between a Grand Cru Class and a Grand Cru, it is extremely important to the locals. There are financial implications as well as social ones: the price of vineyards, the status within the community, and recent performance are all measured by the classification. Demotion is a disaster for the estates involved and has led, inevitably, to litigation. Such was the case in 2006, when a number of châteaux sued, and after a prolonged legal battle, the decision was taken to revoke the outcome, and redo it in 2012. After all the legal bloodshed, there were many who thought the authorities would play it safe in 2012, but that was not the case. There were one or two demotions, but most people focussed on the estates that got promoted, most notably Angelus and Pavie, moved up to Premier Grand Cru Classé A, the very highest level in the classification. Both châteaux are now bracketed with the two other Grand Cru As, Ausone and Cheval Blanc, the first changes at this level since 1955.

     Not surprisingly, the owners are ecstatic, but their elevation is in itself not altogether surprising. Angelus has been making extremely good wines for many years, and recently, they have begun a fairly serious program to rebuild the cellars, which should be ready in time for the 2013 harvest. The first thing to be finished were the new estate bells, and I arrived in Bordeaux last month to watch them be inaugurated by the Archbishop of Bordeaux. As one would expect from a château on the cutting edge, the bells are also modern, controlled by computer, and able to launch into everything from the "Star Spangled Banner" to the "Angelus" itself.

    Angelus has a reputation for making wines that are more modern in style, yet a tasting the night before the celebration showed how brilliantly the wines are able to reflect their terroir. We tasted the last fifteen vintages in bottle, a good way to gauge the quality and consistency of any wine. As one would expect, the best vintages were brilliant: 2010 just edging its younger sister the '09, the 2005 extremely promising, and the 2000 arguably the best wine there, although the 1998 was probably better to drink now. Lesser vintages also showed well; the 2004, 2006, and 2008 were all superb and very classic. Even difficult vintages such as  2003 and 1997 were showing beautifully. With the exception of 1995 (a poor bottle; I have had much better versions of it), all the wines were impressive. There's little doubt that Angelus can justify its new place of the top of the St. Émilion hierarchy by the only thing they should be judged,  the wines they are making.

Mark Golodetz is President of Sleepy Hollow Wine Co.  He has been writing about wine for over twenty five years mostly for the Wine Enthusiast.



 Pizza Hut Canada has released a limited edition Pizza Hut perfume that smells like "a box of Pizza Hut pizza being opened," called "Eau de Pizza Hut."  But all 110 bottles of Eau de Pizza Hut have already been distributed to random fans via Facebook.


A cafeteria worker named Dianne Brame was fired for feeding a fourth-grade boy whose mother hadn't renewed him in the school's free lunch program
at  Hudson Elementary in Webster Groves, which said the child was entitled only to be served  carton of milk and cheese sandwich. Brame says she served the fourth-grader a free full lunch for two months in order to prevent the other students from bullying him.


 Any of John Mariani's books below may be ordered from

My latest book, which just won the prize for best book from International Gourmand, written with Jim Heimann and Steven Heller,  Menu Design in America,  1850-1985 (Taschen Books), has just appeared, with nearly 1,000 beautiful, historic, hilarious, sometimes shocking menus dating back to before the Civil War and going through the Gilded Age, the Jazz Age, the Depression, the nightclub era of the 1930s and 1940s, the Space Age era, and the age when menus were a form of advertising in innovative explosions of color and modern design.  The book is a chronicle of changing tastes and mores and says as much about America as about its food and drink.


“Luxuriating vicariously in the pleasures of this book. . . you can’t help but become hungry. . .for the food of course, but also for something more: the bygone days of our country’s splendidly rich and complex past.  Epicureans of both good food and artful design will do well to make it their coffee table’s main course.”—Chip Kidd, Wall Street Journal.


“[The menus] reflect the amazing craftsmanship that many restaurants applied to their bills of fare, and suggest that today’s restaurateurs could learn a lot from their predecessors.”—Rebecca Marx, The Village Voice.

My new book--Now in Paperback, too--How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave Macmillan)  has just won top prize 2011 from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  It is a rollicking history of the food culture of Italy and its ravenous embrace in the 21st century by the entire world. From ancient Rome to la dolce vita of post-war Italy, from Italian immigrant cooks to celebrity chefs, from pizzerias to high-class ristoranti, this chronicle of a culinary diaspora is as much about the world's changing tastes, prejudices,  and dietary fads as about our obsessions with culinary fashion and style.--John Mariani

"Eating Italian will never be the same after reading John Mariani's entertaining and savory gastronomical history of the cuisine of Italy and how it won over appetites worldwide. . . . This book is such a tasteful narrative that it will literally make you hungry for Italian food and arouse your appetite for gastronomical history."--Don Oldenburg, USA Today. 

"Italian restaurants--some good, some glitzy--far outnumber their French rivals.  Many of these establishments are zestfully described in How Italian Food Conquered the World, an entertaining and fact-filled chronicle by food-and-wine correspondent John F. Mariani."--Aram Bakshian Jr., Wall Street Journal.

"Mariani admirably dishes out the story of Italy’s remarkable global ascent to virtual culinary hegemony....Like a chef gladly divulging a cherished family recipe, Mariani’s book reveals the secret sauce about how Italy’s cuisine put gusto in gusto!"--David Lincoln Ross,

"Equal parts history, sociology, gastronomy, and just plain fun, How Italian Food Conquered the World tells the captivating and delicious story of the (let's face it) everybody's favorite cuisine with clarity, verve and more than one surprise."--Colman Andrews, editorial director of The Daily

"A fantastic and fascinating read, covering everything from the influence of Venice's spice trade to the impact of Italian immigrants in America and the evolution of alta cucina. This book will serve as a terrific resource to anyone interested in the real story of Italian food."--Mary Ann Esposito, host of PBS-TV's Ciao Italia.

"John Mariani has written the definitive history of how Italians won their way into our hearts, minds, and stomachs.  It's a story of pleasure over pomp and taste over technique."--Danny Meyer, owner of NYC restaurants Union Square Cafe, Gotham Bar & Grill, The Modern, and Maialino.



FEATURED LINKS: I am happy to  report that the Virtual Gourmet is  linked to four 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."  THIS WEEK: Our Favorite Hotels in 2012

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 Click on the logo below to go directly to his site.


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).

nickonwine: An engaging, interactive wine column by Nick Passmore, Artisanal Editor, Four Seasons Magazine; Wine Columnist,;;

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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