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  April 21,  2013                                                                                                NEWSLETTER

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Why We Dine
by John Mariani

Clearwater on the Gulf
bu John Mariani

New York Corner
Bar Boulud
by John Mariani

Notes From the Wine Cellar
The Woman's Touch in Wine
by John Mariani


by John Mariani

    After watching the horrors the people of Boston and the marathoners suffered this week at the hands of terrorists and reading that dozens of Boston restaurants closed up for security reasons, I was reminded of what I wrote (originally in The Financial Times) about the days following the agonies of 911.  I thought it appropriate to reiterate my sentiments as applicable to the current tragedy in Boston.


    After the events of 9/11 it was with difficulty that I tried to reason whether I should  dine out at yet another fine restaurant while New York was in flames and people were trying so desperately to cope with what had happened.  Then I read in the newspapers that the day it happened Sirio Maccioni (below), owner of New York’s famous restaurant, Le Cirque in midtown, called then Mayor Rudy Giuliani to ask how he might help in the crisis. Giuliani said two words:  “Stay open.”   That night Le Cirque served only 65 diners. Two weeks later, on a  Saturday night, the restaurant served 260.

   That sentiment has always carried weight with me, not only because sitting down to a meal requires the harried mind to re-focus attention on a basic human  ritual but  because it truly helps to return to a normal need.  After hearing of a tragedy, the appetite may flag, eating may be the last thing on one’s mind, and dining seems downright frivolous.  But to restore one’s appetite is to restore one’s strength, as anyone who has long been sick knows.

   Six years ago,when I heard the news that my mother had passed away overnight, I was tying my tie in a room at the Crillon Hotel in Paris, ready to go down to dinner. The news had the obvious effect of bringing me to my knees, but after commiserating with my wife, I determined that going down to dinner would be the very best thing, rather than stay in the room and weep.  We went to dinner, sure that my mother, who gave me life, nurtured me as an infant, and imbued me with a love of good food, a woman who was a great hostess and loved nothing more than going out to a fine restaurant, would have insisted I do so.  And so, we ate very well and drank a very fine wine, toasting my mother as she so richly deserved.

    As a food and travel writer what I do for a living may seem odd (T.S. Eliot wrote, “We measure  out our lives in coffee spoons,” but I measure out mine in morsels of foie gras), but, whenever I think of it as ephemeral to the great issues of the day, I am reminded of a scene in the play based on The Diary of Anne Frank, in which the family, isolated for months in an attic but still believing they would soon be out, fantasizes about the first thing they’d do when they return to the world outside.  Anne says she yearns to go to a dance. The teenage boy wants to go to a movie, a western movie! And the adults all start remembering and dreaming of a wonderful pastry shop, a good stew, a romantic restaurant with thick linen and fine wines.  None, not one, declares that the first thing he wants to do is to change the political structure of Europe.

   This scene made me realize not only that deprivation takes away freedoms of movement but also access to the most wonderful sights, sounds, and tastes of life--the very things we live for until they are taken away from us. Every human being on Earth who has ever gone hungry thinks first of survival, then of doing something seemingly superficial--a dance, a western movie, a visit to a restaurant.  For when all goes well, when the doctor cuts out the cancer, when debt is retired, when the debris is cleared away, returning to normal means returning to those things that make life worth living

    During World War II director Frank Capra made a series of powerful propaganda films entitled “Why We Fight,” and if seeing yet again the cheesecake photos (an interesting turn of phrase) of Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable in servicemen’s lockers seems pointedly nostalgic, that does not destroy its touching allure.  “Why We Dine” is as reasonable a proposition as any other, once we survive the inevitable rigors and horrors of life that must be endured.  “Animals feed, man eats,” said Brillat-Savarin, “but only a man of culture knows how to dine.”

   So I carry on extolling and criticizing our world’s food culture, sometimes whimsically, sometimes with vitriol.  For the importance of dining out, and drinking good wine, and falling in love under the spell of candlelight at the dinner table is to enjoy all that terrorists--especially those whose religious fanaticism seeks to deprive people of all pleasure--would seek to destroy.  By indulging in life’s passions we do much more than live out our lives.  We gain strength in the belief that they are part of the goodness of man.

     Eat well, be well.



        CLEARWATER on the GULF 

by John Mariani

View from the terrace at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa

      Not too long ago Clearwater didn’t look much like it looks today. Way back it was home to the Tocobaga people and was as of 1835 an army outpost during the Seminole Wars. Native Americans are pretty scarce there now.
    Its name seems to derive from the region's many fresh water springs, but it took the extension of the railroad  and a resort hotel named the Belleview Biltmore, built in 1897, to give the area a boost.  In World War II it was a military base, but it took a very long time before the city developed into the resort community it is today, still a stepsister to St. Petersburg and Tampa across the bridge, but, as yet, with little of the big town skyscrapers  of those cities.  So, Clearwater is more laid-back, more flip-flops and t-shirts, with a good ongoing party atmosphere. I was down there recently for the rollicking Clearwater Blues Festival, which even a cold, harsh wind off the Gulf could not tamper down.
    In addition to the big outdoor area (right) where the main part of the festival was held, the main street of town was lined with restaurants and bars featuring blues artists—the Capitol Beer House is one of the best--some right out on the streets themselves, and you’ll get to hear a slew of Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn wannabes with impressive chops.  It’s rightfully called the Blues Walk.
    I stayed at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort (below), set on the water, and it’s a fine, handsomely decorated place that gets a good deal of family business in season.  I dined that first night at its restaurant, Reflections, a casual modern dining room  where Chef Scotty Lazlo (below) offered an
extensive tasting menu of first-rate dishes, starting with a caramelized sea scallop with a white chocolate potato puree whose slight sweetness matched the caramelization; peas, tomato marmalade and a red wine glaze completed this dish.  Next up was a Bahamian conch chowder with plantain chips and a bracing cilantro-jalapeño cream. More peppery accents came on with jerk-seasoned shrimp and crab flatbreads with cilantro-jalapeno aïoli, and queso fresco. 
    Poached lobster with a smoked salmon and lump crabmeat salad arrived on micro-greens with a lovely chive tuile, orange segments, and mango-caviar vinaigrette—perhaps too complex a melange for the subtle flavor of the lobster. Surf and Turf, that venerable American passion, came as  braised Kobe-style short rib with candied smoked pork belly, duck confit and  Bering Sea King Crab, sided with a luscious cauliflower purée and deep red wine reduction. Grilled grouper with mango salsa took on extra flavor notes from garlic-laced rice and broccolini, while a grilled rack of lamb was washed with a mojito-jalapeño glaze and served with yellow rice and red beans, a nod towards Florida's Cuban cuisine connection.   For dessert there was a chocolate raspberry tower with hazelnut-chocolate mousse, cinnamon whipped cream, raspberry compote, and chilled Godiva Liqueur.  It was a grand end to a terrific meal rich with the kind of flavors you truly hope to find in Gulf cookery. 

     Dinner appetizers run $9-$18, main courses $18-$31.

    I also enjoyed dining at the more formal—as these things go in Clearwater—dining room Caretta (below) at the nearby Sandpearl Resort.  Well, let’s just call it somewhat more posh, with tall windows overlooking the water—sunsets can get spectacular around here—curtains, white tablecloths and dramatic lighting and chandeliers.  The service staff is well-meaning if sometimes lax or, alternately, intrusive.
    Named after a sea turtle, Caretta specializes in seafood, beginning with nicely spicy tuna rolls with cucumber and assertive sriracha dressing, a good way to perk up the appetite with a cocktail or bottle of chilled chardonnay. There is a selection of sushi and sashimi items, all pristinely fresh.
    The night I visited in late winter, butternut bisque was on the menu, laced with shards of duck confit, sweet parsnips, cinnamon and Port, a truly wonderful melding of flavors. This being Florida, I could hardly fail to order a hearts of palm salad with cress, avocado, ruby red grapefruit, Bermuda Triangle goat’s cheese, and a basil vinaigrette—easily a good lunch meal in itself and expressive of all that is good about Florida cuisine.
    Staying with that theme, I ordered Gulf black grouper (nicely cooked) and served with truffled risotto (overcooked), wild arugula, fennel, orange and a lush buerre blanc, while my friend had a 16-ounce Kansas City strip, at $40 a good price. Desserts were sumptuous in the Southern style.
    The wine list at Caretta is one of the best selected in the area. 
    Dinner appetizers run $8-$16, main courses $28-$40.

A much more casual lunch was had  at a local institution--well, one of a slew of places under the name Frenchy’s, with three more locations. The first of them opened in 1981; Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill in Clearwater, where I ate, is almost constantly jammed from the minute it opens and stays that way throughout the season.
     It all began with a Quebecois, Michael Preston, who acquired the nickname Frenchy’s early on. He moved to Clearwater in high school and never left, eventually opening the Rockaway Grill (his second restaurant) here in 1991.  It’s a big, sprawling place—no reservations—and the food comes out fast via easy-going, sassy waitresses who know their stuff.  And that stuff is a huge menu of mostly seafood items, including everything from tuna poke with macadamia nuts and conch fritters with hot sauce to a generous  fried grouper  sandwich with Jamaican jerk spices and, of course, there;s the requisite fried shrimp basket.  In season they also have big, fat stone crab claws, which  I gorged on when I was there.
    The idea that a place like Frenchy’s could not possibly turn out so many dishes with the same aplomb is not unreasonable, except at the pace and numbers those dishes come out, you can be assured that the food is as fresh as it can be, and I found the cooking very good across the board. It’s a great fun place to be, surrounded by the locals and the tourists with their families, everyone in shorts and bathing suits, with good music and happy vibes throughout.  Have a Landshark beer and go with the flow.
     Appetizers run from $2.95-$9.95, main courses $5.95-$17.95.

I also had occasion to re-visit one of my favorite downhome Cuban restaurants in Florida, the enchantingly scruffy La Teresita in Tampa on West Columbus Drive.  Since I ate there last, they’ve added a big dining room adjacent to the café (left), but the menu is exactly the same, so I happily feasted at the latter. According to La Teresita’s website, “The Capdevila Family emigrated from Cuba to the United States in 1962 on the Freedom Flights to Miami, Florida. Maximino and Coralia Capdevila fled Cuba wanting a better life for their boys after Fidel Castro and communism took over. Even though they did not know the language and they did not have any resources, they knew that if they worked hard they could achieve the American dream.”
    Settling in Tampa,  Maximino and Coralia worked hard for various businesses while their sons, then at the age of 9 and 7, sold Cuban corn tamales on their bicycles on the weekends. The family bought a grocery store they named La Teresita, which grew into a supermarket, fish and meat market and a small Coffee & Sandwich Shop, and they eventually  relocated and enlarged it in 1993.
    You just belly up to the counter, which snakes around the brightly lighted room, elbow to elbow with locals, including Cuban-Americans for whom everything on the menu here is mother’s milk.  The waitress's Spanish is better than her English, which is part of the learning curve here. Food orders are taken, conveyed, you get a beer, and the food arrives fast.
    I love all I’ve tasted here, from the gutsy black bean soup and the fried plantains to the Cuban sandwich of ham with mayo and pickles on crisp French baguettes (right).  The menu is vast but go with the daily specials like puerco asado on Wednesdays, ropa vieja on Fridays, and carne asada on Sundays. And don’t miss the ham croquetas or the café cubano, as delicious an elixir as can be found in all of coffee culture.
    There’s take out available, so if you're on the way to the airport, this should be your on-board meal.
    None of this will cost you much, especially at lunch when ten bucks will get you any dish on the menu.


by John Mariani


1900 Broadway (across from Lincoln Center)


    Daniel Boulud's petit empire grows larger, with several restaurants in and out of NYC, including his flagship Restaurant Daniel, opened in 1993, and Bar Boulud, opened a decade later across from Lincoln Center, where he also now has Épicerie Boulud pastry and food shop and the Mediterranean-based Boulud Sud. A beautiful spring day seemed the perfect opportunity for me to renew my acquaintance with Bar Boulud, which already has tables set outside and they are already packed.  What better vantage point for people watching than just a few feet from the zoom of Broadway and the dazzling light and architecture of Lincoln Center? Boulud (left) has a flair for the dramatic.
    I didn't dine outside but snuggled into a booth, opposite the counter where they slice the array of superb charcuterie.  Upon opening the restaurant, Boulud had enlisted a charcuterie master, Sylvain Gasdon, to produce the exact quality of the kind of artisanal sausages, pâtés and terrines Boulud ate while growing up in Lyon, including  fromage de tête, joué de porc, compotée de lapin, pâté grand-mère,  pâté de campagne aux foies de volaille, andouille de Vire, saucisson cuit à l’ail, pâté en croûte, saucissons Lyonnais, and much more. You'll find none better in America.
    The cordiality of greeting here is well known among habitués and visitors to the Upper West Side, and you will be shown to a table in the vaulted
100-seat dining room, with its  backlighted gravel wall, wooden booths, tables with textured mats and Riedel glassware, appended by a  “Tasting Table in the Round” for up to 14 guests who can enjoy food and wines chosen by a sommelier in the center.
    Bar Boulud’s wine list, more than 500 labels strong, is dedicated to great French wines of the Rhône Valley and Burgundy, whose varietals are the basis of the pickings from  California, Oregon,   New Zealand, Australia, Chile and beyond. There is a good selection of wines at every price level, so trust the sommeliers to guide you to something particularly interesting.
    It is very easy and very tempting simply to gorge on all that wonderful charcuterie and an array of wines, not to mention the excellent breads,  butters and cheeses.  But this is a bistro too, and I wouldn’t want you to miss the other dishes, starting with a generous frisée lyonnaise of peppery chicory, chicken liver, poached egg, lardons, and sourdough bread.  At the moment the restaurant is offering its "Nose to Tail Menu" featuring pork dishes from Raven & Boar in East Chatham, NY.  It was tough not to order everything on the menu, from a crêpinette with black pepper and sage sausage with glazed leeks and pommes purée to garlic sausage. I ordered the jambon, a bacon-crusted pork leg of exceptional tenderness, with a fava bean puree, pearl onion and mint jus. We also tried the poitrine de porc, a seared pork belly confit with creamy polenta and green peppercorn sauce--a heavy, heavy dish suffused with so much flavor that just two bites will satisfy you.
    A "small board" of charcuterie was more than enough for two, with about six meats and condiments on it. We also had luscious wide pappardelle noodles with roasted baby onions, sweet spring peas, and creamy cheddar cheese.  My friend chose to go seaward with a sea bass with saffron fennel confit and an aïoli nage whose sauce was just the right gloss to bring up the flesh of the perfectly cooked fish.  Don't miss the French fries either: they are as full of flavor as everything else, just the right texture, just the right salt.
    We somehow still had stomach enough between the two of us to order one dessert, but Daniel--who was there in the restaurant in his chef's whites--sent out three, one more extravagant than the next, from an "Elixir" of white coffee, chocolate hazelnut sable, dulce crémeux coffee and hazelnut ice to "Le Lion" (remember, Boulud is from Lyon) of passion fruit and yuzu crémeux, dark chocolate ice cream, vanilla, and chocolate-passion fruit ice cream, to an "Ornement," of Meyer lemon foam with layers if almond sour cherry moëlleux, pistachio, and lemon ice cream.   

  There is also a selection of impeccably maintained cheeses, and wonderful ice creams and sorbets.
    It is impossible to imagine anyone not enjoying themselves to the hilt at Bar Boulud.  It has the same ambiance of a beloved bistro in France, only here you get Broadway in the bargain too.


Bar Boulud is open for lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat. & Sun., and dinner nightly. Full bistro menu including pre-theater and after-theater dining.  Prix fixe pre-theater at $45; brunch is $32; à la carte appetizers run $13-$19, main courses $28-$39 fixed price $45.




The Woman's Touch in Wine
by John Mariani

    Not too long ago the image of the restaurant sommelier fell into two camps: the overbearing French style of aloof superiority and the overly effusive American assault with phrases like “killer cabernet” and “awesome viognier” filling the air--both delivered by male sommeliers counting on the camaraderie of men at the tables they served.
        But over the last few years those defiantly macho images have been muted by an extraordinary number of women entering the profession of wine director in many of the world’s finest restaurants.  Even in Europe, where male dominance of the profession has traditionally kept women out of the wine cellars, impeccably trained females are now often the ones talking to clients and recommending wines with a softer touch that seems based more on a desire to please rather than impress.
         At Le Meurice in Paris the sommelier is Estelle Touzet; at Milan’s Principe e Savoie, Alessandra Veronesi; and in London, at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT steakhouse, Vanessa Cinti pulls the corks. (All work for the Dorchester Hotel Group.)
         In the U.S. women sommeliers have increased in amazing numbers. Liz Nicholson (right), beverage director at New York’s Italian trattoria Maialino, says she got the job over many male contenders with longer resumes because, “I think I showed more passion for Italy than the others. I toured more than 60 wineries in every region of Italy for three months, and I am just in love with the country’s food, wine, and culture.”
         In the past such a coup was highly unlikely for a woman.  According to Maeve Pesquera (left), wine director for the 65 branches of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in 28 states, “At least 40 percent of our sommeliers are now women. When I started out there weren’t many women in any fine dining job.  It’s taken a generation for us to work through the ranks, and there was antagonism on both sides of the table towards women. Many people used to think I was the hostess.”
         Pesquera contends that Fleming’s aim was to break away from the stereotype of the steakhouse where men came to swig martinis and afterwards smoke cigars. “At our restaurants you see a lot of women who might feel otherwise uncomfortable in a traditional steakhouse,” says Pesquera. “At our restaurants they dine with their friends, discuss wine and order fine bottles.  And they are delighted to do so with a woman sommelier.”
         At New York’s Gramercy Tavern, Juliette Pope (below), beverage director since 2004, started as a line cook, became a waiter, then a “cellar helper” required to clean up the wine premises, stock the bar, and take care of inventory. Eventually she took on a bigger role as beverage director. “At Gramercy Tavern they tend to hire from within,” she says, “so I just plugged along and got the job when my mentor left. I was primed and energetic and ready to go.”
         Sarah Kavanaugh (below), who spent years in both restaurant kitchens and dining rooms, took over the position of wine director at New Orleans’ Windsor Court Grill soon after Hurricane Katrina caused heavy damage to the wine cellar. “They had no sommelier after Katrina,” she says. “It was a real mess, so I was able to built the list the way I wanted it to be.  Now we have 800 labels and 4,000 bottles.”
         She now  laughs at the times she approached a table of men and asked if they wanted to see the wine list, and they’d say, "`yes, and send over the sommelier.’”
         When asked if women bring a different approach to wine service, Kavanaugh said, “I think women do have a more nurturing style, and you have to be able to `read a table.’ About 60 percent of our guests know what they want and 40 percent ask for my recommendations. Today men love seeing a woman sommelier! I have them eating out of my hand. With ladies, they want to become your friend and ask for more guidance. I like to talk them through wine choices. It’s more of a conversation.”
         Liz Nicholson agrees, saying, “It is in a woman’s nature to be very hospitable. If anything, women sommeliers have
really helped remove being so uptight about ordering wine. It comes from a place in our heart based on the way we were raised.  Our supreme goal is to get people what they want and make them happy.  Women bring that spirit.”


This article first appeared in  Bloomberg News.




In its April issue, Southern Living Magazine features an article on
"The South's Tastiest Towns," spotlighting
"the new Pêche Seafood Grill
 in New Orleans,  for celebrating and elevating traditional Louisiana foods
like gumbo,  crawfish pie, red drum, and muffalettas."  The restaurant,
however, is still weeks away from opening.


At The Cajun Experience in Leesburg, VA, customers who bring a gun can get 10% off on "Open Carry Wednesday." Restaurant owner Brian Crosswhite told ABC7, "Why can't I promote my business as a gun-friendly place that people come in and are law-abiding citizens who chose to participate in the Second Amendment."


 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 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, 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:

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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