MARIANI’S

Virtual Gourmet

  August 2,  2015                                                                                             NEWSLETTER



Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney in "Intolerable Cruelty" (2003)

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IN THIS ISSUE
WALKIN' IN MEMPHIS
By John Mariani
 
NEW YORK CORNER

VILLAGE PRIME
By John Mariani


NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
TASTING TWO JORDANS
By Geoff Kalish

       


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WALKIN' IN MEMPHIS

By John Mariani


Hernando De Soto Bridge. Photo: Jack Kenner

    Over the past five years Southern cities like Charleston, Greenville,  Raleigh, Nashville, Savannah and Richmond have enjoyed remarkable economic comebacks and garnered enviable interest among tourists and the travel media.  Yet, despite a wealth of attractions, Memphis has lagged behind other Southern cities in creating any sense of evolution and self-image.  Memphis even lost its beloved namesake historical monument--the World War II B-17 bomber named “Memphis Belle.”

    Having not visited Memphis in at least a decade, I returned this summer to sense that the city is really on the verge of a cultural and tourist boom that goes way beyond the requisite pilgrimage to Elvis Presley’s cheesy Graceland home (right).  Which is why I’m planning on writing three articles on the city; there’s a lot to crow about now, and the city fathers seem to have a lot of momentum going.
    Memphis has always had a solid business, educational and medical base, with FedEx, AutoZone and International Paper headquartered here, 35 colleges and universities in the area, and three major hospital systems, as well as the world-renowned St. Jude  Children’s Hospital.  The population tops 700,000 (20th in the U.S.), second only to Nashville in the state. 


   
  For a century now Memphis has been known as the home of the Delta blues, of which I shall say more in my next article, although the stretch of Beale Street famous for its blues history has still yet to return to the kind of vitality it should have.
    I checked into the beautiful and majestic  Peabody Hotel, which like most landmarks these days was once in danger of being torn down. Instead it is as polished and stately as ever, its rooms renovated with all the most modern amenities (left). And, as it has twice a day since 1940, it still holds the beloved march of the Peabody ducks (below), whereby the waddling fowl, led by a red-coated, gold-braided duckmaster, march from their rooftop domicile down an elevator, over a red carpet and into the lobby's magnificent marble fountain; they then retrace their steps, and the hotel swells with applauding onlookers. (I'll be reviewing the restaurant here, Chez Philippe in two weeks.)
    Walking around downtown, I saw the clear evidence of reclamation of once-derelict buildings, not least The Chisca Hotel, opened in 1913 and now in the process of a multi-million-dollar rehab as an apartment building.  Its enduring claim to fame was that there, on July 7, 1954, WHBQ disc jockey Dewey “Daddy-O” Phillips played Elvis Presley’s first record, "That's All Right, Mama." 
       The grand old Orpheum Theater, dating to 1907 as a vaudeville house then later as a movie theater, was saved from demolition and, since 1977, has served as host to touring Broadway shows and concerts by top performers like Tony Bennett and Harry Connick Jr.
    The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (founded 1916) has an admirable collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque, French Impressionists and 20th century artists (left).  Near the Peabody Hotel there is also the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art (1988), sometimes called "The Jade Museum" for its extensive collection of Asian jade art. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens (1976), on 17 acres of landscaped gardens, focuses on French and American impressionism, including Monet, Dégas, Cassatt and Rodin. In addition, there are a Children's Museum of Memphis and an eminent science museum called the Pink Palace, with a replica of the original 1916 Piggly Wiggly store, America’s first self-service grocery.
       Beginning in the 1960s, Memphis became a crucible for Black-American civil rights, and in 1968 a city sanitation workers' strike met with resistance by the city officials, which attracted Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to the cause.  It was at the Lorraine Motel that he was assassinated by a sniper on April 4, 1968, one day after delivering his magnificent “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech at the city’s Mason Temple.
    The very room (right)--untouched and preserved--wherein King had breakfast before being shot is in the motel, which is now attached to one of the finest museums of any kind in the United States: The National Civil Rights Museum. It is an extraordinary example of what a history museum should be--an experience as well as an education--from the claustrophobic room that shows the horrors of shipping African slaves to America to the shocking, unrestored bus bombed and set aflame (below) during the Freedom Rides of 1961.  There’s also the bus on which Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back, and footage of the disgraceful abuse heaped by white citizens on the lunch-counter sit-ins.
       The sounds, the songs, the screams are all there, including a recording of the phone conversation between King and President Lyndon Johnson over passage of the Civil Rights Act, and the joy of great achievements, too.  I was devastated by a very small part of the exhibits: a little glass box of two children’s dolls (below)--one white, one black--used in a psychological experiment in which little black children were asked to choose which one they preferred.  Many chose the white doll, because it was “prettier” and the black doll “ugly.”
       This and so much, much more distinguishes this museum, but when you climb to the second floor of the old Lorraine Motel and see King’s unmade bed (above) and breakfast dishes, then look out on the balcony across to where James Earl Ray fired his rifle, your heart stops.  The National Civil Rights Museum is one every American and every foreign tourist should visit if the struggle for human rights is ever to be understood.  It is a testament to bravery and the human spirit of both blacks and whites and shows how far and honestly Memphis has come, even if it took much too long.
       In contrast to the solemnity of the museum, the brand new Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid is a mind-boggling form of imaginative architecture, hotel design, entertainment and commercial fantasy à la Las Vegas.  What began as a disaster has been transformed into the city’s newest grand attraction.  Back in 1991 this huge, imposing Pyramid (supposedly the world’s sixth largest) was a sports arena, later host to the Memphis Grizzlies, who moved in 2004 to FedEx Forum, leaving the vast space empty and something of an embarrassing eyesore on the river. 

       Only a decade later did Johnny Morris, owner of Bass Pro Shops,  see the vacant hulk as an opportunity to create something never done before. Pouring $190 million into the project, Morris brought the forest inside, along with interior rivers, fake cypress trees, stuffed wild animals, real fish, and the world's tallest freestanding, 32-story-high, neon-lighted elevator with observation deck (below). He also added floors of retail space and a spectacular hotel called the Big Cypress Lodge (there's another similar lodge in the Ozarks) where I spent one night in a room that mimicked a great Western camp cabin, replete with deer heads and water fowl (right). Tree House rooms are located among the cypresses while Duck Cabins are appointed like waterfowl hunting cabins.  The  Governor’s Suite has a full kitchen.
    Rustic in looks but wholly up-to-date in amenities--king-sized beds, spacious bathrooms, working fireplaces--the hotel, though windowless, has plenty of atmosphere. Sleeping and eating here is not exactly roughing it by a long shot.
    The Lodge has 103 rooms overlooking the interior of the Pyramid's cypress and wetlands, as well as tens of thousands of sporting products and clothes.    I certainly had no idea how many items of outdoor sports paraphrenelia existed until I saw the rows of fishing poles, lures,  animal repellants, bows and arrows, flat-bottom boats, chairs to wear while up a tree, camouflage, and, not least, an extraordinary array of Beretta shotguns.   

 Memphians, as they are called, can certainly claim that no other state in the Union has anything quite like The Pyramid or any museum as inspiring as the National Civil Rights Museum. It also has three museums--one the still-in-operation Sun Studio where Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis all recorded--devoted to American music and a burgeoning food scene, all of which I can’t wait to tell you about in coming issues of the Virtual Gourmet.

 













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NEW YORK CORNER

By John Mariani

village prime

302 Bleecker Street (near Seventh Avenue)
212-727-7463
villageprimenyc.com

    I don’t usually use the word “charming” to describe an American steakhouse, because most of them fall into one of three categories: the hyper-masculine, barebones place with grumpy, robotic waiters; the huge western saloon with steer’s heads and several TV screens above the bar;  and the new swanky Vegas-type restaurant with shapely hostesses and outrageous cocktail tabs.
    But I will happily call Village Prime charming and consider its décor just about what it should be for a small steakhouse in West Greenwich Village, a neighborhood with few options in the genre. 
Seed Design Planning has gone for the look of a wine cellar, a little too dimly lit from exposed-filament bulbs; turning up the light just a tad would make for a more convivial ambiance.
    The 70-seat dining room and bar is done with unfinished wood and cow-hides, walnut tables, leather banquette seating and wild flower arrangements, rather like a log cabin. Beyond the dining room is the delightful garden (right), which seats 30, where my friends and I ate one beautiful July evening.   You can be sure manager Kevin Wood will be at your beck and call throughout your visit.
    Steakhouse menus seem immune to change everywhere, and it’s no different at Village Prime, except that the meat portions are larger and the prices slightly lower than you’ll find uptown.  For instance, a 20-ounce Cowboy ribeye here runs $48; at Strip House $55, at Smith & Wollensky $56. Frankly, they must take a loss on the Colossal-size lump crabmeat at $19, and the chilled seafood tower for two at $59 (for four $110) is set with  with oysters, clams, shrimp, mussels (a bit dry), crabmeat and more.  And the crab cake ($16) is nothing but lightly bound lump crab, not shreds of snow crab meat and bread filler.
    Purists may gripe that the New England clam chowder ($12) is too thick with cream, butter and binder, but it’s a delicious rendering, with plenty of clams in the mix.
    Village Prime’s name tells you that they are serving dry, 21-day aged USDA Prime beef, and though I found it of good quality, it lacked some of the minerality I’d expected, and next time I’ll asked for a better char on the outside. The porterhouse for two at $109 (for four $210) is an enormous amount of meat at 42 ounces, and though four of us did our best with that two-person portion, a good chunk was taken home.  At a time when most other steakhouses are now offering a 14-ounce NY strip, Village Prime’s is still an admirable 18 ounces ($48).  We took some of that home, too.
    There are a few more seafood selections than elsewhere, and I thought the yellow fin tuna crusted with wasabi, ($30) was a fine piece of flavorful fish enhanced by ginger soba noodles and baby boy choy.  Why the menu bothers to list crispy tofu in a pepper broth ($22) is beyond me; it’s like offering sliders at a sushi bar.
    All the side dishes were first rate--whipped potatoes ($9), sweet caramelized onions ($9) and creamed spinach ($11).
    When it comes to cheesecake, I don’t know why some steakhouses bother to make their own. Junior’s, served here ($10), and S&S have no competition from the city’s patîssiers.  Chocolate lava cake ($10) was also among the better ones I’ve had recently.
    The wine list is commendable and more than adequate, if not in the  big leagues found uptown.
    On a midsummer night’s evening, there was nowhere I’d rather be than on a quaint old street in the West Village, and dining out under the stars at Village Prime, where the noise of the city does not much intrude, makes this a new favorite and, for a couple, a romantic one. 

Open for dinner nightly and brunch on weekends.




 

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NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR

TASTING TWO JORDANS
By Geoff Kalish

    While separated by more than 10,000 miles in distance, there’s a number of similarities between the Jordan wineries of California and South Africa (which, so as not to confuse consumers and by mutual agreement, is sold under the “Jardin” label in the US). Both produce highly acclaimed, sensibly priced Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, and, importantly, since their inceptions, the same winemakers--Rob Davis in California and Gary and Kathy Jordan in South Africa  (who were all trained at UC Davis)--have fashioned every vintage.

Statue of Bacchus at Jordan Family Vineyard & Winery

    To gain more insight into their similarities and differences recent visits were made to each facility with a sampling of multiple vintages of their Cabernets and Chardonnays as well as conducting a comparative tasting of a dozen vintages of California’s Jordan Cabernet and the most recently released of Jardin Cabernet. The results of  my findings follow.

Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Alexander Valley, California

    Tom Jordan made his money in oil in Colorado and in the late 1960’s, and in the early 1970s traveled through France with his wife to try to buy a château producing top-quality wine. Unable to find what he wanted, he built a château in Alexander Valley (the valley between Sonoma and Napa).  He hired a young winemaker, Rob Davis, and contracted for the consulting services of renowned enologist  André Tchelistcheff (creator of the iconic Napa Valley Beaulieu Vineyard “Georges de Latour Private Reserve” Cabernets).
    The first vintage of Jordan Cabernet in 1976,  made using barrels purchased from Château Lafitte Rothschild (which some say contained Lafite),  received spectacular reviews and ratings and was compared with the wines of top-tier French producer Château Margaux.  Of note, in producing these wines, as is the situation at most Bordeaux properties, Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with smaller amounts of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec to enhance its aesthetics. 
    Now producing 100,000 cases of wine annually and owned and operated by Tom Jordan’s son, John, the winery is also making a well-regarded Chardonnay. When asked about the possibility of producing other types of wine John commented that “we do not plan to make more than just a Cabernet and Chardonnay.” He also feels strongly that their Cabernets taste better when aged in French oak, so much so that over the past few years the winery has transitioned from using 50% American and 50% French oak barrels to 100% French oak for aging.

Sampled at the Winery
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon  (70% French oak) – Fragrant bouquet of cassis and plums, with well integrated taste of herbs, oak and dark fruit, and long finish with a touch of tannin.

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon  (85% French oak) – Nose of blackberries and cassis, with somewhat muted  taste of cherries and herbs and softer finish than the 2012.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon barrel sample (100% French oak) – Perfumed bouquet of ripe black currants and plums and rich taste of dark, plummy fruit and anise with plenty of tannin in finish.

 

Jordan Winery, Stellenbosch, South Africa

    In 1982 Gary Jordan’s parents, Ted and Sheelagh, purchased a 360-acre property with a 300-year history of viticulture and replanted it with an eye to growing classic varietals in the best soil and microclimate for the particular types of grapes. In 1992, after attending UC Davis School of Enology, Gary, a geologist, and Kathy (below), an economist, began making wine at the estate, growing from 6,000 cases annually to its current production of 65,000 cases a year. Of note, the vineyards face north, south, east and west, with scenic views from an altitude of 1,900 feet of Table Mountain and False Bay and they enjoy a Mediterranean climate because of influence from both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
 
    Dissimilar to the California Jordan, the Cabernets produced here are from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes--grown on 15- to 20-year old vines situated on a north and west-facing slope, 650 feet above sea level. Following fermentation the wine spends about 10 months in a combination of new and used French oak barrels. Also, in addition to Cabernet, the winery produces Chardonnay (oaked and unoaked products), and, unlike the California Jordan, a number of other wines including a Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Cobbler’s Hill, a proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.   

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon – Deep ruby color, with a bouquet and taste of ripe blackberries and a hint of vanilla in the smooth finish.

2011 Nine Yards Chardonnay – rich bouquet and taste of citrus and pineapples, with hints of butterscotch in the finish. Older vintages of this wine showed a more pronounced, complex flavor of butterscotch, ripe apples and herbs.

2009 Cobbler’s Hill (58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot) – had a bouquet and taste of cassis and cherries with notes of chocolate in the finish.

2009 Prospector’s Syrah -  showed a fragrant bouquet and taste of  plums and berries with a soft fruity finish.

 


Comparative Tasting (July 5, 2015)

    This tasting included 12 vintages of Jordan Cabernet, including the most recently released vintage (2011- $54) and the most recently released vintage of Jardin Cabernet (2011- $16), and as comparators two vintages (1990 and 2000) of Château Pavillon Rouge (“the 2nd wine of Chateau Margaux). We also tasted the most recently released vintage (2013) of Jordan ($34) and Jardin ($17) Chardonnays. There were 17 tasters, ranging from knowledgeable consumers to wine writers. Wines were not tasted blind and scored 1-100. Also, there was a spectrum of fare offered, including phyllo shells filled with smoked salmon spread, slices of seared tuna, a variety of sushi, an assortment of cheeses, sliced filet mignon on toasted baguettes, and tuna, turkey and vegetarian wraps. The results were determined by dividing the total scores by the number of tasters. 

Cabernet Sauvignon

1. (92 Score): 2005 Jordan Cabernet/2000 Ch.  Pavillon Rouge

2. (91 Score): 1990 Chateau Pavillon Rouge

3. (90 Score): 2011 Jordan Cabernet/2001 Jordan Cabernet

4. (89 Score): 1992 Jordan Cabernet/2011 Jardin Cabernet

5. (88 Score) 1981 Jordan Cabernet/1987 Jordan Cabernet

6. (87 Score): 1985 Jordan Cabernet/;1983 Jordan Cabernet/1991 Jordan Cabernet

7. (86 Score) 1986 Jordan Cabernet/1984 Jordan Cabernet

8. (79 Score) 1989 Jordan Cabernet

Chardonnay

2013 Jordan (89 Score)

2013 Jardin (86 Score)

 

Wine & Food Combinations

Of note, as expected, both Chardonnays paired perfectly with the sushi, sliced tuna and all the cheeses--except the Italian truffle-laced variety, which overwhelmed the wine. All other fare mated well with the Cabernets, especially the sliced steak with the older vintages.

 

 


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AS BALZAC ONCE SAID,  "ZAIR EEZ UN SUH-KAIR BORN CHAQUE MINUIT!"

A French con artist Gilberte Van Erpe, 74, has been sentenced to three years in prison for running a  pyramid scheme in which she tricked unwitting 5,500 customers into making “magic cheese,” using a dairy product that was allegedly the secret ingredient found in high-end cosmetics. The $415 kits came with sieves, filters, and a powder to be mixed with milk to create “a small cheese pat,” then sold  to cosmetics companies for a fortune. The scheme brought Van Erpe more than 14.5 million euros.  The cheese was never actually sold, and tons of it were eventually found stored in a warehouse, abandoned and rotting.




THE PULP FICTION SCHOOL
OF RESTAURANT REVIEWS

“By the time a late-night June rainstorm appears, and the subway’s lesser, more beige lines are being contemplated, Murphy has migrated from a table to the bar, where the bartender is pouring a quietly effervescent rosé out of a not so quiet magnum. As Murphy has noted, New York can bring you down. It might do so pretty soon, as you stand on the J-train platform. But tonight, it bought itself some time.”—Amelia Hester, “The Four Horsemen,” The New Yorker
July 6, 2015)

 

 



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



   I'm proud and happy to announce that my new book, The Hound in Heaven (21st Century Lion Books), has just been published through Amazon and Kindle. 
     It 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 back his master back from the edge of despair. 

WATCH THE VIDEO!

“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.




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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, thedailybeast.com

"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 Meal.com.

"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.

                                                                             





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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, 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:






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 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, BusinessWeek.com;  nick@nickonwine.com; www.nickonwine.com.



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, Edward Brivio, Mort Hochstein, Andrew Chalk,  Dotty Griffith and Brian Freedman. Contributing Photographers: Galina Dargery,  Bobby Pirillo. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.


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