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  March 16, 2014                                                                                             NEWSLETTER

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By Brian Freedman

Le Périgord
by John Mariani

By John Mariani



By Brian Freedman

Lake St. Moritz

Photo by Brian Freedman

     I’m not the sort of guy who feels like James Bond all that often. I prefer my martinis with gin; my ability to charm the precious few femme fatales I encounter on my travels is limited at best; I’m a lousy shot with a handgun, and have never held a Walther PPK. But, by the end of my first afternoon at the magisterial Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, I started to feel the first glimmers of my inner 007.
     It all began with the journey to this jewel of a resort town in the Engadine Alps. The
two-and-a-half-hour train ride from Zurich Kloten Airport to St. Moritz--with very easy changes along the way--includes a stretch that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes, its sight-seeing cars plummeting valleys and shimmying up the sides of the mountains as it wends its way through long tunnels and over vertiginous bridges and viaducts.
      The week before we arrived, in mid-January, the region had been favored with nearly three feet of snow, and with the frosty-tipped evergreens all regal and upright and the snow-capped mountains in the distance, and the locals twirling on their ice skates on the frozen surface outside the town of Samedan, the trip gave the distinct impression of having been transported into a huge snow globe.
     I was journeying to St. Moritz to visit one of the most storied hotels in Europe, the stunning Badrutt’s Palace, built by the visionary Caspar Badrutt in 1896. It’s a five-star hotel in official ranking only; I’m sure if it were possible to award it seven stars, or nine, or 14, it would earn them with ease. Not only is it a physically stunning structure, but the feeling of intimacy proffered by the exceptional staff makes it truly extraordinary, even among the other five-star resorts in St. Moritz.
     Indeed, Badrutt’s Palace’s concept of hospitality began as soon as I stepped off the platform in the train station, greeted by a driver and ushered to a waiting vintage Rolls Royce for the short drive to the hotel.
     “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” crossed my mind.
     The hotel is centrally located on the Via Serlas, a shopping street that could rival many in the world--Prada, Chanel, and an Omega watch boutique offering Bollinger Champagne or Beluga Vodka to passersby in order to entice them to stop by and pick up a watch or two.  Badrutt’s boasts 157 rooms, including suites subdued and sprawling, with public spaces said to be among the top see-and-be-seen destinations among the old and new money that descends upon St. Moritz each season. However, I was there just after the Russian New Year and Christmas, a slow period in St. Moritz.
     The advantage of this relative quietude is that the public spaces often felt like our own to take full advantage of.  And indeed, the vast spaces manage to exist at two seemingly opposite poles at the same times: they are breathtakingly grand, with intricate wood and plaster work, towering ceilings, and mirrors of a size and level of detail that they wouldn’t look at all out of place in Versailles or a Habsburg castle; at the same time, these same spaces remain charmingly intimate.  Historically, the Palace’s guests weren’t always week-trippers as is more often the case in our era. Generations ago, before trains and planes made the trek to St. Moritz as easy as it is today, families would spend a month or more here and came loaded for it with steamer trunks of clothing and even their own furniture, the better to feel more at home.  Over the years, families simply left their armoires and side tables and book-cases at the Palace, and many of these handworked, inlaid, or otherwise magnificently detailed objet d’art still line the hallways like living examples of the Palace’s history.
     Unlike most of the world’s grandest hotels, Badrutt’s Palace is still owned by a single namesake family (though they recently designated highly respected managing director Hans Wiedemann to take over for them when they are no longer able).   So, for all the grandeur of the place, it is also deeply personal, with a real sense of soul and an attention to detail that is little short of stunning. Not only is everything cleaned and dusted and arranged to within a nanometer of its perfect state, there is even a fellow with a kind of rake that straightens the fringes of the rugs throughout, lest they inadvertently fall askew and throw off the geometry of the impeccable space.
    The rooms range from more modern to classically styled. The Hitchcock Suite (above), for example, is a multi-room ramble with plenty of well-loved wood detailing and an understated grandeur that only the burnishing years of history can provide.  Legend has it that Alfred Hitchcock was first inspired to write his film “The Birds” while staying here, watching birds swooping past his windows (although the film was also loosely based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier).
     Accommodations run from several hundred dollars a night all the way to more than $20,000, a rate ostensibly reserved for Russian oligarchs and movie stars.  My room was a more restrained double, and a fabulous example of what Badrutt’s Palace does so well: make guests feel at home, ensconced in deep comfort, and at the same time somewhere very special.  The room had tall windows and a little balcony, etched with a brass map of the view and the names of the mountains out across the expanse. The bed was exceptionally comfortable and the bathroom was a swath of marble.
     Our first meal, a lunch, was taken in the quietly elegant serenity of Le Relais (right), one of six restaurants here.  The room itself is tastefully designed in a Belle Epoque style, with draped white tablecloths and delicate stemware, all within view of Lake St. Moritz and the mountains beyond. The food is appropriately luxurious, too: an order of
delicious Pojarski with shaved black truffles and a foie gras crème was a perfect welcome to the property, as was a bottle of brisk Chablis, which itself seemed to be a liquid embodiment of the crisp, fresh air just outside the windows.
     Truffles, in fact, would be a recurring theme throughout our stay in St. Moritz. For example, at the excellent Pizzeria Heuboden in the charmingly rustic Chesa Veglia--“old farmhouse” (below)--just up the hill from the Palace, the evening was highlighted by the Dama Bianca pizza, a wood-oven beauty with buffalo mozzarella, Taleggio, and Parmesan, crowned with black truffles. Pizzeria Heuboden boasts a wide-ranging menu, and the other pizzas and pastas are equally enticing.
     Even more truffles greeted us at Mathi’s, a restaurant atop the ski runs at Corviglia and Piz Nair, where I skied with an excellent instructor, Jean-Pierre Carnal, from Ski School St. Moritz, located in Badrutt’s.  The restaurant, with a stunning view of the skiers and snowboarders below, is exactly what I’ve always wished ski-mountain restaurants would be on this side of the ocean, but so rarely are.  Instead of bread, we started off our meal at Mathi’s with another black truffle pizza. But this is more than a refueling stop: it features impeccably poached salmon, well-roasted beef, and more.
     If you’ve overdosed on truffles, Badrutt’s is also home to an outpost of Nobu, which, while possessing somewhat less-focused flavors and textures than I would have expected from this international chain of Japanese restaurants, was still a nice break from the hearty luxury of so much else we’d been eating. So, too, was La Diala, the casual restaurant at the fabulous wellness center at Badrutt’s Palace, where I reveled in a delicious club sandwich and my companions enjoyed pastas, salads, and other dishes. Of particular note was the Kalbfleischscheibe mit Pilzsauce und Rösti, tender sliced veal anointed with a mushroom sauce and accompanied by the famous buttery, crispy roesti potato pancake that visitors to this part of Switzerland invariably come home talking about.
     But it’s luxury that Badrutt’s Palace is most well known for, and the level provided here is not something to be passed up.  Dinner at Le Restaurant (right), with its tuxedo-clad waiters and gueridon service and a pastry department as adept as any in the world, is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the mind-boggling selection of legendary wines from its cellar. In the mood for a vertical of Haut-Brion? Perhaps a magnum of DRC La Tâche? No problem at all. Order to your bank account’s content; they have plenty.
     Breakfast, included with the room price, is also taken in this same sweeping space, enjoyed to the wonderfully soothing accompaniment of a harpist. Why, I found myself wondering after that first morning of pastries, yogurt, eggs and more, did I not have a harpist every morning in my house in suburban Philadelphia?
     It’s tempting simply to set up camp in Badrutt’s Palace and not leave. Plan a massage or other spa treatment one morning; my massage, by the phenomenal Marinella Negri, cured the nagging neck pain I’d been suffering through for a full month. Spend the afternoon in the swimming pool or outdoor hot tub or one of the many saunas and steam rooms, then enjoy a cocktail in the elegant Renaissance Bar or dance the night away in the King’s Club disco and bar, all within the Palace’s domain.
     But the town itself is also worth exploring. For lovers of wrist watches, St. Moritz is like a waking dream, with familiar brands like Rolex and TAG-Heuer offered alongside less-familiar yet equally lust-worthy pieces by Greubel Forsey, Franck Muller, and Blancpain, among others. You might consider taking a horse-drawn carriage ride, which Badrutt’s can arrange. Ours included blankets to keep us warm, and a thermos of gluhwein to keep us even warmer.  There also are official town guides available through the Tourism Organization Engadin St. Moritz if you want to delve deeper into the history of this historic valley.  Our affable guide, Franz Balmer, led us on an excursion that covered everything from an art installation, a tower every bit as leaning as that of Pisa, a hand-chiseled bobsled run, and much more. It also included a visit to Glattfelder, where visitors stock up on tea, coffee, caviar, and more. If you have a sweet tooth, Hanselmann (right) is a must-visit. Its pastries are gorgeous, and a hot chocolate there is a pleasant way to warm up after a day on the slopes.
     This part of Switzerland is a terrific destination, even if you don’t ski or bobsled, and enjoying it from a resort like Badrutt’s Palace produces the feeling of being in an almost dream-like idyll where Old World sophistication, luxury, and friendliness coalesce in snowy wonder.


By John Mariani

405 E 52nd Street (near First Avenue)

     Those myopic media who somehow take delight in declaring the end of French haute cuisine in New York obviously have not dined recently at Restaurant Daniel, Le Bernardin, Jean-Georges, or La Grenouille, not to mention so many more casual French restaurants around town doing stellar French cuisine.  Anyone craving the cherished, proven classics of the genre need only book a table at Le Périgord which, under Georges Briguet and his son Christopher, sails on, through culinary fashion, drawing a faithful clientele who have become friends of the family and could not imagine a world without beloved dishes like Dover sole à la meunière, quenelles of pike in sauce Nantua, and oeufs à la neige.
    Located near Sutton Place and not far from the United Nations, Le Périgord has always been a draw for ambassadors on a culinary mission, and the affable Messrs. Briguet and their veteran service staff keep everything the way it has been since the restaurant opened 50 years ago.  Chef Joel Benjamin has been in the kitchen for several years now, so consistency is taken very seriously, while new ideas adhere to the precision of French classicism.
        The 250-label wine list is remarkably well priced, especially among older vintages of illustrious French wines.
       When you walk in, the first thing you see is a buffet table laden with cold appetizers, from smoked salmon and poached asparagus to pâtés, terrines, and cold shellfish with mayonnaise: a selection is $22 at dinner. This is in addition to the menu starters, which include a rich but light lobster bisque; one of the best foie gras terrines with glistening Sauternes gelée in the city; equally fine fresh foie gras is quickly seared and served with seasonal fruits and warm brioche; a salad of sweetbreads is spiced with harissa and a pepper emulsion, which one evening served to block the subtle flavor of the sweetbreads.
    There are always specials at Le Périgord; on one recent night there was superb venison with a good gamey flavor and a wonderful sauce reduction au Grand Véneur.  If you like--and miss--quenelles of pike in sauce Nantua, Le Périgord still makes them on a regular basis and they are puffy and delicious.  Good, old-fashioned duck à l’orange, so often a pre-cooked, cloying mess, is here done right--crisp, sizzling skin, and tender, flavorful meat beneath a silken bittersweet orange sauce, the bird itself carved tableside with a dexterity Le Périgord’s captain and waiters perfected long ago.
    Dover sole (left), thankfully, has not receded in popularity in fine restaurants around New York, and Le Périgord’s is textbook perfect--fat, with firm texture, lightly dusted with flour and sautéed in plenty of good butter, so that the flesh comes cleanly away from the bones.  Another special one night at Le Périgord was the rarely seen filet of beef Wellington, which comes packed with truffles and foie gras and is then wrapped in puff pastry with sauce Périgourdine with a dice of black truffles.  It’s a difficult dish to pull off, because there is the prospect the meat will steam rather than roast, and the pastry may get soggy. The beef that night was well rendered but the pastry was, indeed, soggy.
    This being a proper French restaurant, there is a fine selection of ripe cheeses, but it is pretty difficult not to be swayed by the panoply of desserts, which include one of my very favorites, oeufs à la neige, or floating island, composed of meringue egg whites bobbing in a rich, vanilla-flavored crème anglaise. 
    If you’ve longed for chocolate mousse, here is where you’ll find a most splendid example, and the pastries and fruit tarts are exemplary, too. Ask for a little of this and a dollop of that, and you will not be refused.
    As remarkable as everything else that Le Périgord does with such finesse is the price of a meal here, which comes in considerably below its competitors.  A prix fixe lunch is just $32 and dinner $68 (with à la carte options, too).
      The restaurant also carries on the admirable tradition of being open on Sundays for dinner, which gives it the familial ambiance of those for whom it has become a ritual.  The Briguets try hard to provide that sense to their clients, for this is a family-run restaurant that takes pride in its longevity and in its commitment to upholding standards of cuisine and hospitality that are far from gone in New York and a reminder of what civilized dining truly means.

Le Périgord is open Mon.-Fri. for lunch and nightly for dinner.


By John Mariani


By John Mariani
      St. Patrick’s Day should not be an excuse to knock back an Oy-rish whiskey or to use it as an additive to hot coffee; it should simply be another occasion to do so.  And with worldwide sales soaring in the red-hot spirits market--right along with Single Malt Scotch, bourbon and Asian whiskies--a lot of people apparently agree.  
      The Irish themselves consume only about 6 million bottles, with France the next largest consumer.  According to Bord Bia (Ireland’s Food Board), sales of Irish whiskey in the U.S. topped $167 million over the past two years, and, although Irish whiskey accounts for just 5 percent of all whiskey sold in this country, it makes up more than 13 percent of the revenue.
         The number of labels now in the market can be dizzying, even though all Irish whiskey is made in just three distilleries: Midleton (owned by Pernod-Ricard) in Cork, Bushmills in Antrim, and Cooley in Louth (the only one Irish-owned). A century ago there were 150 distilleries making 400 brands, but the industry was crippled by the onset of Prohibition in the U.S. A big boost came with the popularity of Irish coffee--unknown in Ireland, or anywhere else, until 1942, when first created at the bar at Foynes Dock, where flying boats docked during World War II. The hot beverage was promoted as a welcoming drink at Shannon Airport and debuted in the U.S. at the Buena Vista Bar in San Francisco in 1952.
         Today, prestigious small-batch labels cost upwards of $200, yet the average price for a bottle of Irish is still below $25, making it far more affordable than Single Malt Scotch.  The key to marketing now is to offer small supplies of special bottlings that have varying degrees of depth, complexity, woodiness, peatiness, and smokiness.  Since most Irish whiskies are blends, those with vintage dates on them are often more novelty than innovation.
         Tullamore Dew makes a good basic label, a 12-Year-Old ($37); Cooley’s Connemara brand alone now makes four small batch whiskies--a 12-Year-Old Peated Single Malt ($100), a Single Cask ($47), a Cask Strength ($80), and the heavily peated Turf Mor labels ($100-$150); a 16-year old Knappogue Castle 14-Year-Old "Twin Wood" single malt ($100)  caused some excitement when released three years ago, with most sold in the U.S.; Midleton Very Rare ($125) comes in an oak box labeled as “Supreme Selection”; Redbreast 12 ($60) claims to be the “only 100% pure pot still” example on the market today.
         But the dominant brand over all others in Bushmills, which at any given time may have half a dozen different whiskies for sale, some destined for specific markets, like Asia.  It also has its own distillery.
         Bushmills' standard “White Label”  ($24) was once the favorite of Czar Peter the Great.  Its Black Bush ($30), aged in old sherry casks, has long been a big seller in the U.S., with a more pronounced maltiness and a near Sherry-like, soft finish. Bushmills’ colored labels have different flavor profiles and ages.  Green Label 10 Years, aged in bourbon barrels, has a lighter, almost genteel virtue, very smooth, with a honey finish and very little heat at the end.  (They also make a whiskey that actually contains honey, but that’s a special taste, best as a mixer.)
      Their 10-Year-Old Single Malt ($40) competes easily with fine Scotch Single Malts. Made from 100% malted barley, distilled three times, and matured in bourbon barrels for at least 10 years, this has a lively smokiness in the bouquet, with level after level of complex spices and fruit, finishing like velvet on the back of the throat.  The 16-Year-Old ($75) is a brawnier whiskey, quite nutty, with a dark chocolate and dried fruit component. The 21-Year Old ($125) is aged for 19 years in oloroso sherry casks, then in bourbon casks, then in Madeira casks--all imparting nuances to the boldness of the end result.  There is also a good deal of maltiness in this bottle and an expression of how and why Irish whiskey is not for an idle tot or celebratory swig. It is for pure, slow enjoyment.

Wine Column Sponsored by Banfi Vintners

by Cristina Mariani-May         
co-CEO of Banfi Vintners
America's leading wine importer

    Ah, Verona!the quintessential city of love, immortalized by the Bard’s tale of "Romeo and Juliet."  But if you’ve been to Verona, you know that this town is far too romantic to boast just one love story.    
    Take, for example, a favorite of wine lovers, the story of Regolo and Ferdinanda Sartori (below).  He was a former World War I pilot who convinced his father to shift the family business from a restaurant that made its own wine to a full-fledged winery. She was considered to be the only woman who could ever stand up to and tame his adventurous nature.    
    Known for his exceptional palate and deft hand at winemaking, Regolo custom tailored (after all, Sartori is derived from the Italian word for tailor) his blends for his clientele and built a reputation that saw the winery grow in those challenging years following World War II.  Ferdinanda, or Ferdi as she was called, ran the household of their Villa Maria and looked after their two young sons.  She even fished the local pond to source the freshest dinner!
    Then tragedy struck; Regolo died, far too young.  His father came out of retirement, but only grudgingly so because of advanced age.  It was really up to Ferdinanda and her sons to keep the company going.  She encouraged them, trained them, protected them, and pushed them.  Of two very different characters, they made ideal business partners – the elder and more serious Franco was dubbed “Minister of the Interior” for his skill at running the day-to-day affairs of the business, while his younger, more gregarious and outgoing brother Pierumberto became the company’s “Foreign Minister,” opening new markets and charming new customers.  But firmly behind them in their formative years was the “Prime Minister” herself, Ferdinanda, a force to be reckoned with.
    Today the Sartori family is in its fourth generation, led by Andrea Sartori who does his grandparents proud.  He smartly runs a thriving business and deftly manages its impeccable reputation, thanks to the values handed down by Regolo and fostered by Ferdinanda.  In fact, "G4," as he's nicknamed,  has honored this incredible couple with a pair of wines reflecting their unique character and distinct nature.
    Regolo is a special selection of indigenous local Corvina grapes; after fermentation the wine rests on the crushed grapes of the winery’s Amarone to add additional complexity and ageability.  The wine is aged for about two years in medium to large barrels and further aged in the winery before release; it is a deep and complex wine, with aromas of woodland berries and hints of cherry and ripe fruit on the palate.  It can be found on wine lists for under $60, making it a great value for a big wine.
    Ferdi is also a unique wine with plenty of character to live up to its namesake.  Garganega grapes, indigenous to the area and the main component of Soave, are hand-picked and left to dry on racks using the same technique  as the grapes for the red Amarone (only for a  shorter period– 40 days instead of 90 for Amarone), to reduce water and concentrate sugar content and color.  The grapes are pressed with a brief fermentation on the skins.  The wine has gorgeous aromas of pears and apricots, with subtle floral taste.  Rich and dry on the palate, it has an unusually long finish for a white wine.  You could easily find this wine offered by the glass at great restaurants for around $12, and on the list under $50.  And just as Ferdinanda could stand up to her husband and father-in-law, Ferdi the wine can even hold its own and demonstrate its great complexity after a tasting of Amarones or a meal of rich foods.  Just like a great lady.

Cristina Mariani is not related by family or through business with John Mariani, publisher of this newsletter





"He was like this bearded dude wearing like
this long sheet and gnarly sandals. . . ."

After receiving a  tip at much as $7,000 tip  by TipsForJesus, waiter Ron Kinney of the French Quarter restaurant in Los Angeles tossed the receipt away, believing it was from  "someone who had a drink too many and didn't realize what they were doing." After learning of his mistake he was unable to locate the missing receipt.


"Savor, the new restaurant in Klyde Warren Park, reminds me of
the Affordable Care Act."--Leslie Brenner, "Savor," Dallas Morning News. 



ANNOUNCEMENT: The 10th annual Savor Dallas, March 20-22, 2014, celebrates wine, food, spirits and the arts in downtown Dallas and nearby locations.  "Savor the Arboretum"at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden kicks off the festivities with wine and chef cuisine in the gardens on Thurs., followed by the popular "Arts District Wine Stroll" on Fri.  Sat. features include a Winemaker Tasting Panel, a modern mixology seminar, The Reserve Tasting, and "The International Grand Tasting" offering cuisine from dozens of the area’s top chefs and more than 400 premium wines, spirits and craft beers.  Prices for individual events range from $20 to $150…$365 for a cost-saving weekend package.  For tickets and more information visit or call 888-728-6747.


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

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: TRIPLE CREEK RANCH

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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