Virtual Gourmet

  December 3,  2017                                                                                            NEWSLETTER


Robert Shayne, Reginald Gardner,  S.Z. Sakall and
Barbara Stanwyck in "Christmas in Connecticut" (1945)


MÁLAGA, Part Two
By Gerry Dawes


By John Mariani

An Interview with Matthew Dolan
By John Mariani



The Hound in Heaven (21st Century Lion Books) is a  novella, and for anyone who loves dogs, Christmas, romance, inspiration, even the supernatural, I hope you'll find this to be a treasured  favorite. The  story concerns how, after a New England teacher, his wife and their two daughters adopt a stray puppy found in their barn in northern Maine, their lives seem full of promise. But when tragedy strikes, their wonderful dog Lazarus and the spirit of Christmas are the only things that may bring his master back from the edge of despair. 



MÁLAGA, Part Two

By Gerry Dawes
Photos © Gerry Dawes 2017

View of Málaga Port from Málaga Palacios Hotel

    When I attended the Málaga Gastronomy Festival in early May, I stayed in the Málaga Palacios, a hotel with large rooms with room-length windows and good but not overly complicated bathrooms; mine opened onto a balcony overlooking the Alameda and the port.  The Palacios is strategically located just steps from the Old Quarter, the Cathedral, the Picasso Museum and a slew of very colorful restaurants, almost all of which have outdoor seating and offer a broad array of traditional Malagueña dishes. And straight down the Alameda—-or just several colorful blocks winding through the Old Quarter—is a must for food aficionados, Málaga’s wonderful 19th century wrought-iron structured Mercado de Ataranzas with its 14th century Moorish entrance portal.
    After a siesta, I set out on a personal re-discovery tour of Málaga and its considerable attractions. I wanted to see what the city on Spain’s southern coast was like for casual travelers not necessarily seeking the ultimate in cocina de vanguardia.  Having decades of experience ferreting out decent local eating places in Spain—tapas-hopping is second nature to me—I wanted to see if there was any of the spirit left in the 19th century city, about which the popular saying once was: “Málaga ciudad bravía, que entre antiguas y modernas, tiene cuatro mil tabernas y una sola librería.  The wild city of Málaga, which between old and modern, has 4,000 taverns and just one bookstore.
    I wandered into Calle Sánchez Pastor, a pedestrian passageway with a barber shop, cheese store and three side-by-side restaurant/tapas bars: Mesón Gibralfaro, named for the fortress on the hill above the city, Mesón Cantarranas (below)--The Singing Frog--and El Mentidero, a bar where citizens traditionally gather to share what one local called oral journalism—gossip, rumors and tall tales. I reserved a space in the barber shop and crossed the street for some tapas, hoping not to get shorn by a waiter—Pepe, I learned—out front trying to hustle passing tourists into Mesón Cantarranas.  I spoke to him in Andalusian-accented Spanish—establishing that I was not just any guiri (foreigner)—and took a seat inside at the bar.
From Pepe—now inside as the bar-and-tapas server—I ordered a glass of Navarra rosado (rosé) to go with six crisply fried croquetas (left),alternating round bacalao and slightly elongated ham croquettes, and a big pork albóndiga (meatball) in a well-flavored sauce on a small bed of fried potatoes.  I also ordered a media-ración of alcachofa a la montillana, half an artichoke with jamón serrano and onions braised in Montilla (a sherry-like wine from neighboring Córdoba).  To test my thesis that alcachofas and esparragos (asparagus) go best with sweet wines, I ordered a glass of sweet Andresito Pedro Ximénez.   It was a bit too sweet, but it made me want to try artichokes or asparagus with another Málaga wine, perhaps a Moscatel.  I paid the bill, without getting unduly shorn, and crossed the street to get shorn by Paco, the barber, who gave me a decent haircut.
    After my haircut, I ducked into the adjacent Mesón Gibralfaro—in spite of the archway with the large inscription “Se prohibe el Cante (No Singing), meaning I was not likely to hear any spontaneous flamenco breakouts for which Málaga is known.  The archway spanned a few tables and a mirrored wall with a mounted fighting bull’s head, so I doubted the no- singing prohibition was always strictly enforced.  I ordered another rosado and a favorite dish, salpicón de mariscos, a seafood salad of shrimp, squid pieces, imitation crab, tomatoes, onions, vinegar, which at Gibralfaro was disappointing, causing me to lament even more the no-singing edict.
    Calle Sánchez Pastor is just off the Pasaje Chinitas, where the mid-19th century café-cantante Chinitas flamenco joint—made famous by Féderico García Lorca in his poem-song Café de Chinitas—was located and was part of the reason Málaga was known as “a wild city.”   The wildness has gone out of Pasaje Chinitas.  Now, it has few cafés, none of legend, but the colorful, emblematic flamenco-and-bullfighter Restaurante El Chinitas, ensconced in two renovated 19th century buildings, is just a short block away from the former location of its namesake.  El Chinitas has a long bar with a range of good tapas on display in refrigerated cases.  The dining rooms are decorated with some wonderful oil paintings of Andalusian and flamenco scenes and El Chinitas still has some lively flamenco parties, especially during the Feria de Málaga in August.
    There is a bull-fighting painting in the main dining room of El Chinitas of four toreros:  Cayentano Ordoñez, who was the model for Pedro Romero in Ernest Hem
ingway’s The Sun Also Rises; and Cayetano’s son, the legendary Antonio Ordoñez, who 35 years after the publication of The Sun Also Rises was the subject of Hemingway’s 1960 Life magazine series The Dangerous Summer.  The two other matadors are Francisco Rivera Ordoñez ‘Paqiurri’ and his brother, Cayetano, grandsons of Antonio Ordoñez and sons of Antonio’s daughter Carmen and Francisco Rivera ‘Paquirri,’ a famous matador killed by a bull in 1984.
    El Chinitas offers a broad selection of traditional Andalusian specialties.  At the bar, I ordered good draught beer and a sequence of three well-made típico tapas media-raciones:  habitas con jamón (baby fava beans sautéed with diced jamón serrano), habas con calamaritos en su tinta (favas with baby squid in squid ink) and hueva ali
ñada (rounds of cooked merluza-hake roe, sliced and dressed with chopped tomatoes, bell peppers and onions in extra virgin olive oil and vinegar).  I ate my tapas and wistfully looked at the painting of the Ordoñez bullfighter clan, all of whom, except the elder Cayetano, were friends of mine during my lost youth.
I later wandered around the Old Quarter for a while, sampled a few more tapas, and took a lot of photographs. Then, feeling the effects of the all-night flight from New York, I went back to the Palacios Hotel, to the terrace restaurant. At a table overlooking the palm tree-lined Paseo del Parque and the port of Málaga, I ordered a rosado and some olives and contemplated what I was going to see the following morning as I continued to fill gaps in my forty-year Málaga learning curve.

Gerry Dawes was awarded the Spanish National Gastronomy Prize. He plans and leads customized gastronomy, wine and cultural trips to Spain.



By John Mariani

Photos by Ghost Media
Met Life Building
200 Park Avenue


    Looking at that gorgeous, glittering façade  above, you would hardly believe it’s inside the lobby of the Met Life building, which New Yorkers still call the Pan Am building.  It looks just like one of the more soigné brasseries on Boulevard Saint Germain, and,  once inside, you’ll be dazzled by the art deco appointments and polish of the place—the lacy curtains, glowing chandeliers, brown leather booths, and a mural (left) in the style of Tamara de Lempicka. There’s also a genuine bonhomie provided by a cordial wait staff.
    In a favorite brasserie or bistro, if you order a dish you’ve had a hundred times and it is good, you are happy; if it is bad, you are sad; but when it is very, very good, you are as delighted as the first time you fell in love with it.  That is the way it is with Christina Towers’s food, which shows enormous reverence for and knowledge of French brasserie fare while imbuing it with her own personality. In so many dishes the intensity of flavors and reductions is the antithesis of cooking that can so easily become staid. So, when you taste Towers’s onion soup gratinée ($14), not only is the broth mahogany rich and caramelized by the onions but the Gruyère and Emmenthaler topping is just thick enough and browned enough to insure it does not overwhelm the soup and yet has the proper stringy texture throughout (left).
    Towers (right) studied at Le Cordon Bleu and became chef de tournant at Rosemary’s in Las Vegas, then sous-chef at New York Palace and really fine-tuned her kitchen management skills as executive sous chef under the Chef Julien Jouhannaud at Le Bilboquet in NYC.

    You can watch her through a wide glass kitchen window working the stoves and directing her cooks with the efficiency demanded of a restaurant that does breakfast, a big lunch and has a rush of people pouring in at six o’clock.
    You might begin with a generous plateau of seafood ($32 and $49) or the pan-seared octopus with a tender bean salad and lemon aïoli ($24).  Beef carpaccio with arugula and shaved Parmigiano was delicately wrought and perfectly seasoned ($27).  Parisian-style gnocchi can so often be a Gallic mis-step of floury, gummy tastelessness, but Towers’ version is excellent, the gnocchi nicely formed, cuddled in a ceramic dish and enriched with truffle butter ($16).
    There are plats du jour—Monday, coq au vin ($26), Tuesday, baked flounder ($29), Wednesday, osso buco ($36), Thursday, chicken paillard ($26), Friday, bouillabaisse ($33) and Saturday, châteaubriand for two ($39 per person). I was there on Monday and lucky to sample the coq au vin in its dark, winey reduction as rich as soup, with carefully cooked chicken, carrots, pearl onions, mushrooms, mashed potatoes and the requisite lardoons that really make this dish so satisfying these wintery days.
    A simple steak au poivre ($45) was good, though it could have used a bit more pepper bite, but the frites were perfect.  A wild branzino was superb, delicately roasted with delicious eggplant caviar, bits of tomato and crispy artichokes ($34). Unexpected was a lamb tagine with couscous, toasted almonds, sweet dates and carrots ($27), a North African dish as good as any I’ve had around town.
    Equal commitment is given to desserts, with a crème brûlée (right) whose crystallized crust shatters to reveal a wonderful yellow interior of just the right creaminess.  Cheesecake was good, too, and I was happy to see an old-fashioned American dessert—red velvet cake—make it onto the menu.
    Café Centro has a good selection of wines by the glass ($13-$16), a “sommelier’s selection” of bottlings chosen “for their prized attributes and seasonal qualities,” signature cocktails and a slew of bottled and draft beers.
    NYC doesn’t have quite the number of bistros and brasseries it used to, and even at some of the better ones, the kitchens seem to be coasting. At Café Centro you can tell that Christina Towers is very much a dynamic force, not just making sure things taste right but putting her own stamp on every dish that goes out of her kitchen.

Open for breakfast and lunch, Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat.


An Interview with Matthew Dolan
By John Mariani

Mediterranean branzino

Q. How does your new book differ from other seafood books?

A: Simply Fish adds in to each recipe a component of “what to ask the fish guy.” Food insecurity is a real issue as it pertains to all levels of consumers, and even those fish lovers that only order fish at restaurants won’t cook fish at home for a litany of reasons: they don’t know how to handle it, they don’t want the mess, and they don’t want their Manhattan apartment to stink of fish for days. In each recipe, I encourage folks to make the fish counter do the dirty work for you. If followed, the fish is pan ready with nominal to zero waste, and the experience of cooking fish at home is made a lot more pleasant.

Q: Sustainability is key to your book. Is the current supply of seafood dwindling because of worldwide consumption?

A: The current supply of seafood is well supported. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, NOAA, Scripps Oceanographic Institute, and the Marine Stewardship Council have been instrumental in ensuring our awareness. The real issue is our dependence on the common-demand species – salmon, tuna, and shrimp. If we could create a demand for the mesopelagic species (lantern fish for example, and these other fishes that are deep water species and there currently isn’t a demand for said species in restaurants or markets), then we could  ease off of the demand for the overly taxed species like salmon and tuna. This is wildly optimistic. As a restaurateur, I must meet the demand of my guests, and therefore we arrive at this puzzling reality of how can we actually promote a sustainable future?
    There is no lack of sustainable seafood that exists in the wild; what we lack is a thoughtful approach to consumption. The market requires a populated list of recognizable fish, the fisheries work tirelessly to meet this demand, and sustainability too often becomes an afterthought. Fortunately, there are lots of great folks working hard to create a much needed paradigm shift.

Q: Is fish farming the answer, and why is so much farmed fish inferior?

A: Fish farming is not the answer. And I know that my reply to this question is massively unpopular, but I do not care. Fish farms, not all but many, create ground water issues, foster unnatural feed systems where chicken has something to do with it (and the last time I checked, fish don'T’t normally eat chicken).
    That said, there are some very forward thinking fish farms that do not have a negative impact. In California, the McFarland Springs Trout (below)  from Kenny Belov sets a proper standard and produces a wonderful, thoughtful, and sustainable product. My singular point is that we need to protect these species and commit to taking what is reasonable. And while doing so, we need to lessen our dependence on certain species. Before big boats, big machines, and over-sized nets, we had rods and reels. We need to support those that realize this, are stewards of the sea, and care for the holistic reality of what they are reaping for our consumption. Fish farms make as much sense to me as aquatic cattle ranches. I am not an expert, but alas, you asked the question. I expect many contrary opinions to follow this reply.

Q: Why does the seafood in Europe taste better—sometimes so much better—than the same species available here?

A: As someone who went to high school for a brief moment in Europe, married a European, and holds a foundation of European technique as the basis of the daily professional endeavor, I think that what we experience when traveling is less commercial than what we see here in the U.S. My meaning is that these fish dishes taste better because they are culturally entrenched. It’s not some culinary school graduate who is trying something out for the first time, most likely we are tasting something that has a rooted history, has been well practiced and executed, and comes from the local market – so never frozen, never stored for long, and cooked with a timeless sensibility that embraces a cultural and historical respect for the product. That said, I once had Eric Ripert’s fish in New York, and herein lies the exception to the rule, as he and many other chefs in the U.S. can execute at that same level. When in Europe, we have set our stress aside, hopefully, and we have opened our minds to total enjoyment when it comes to dining. I will say that the engrained culture of cooking and respecting the core ingredients has a lot do with the experience.

Q: If one doesn’t have access to a fish market or store, what are the key ways to get good seafood at supermarkets?

A: Although the common thread is that Whole Foods markets may be overpriced, they do carry only MSC-certified fish. That is huge. Another way is to download the Seafood Watch App and reach out to local wholesalers. Ask for a will-call order, select from the “Best Choice” category, and get in the car and go pick it up. This doesn’t take a ton of time and if you are polite and grateful for their time, they will work with you.

Q: What species are particularly prone to manipulation? Scallops? Branzino? Dover sole?

A: Salmon and trout. The demand is crazy and so is the way that some of this is being farm raised. “Franken-Salmon,” genetically modified salmon, and simply toxic farm-raised salmon are part of our reality. I firmly believe in the seasonally designated wild options.

Q: I’ve become very suspicious of any seafood coming out of Southeast Asia. Am I overreacting to reports of filthy conditions?

A: As you should! The farm-raised Indonesian prawns are garbage. We have great skim net-caught Gulf of Mexico prawns that support our domestic fisheries and are a superior product. Yes, our stuff costs more money,  but why the hell are we buying the Asian product and taking money away from our domestic fisheries? And the farm-raised products coming from Asia are seriously in question with regards to sustainability, mercury, how the fisheries damage the eco-system and the carbon footprint, to even getting them here in the first place. Is the environment toxic? Most likely it is. You are not overreacting at all to the filthy conditions, as these fisheries are loosely, if at all, regulated.



By John Mariani 

($55)—This is part of the domaine’s clonal series, in this case Dijon 115, and it is outstanding. Truly Californian in its structure, with 14.4% alcohol, its five years of age has pulled together all the elements that make Pinot Noir elegant. It spent ten months aging in French oak, just enough time to add a touch of caramel flavor.  An ideal wine with a Christmas goose or loin of pork.

INMAN FAMILY OGV ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2012 ($73)—Another medium-bodied Pinot Noir, this from Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, where Pinots tend to run hotter. Winemaker Kathleen Inman is clearly aiming for finesse, using organic compost, careful clonal selection and a cover crop that forces the grapes to work harder for water, resulting in a smaller berry with more concentration.

GEORGES DUBOEUF BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU 2017  ($9)—The dwindling interest in celebrating the midnight arrival of the unfinished wine Beaujolais Nouveau and the opposing promotion of fine aged Beaujolais has managed to demean Nouveau wines as nothing more than a novelty. Which has made top producers like Georges Duboeuf, the so-called “King of Beaujolais,” re-think what used to be little more than a watery purple beverage for sipping with canapés.  With this 2017 vintage, Beaujolais Nouveau shows it can have a pleasing body, cherry-like fruit and an adaptability to all sorts of foods like chicken, pork and, not least, salmon. It’s a damn good wine for nine bucks.

DUTCHER CROSSING WINEMAKERS’ CELLAR KUPFERSCHMID RED ($39)—The label is quite a tongue twister; the wine is made by Debra Mathey (who bought the estate in 2007) and winemaker Kerry Danskey in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. The winery is named after a golden Labrador retriever and they encourage a very laid back style that welcomes visitors.  This is a blend of undisclosed grapes (maybe some Grenache in there?) and for that it’s both a curiosity piece and proof that blends not in the sacrosanct California varietal mode can be delicious. 

DUSTED VALLEY MALBEC 2013 ($42)—The current interest in Malbec is focused more on Argentina’s Mendoza Valley than Washington State’s Columbia Valley, but here’s proof the future looks good up there in Walla Walla, although this is a little pricey. It’s got a lighter body than Mendoza bottlings, and there’s Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Petit Verdot blended in.

LOCK STOCK & BARREL 18 STRAIGHT RYE WHISKEY ($230)—Produced by The Cooper Spirits Co. to capitalize on the rush to rye, this is the third in a series, following a 16-year aged bottling.  It is double distilled from a rare mash of 100 percent rye grain, then a “robust cut" is selected, which remains unfiltered and is then aged in new charred American Oak barrels in cold weather for 18 years and bottled at 109 proof.   This is one of the oldest ryes now on the market, true to form in its heat bite and pleasant sweetness, but there’s also a lot of spicy complexity and a long, long time on the palate. Do note, however, that it costs $230.

($27-$31)—Let those of us old enough to remember a time when Single Malt Scotches were both a rarity and curiosity stand to applaud the scores of excellent blend whiskies like Black Grouse (the UK’s best-selling brand) that Scotch lovers enjoyed throughout the 20th century. Indeed, Matthew Gloag founded the company in 1800 and his Scotch came to be called “The Famous Grouse.” It’s a very rich, layered Scotch with a pronounced smokiness—there’s a good dose of Islay Scotch blended in—and a lot of peat flavor.  Incidentally, when you buy a bottle, a donation of fifty pence goes to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, of which the native black grouse is in decline.




A single piece of a 12-year-old chocolate wedding cake five feet high and weighing 200 pounds from Donald and Melania Trump's wedding that cost $50,000 is up for auction by Julie's Auctions.


On the eve of the death Charles Manson, 
Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, OR, created a tribute doughnut to the serial killer and put a picture of it on Twitter.


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

   The Hound in Heaven (21st Century Lion Books) is a  novella, and for anyone who loves dogs, Christmas, romance, inspiration, even the supernatural, I hope you'll find this to be a treasured  favorite. The  story concerns how, after a New England teacher, his wife and their two daughters adopt a stray puppy found in their barn in northern Maine, their lives seem full of promise. But when tragedy strikes, their wonderful dog Lazarus and the spirit of Christmas are the only things that may bring his master back from the edge of despair. 


“What a huge surprise turn this story took! I was completely stunned! I truly enjoyed this book and its message.” – Actress Ali MacGraw

“He had me at Page One. The amount of heart, human insight, soul searching, and deft literary strength that John Mariani pours into this airtight novella is vertigo-inducing. Perhaps ‘wow’ would be the best comment.” – James Dalessandro, author of Bohemian Heart and 1906.

“John Mariani’s Hound in Heaven starts with a well-painted portrayal of an American family, along with the requisite dog. A surprise event flips the action of the novel and captures us for a voyage leading to a hopeful and heart-warming message. A page turning, one sitting read, it’s the perfect antidote for the winter and promotion of holiday celebration.” – Ann Pearlman, author of The Christmas Cookie Club and A Gift for my Sister.

“John Mariani’s concise, achingly beautiful novella pulls a literary rabbit out of a hat – a mash-up of the cosmic and the intimate, the tragic and the heart-warming – a Christmas tale for all ages, and all faiths. Read it to your children, read it to yourself… but read it. Early and often. Highly recommended.” – Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of Pinkerton’s War, The Sinking of The Eastland, and The Walking Dead: The Road To Woodbury.

“Amazing things happen when you open your heart to an animal. The Hound in Heaven delivers a powerful story of healing that is forged in the spiritual relationship between a man and his best friend. The book brings a message of hope that can enrich our images of family, love, and loss.” – Dr. Barbara Royal, author of The Royal Treatment.


The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink by John F. Mariani (Bloomsbury USA, $35)

Modesty forbids me to praise my own new book, but let me proudly say that it is an extensive revision of the 4th edition that appeared more than a decade ago, before locavores, molecular cuisine, modernist cuisine, the Food Network and so much more, now included. Word origins have been completely updated, as have per capita consumption and production stats. Most important, for the first time since publication in the 1980s, the book includes more than 100 biographies of Americans who have changed the way we cook, eat and drink -- from Fannie Farmer and Julia Child to Robert Mondavi and Thomas Keller.

"This book is amazing! It has entries for everything from `abalone' to `zwieback,' plus more than 500 recipes for classic American dishes and drinks."--Devra First, The Boston Globe.

"Much needed in any kitchen library."--Bon Appetit.

Now in Paperback, too--How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave Macmillan)  has won top prize  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,  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:

Eating Las Vegas JOHN CURTAS has been covering the Las Vegas food and restaurant scene since 1995. He is the co-author of EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants (as well as the author of the Eating Las Vegas web site: www.eatinglasvegas. He can also be seen every Friday morning as the “resident foodie” for Wake Up With the Wagners on KSNV TV (NBC) Channel 3  in Las Vegas.


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. Editor: Walter Bagley. Contributing Writers: Christopher Mariani, Robert Mariani,  Misha Mariani, John A. Curtas, Geoff Kalish, Mort Hochstein, and Brian Freedman. Contributing Photographer: Galina Dargery. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.

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