Virtual Gourmet

  February 5,  2023                                                                                            NEWSLETTER

Founded in 1996 




By John Mariani


By John Mariani

By John Mariani


By John Mariani


On this week's episode of my WVOX Radio Show "Almost Golden," on Wed. February 8, at 11AM EST,I will be interviewing Prof. Christina Carlson on WHAT THE MIDDLE AGES WAS REALLY LIKE. Go to: The episode will also be archived at: almostgolden.



By John Mariani

The Harbor at Polignano a Mar

        The Italian peninsula is neither very long (736 miles) nor very wide (150 miles), not counting Sicily, so that the distance from one town to another may be less than five miles, yet they all have their unique charms, which differ radically from the foggy north to  the sun-kissed south.
         As a seaside province on Italy’s heel, Puglia has the Adriatic on one side and the Tyrrhenian on the other, accounting for 500 miles of coastline corrugated with harbors and inlets. Forty minutes south of the large city of Bari is the small city of Polignano Mare and fifty minutes away is Monopoli, both of which can be visited in a day. From there other days can be languidly spent visiting Ostuni, Brindisi, Lecce and Gravina.  
Polignano a Mare has a shadowy history, with some scholars claiming the Greeks settled it as Neapolis, while others say Julius Caesar founded it as a hub along the Via Traiana. Its situation on the Adriatic was a double-edged sword, on the one hand making it readily accessible for trade, on the other easy to invade. Thus, its occupiers have included the Byzantine Empire, the Normans, the Angioinians and the Aragonese, who pretty much stabilized the region.

On the way into town, stop to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Pino Pascali  (below) on the Parco du Santo Stefano, a squat building with a Roman archway housing a remarkable array of the native artist’s work (along with a few others’) in every type of medium, from painting to sculpture to fabric to video. Opened in 2012, it pays homage to an artist who died in Rome at 33, yet who achieved international renown within the avant-garde community.
        Polignano is such a pleasure to stroll through, for there really isn’t a lot of area to cover. Despite that, indeed, because of it, the town swells with tourists in summer, especially for the
“Red Bull Cliff Diving Polignano” event that draws 50,000 people annually to watch professional divers plunge 65 feet into clear blue waters edged with rocky cliffs. The seashore is also pockmarked with grottoes in which the sea ebbs and flows, one of which, Grotta Palazzese, now holds a fine dining restaurant.
            If you stroll along the Lungomare (waterfront), with its narrow streets weaving in and out of the Old Town,where people live in perched apartments and new boutiques and trattorias have popped up, you will eventually come to the statue of local boy Domenico Modugno, who became an international star with his song “Volare.”
            The beaches below may be rocky or white sand, small and secluded, the most famous of which, the secluded Lido Cala Paura (above),  can be viewed from the old bridge above.
            There are, of course, numerous churches to drop into, the finest of which is devoted to Santa Maria Assunta in Piazza Dell’Orologio, consecrated in 1295 with a simple bell tower and housing Stefano da Putignano’s  beloved Nativity sculpture (1530).
Given its history and various occupiers, Polignano’s architectural diversity can be seen in the palazzos, the terraced Governor’s palace, and, on the expansive Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, the Palazzo dell’Orologio, seat of the town hall until 1837.
        Sitting along the main street, just shy of the Lama Monachile bridge (left), are several good spots to eat and drink. By all means you must have a cup of Polignano’s caffe speziale, made with espresso laced with amaretto liqueur. A good spot to try it is the oddly named FCAZZ Birra, with outdoor tables set under white umbrellas.
        Just across the street is one of the region’s finest seafood restaurants, Casa Mia, on the Piazza Garibaldi (below). A smart looking place with outdoor tables, it has a fine wine list and ebullient owners in Vito and Michele Dragone.  There you might want to start off with a puffy-crusted pizza, but the antipasti, including crudi of mackerel (below) and shellfish, are difficult to ignore.
        The menu changes with the tide, and whatever comes in fresh that morning will be on it: red shrimp with fried artichokes; tuna with pesto; spaghetti with seppie and a puree of yellow squash; tortelletti with scampi and basil. The fritto misto of seafood is impeccably cooked. The best way to appreciate Casa Mia is with a tasting of either three or six dishes, priced according to the day’s market.
        If you end the afternoon early, you can also visit nearby Monopoli, a town blessed in legend by the visitation of the Madonna in 1117, arriving on a raft, as commemorated at the Cathedral di Maria Santissima della Madia (below). This is a medieval town, settled in the sixth century (although it is said pirates built a small church, San Salvatore,  there in 313 in thanks for surviving a shipwreck), dominated by a fortress of Charles V, the Spanish king who kept the peace that led to Monopoli’s being free of further invasion.
        Sunsets over the Adriatic offer dramatic vistas that indicate just how close the town is to the Near East. Then it’s time to walk through the small streets, all well-lighted to show off the whitewashed cleanliness of the city’s homes, as the people of Monopoli close their shutters and light their lamps.


By John Mariani


            Back when I was compiling my annual “The Best New Restaurants of the Year” for Esquire, a few times over thirty-five years, as soon as I entered a place I sensed that it was going to be quite out of the ordinary and a prime contender for the list. Pulling open the iron doors of  Christophe Bellanca’s new restaurant across from the Museum of Natural History, I had a very keen sense that would be the case, and throughout the next few hours there, I never wavered from that first impression.
        On looks alone, Parisian interior designer Caroline Egasse’s interiors show a sophisticated restraint as well-crafted as a Chanel jacket and skirt ensemble, even evoking the pale colors of taupe, black and white that epitomize a style that never goes out of fashion. Even though I bewail restaurants without tablecloths, the soft, padded, treated leather used in Essential is really quite beautiful and the lighting allows you to see everyone, easily read the menu and appreciate the color and presentation of the food set on Bernardaud china.
        In addition, when this space was called Dovetail its hard wooden walls caused a sheer cacophony; now, with soft, subtly textured surfaces throughout, this is as civilized a dining room as I’ve been to in quite some time, reminding me of similar rooms at modern restaurants in Paris. There are touches of leather, brass, porcelain tiles and Élitis wallpapers, with the counterpoint of a bold blue vinyl and silk mural. A 16-seat outdoor patio will also be available for neighborhood folks to enjoy with friends and family as the seasons permit.

        The attractive, largely female staff, from the host station to the bar and split dining rooms, are all well dressed in black (though t-shirts on the busboys seems out of character). General Manager Adrien Falcon sets a tone of casual hospitality, and beverage director Andrea Morris is every bit as helpful in assisting you to choose the right wine.
        The restaurant’s guiding motto is “To be creative is simple but to understand what is simple can take a lifetime,” which is in line with the credo of the late master chef Joël Robuchon, at whose New York restaurant L’Atelier Bellanca had been chef de cuisine, and you can see the lineage of those menus in his own cooking. (He had also been chef at L’Orangerie in Los Angeles and Le Cirque in New York.) 
Among New York French restaurants, Bellanca’s cooking is closest to Eric Ripert’s at Le Bernardin, though the latter is entirely focused on seafood, where very little is done to the main ingredients but to put them all in balance. Bellanca’s is less fussy than Daniel Boulud’s, less lavish than Gabriel Kreuther’s and far more innovative than the tradition-bound La Grenouille. And it is wholly his own.
        The à la carte menu has four sections, and, since prices are remarkably moderate, one is tempted to choose from all four, including dessert. (There is also a bar menu with nothing over $18, including a cheeseburger and fries that anywhere else would run you $25 and up.) You will begin with a complimentary amuse bouche, like warm mushroom cappuccino with sweet potato and a reduction of Madeira wine.
        We chose smooth, creamy foie gras with a lovely apple/cranberry confit and Pineau des Charentes fortified wine ($29), which made a nice balance with the hiramasa sashimi with
avocado, black radish and tangy fresh yuzu ($18). A beautiful rendition of beetroot that had been lightly smoked (which somewhat compromised its natural earthy flavor) came with barberry, crispy amaranth and a nice touch of Upper West Side tradition—borscht ($18).
        Some of the best, sweetest sea scallops of the winter came with the fine texture of S
avoy cabbage and a black truffle emulsion one can never tire of in French cuisine ($28), while eggplant was glazed and served with smoked yogurt and a vegetable curry ($18), which reflects tastes Bellanca picked up when he cooked at Robuchon’s restaurants in Hong Kong and Macao.
        Among the main courses a perfectly cooked wild black bass revealed just how wonderful this species is, braised and sided with shiitake chutney, razor clams and a turmeric emulsion ($38). I had my first venison of the new year here and it was superb, nicely gamey, simply grilled and served with coco bean and the sea plant salicorne, with a punch of grain mustard ($46). Duck also seemed a capital idea for a January evening, and it came spiced, with agave turnips and satsuma mandarine that had just the right sweet-and-sour elements to make this a modern version of canard à l’orange ($46). Iberico pork had a great deal of flavor on its own, succulent and sweet, served with first-rate presa de bellota ham, a mango aigre-doux and a little minty Thai basil, with extremely creamy jalapeño-laced pureed potatoes ($34).
        Bellanca employs no separate pastry chef, but the desserts are as special as the rest of his menu, beginning with a warm Manjari chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream ($15) and a crisp-to-the-touch vacherin glacé with clementine marmalade, refreshing citrus salad, and an orange blossom-kaffir lime sorbet ($15). Caramelized pineapple is set beneath a warm bomba rice pudding and accompanied with Armagnac-splashed raisin ice cream ($15).  
Hot soufflés are not easy to find in New York these days, so Bellanca’s perfectly puffy version with orange rum and green cardamom ice cream makes it seem all new again ($15). For something lighter there is an intense raspberry sorbet with Meyer lemon and elderflower jus ($9).
        Clearly, this is not classic French cuisine, though its underpinnings are based on very carefully calibrated formulas learned over decades in French kitchens now influenced by other culture’s cooking.

            The wine list is admirably wide-ranging, with the French selections, as you’d expect, the most abundant, but while there are some fine choices under $100, there is a bewildering number at $150 and way, way up, which is, perhaps, the reason I didn’t see many wine bottles on the surrounding dining room tables.
        Putting the vague word “Essential” before Bellanca’s name doesn’t begin to tell you what to expect, like saying “The Essential Sinatra.” When dining at this level, you realize that the alteration of one ingredient, or even the temperature by a few degrees, would not provide the same unique result Bellanca’s food delivers in course after course.  And to do so at prices considerably below his competitors’ is an added pleasure when you can bask in such a beautiful and well-modulated atmosphere where service exceeds expectations without ever intruding.


Open for dinner Tues.-Sat.



By  John Mariani





“We should have dug deeper than a grave.”—Major Callaway, The Third Man.


            “I know you’re going to be disappointed,” Gerald Kiley told David on the phone, “but those files you’re looking for about post-war Austria are not in Lyon. I’m sure you were looking forward to a trip to France.”
            “Frankly,” said David, “I’m not sure this whole project is going anywhere. But anyway, what happened to the files, if they ever existed?”
“Well, that’s where you are in luck. Whatever there is would be part of t
he U.S. Allied Commission for Austria Section files, and those are all stored in Washington at the National Archives (below).  They might be on microfiche or you might even take a crack at searching the web. There are some pretty decent search engines now. Ever try Yahoo!? Or Lycos? They’re adding a shit load of stuff every day.”
            “I can’t say I’ve looked at them a whole lot since I left NYPD, which had a pretty good—whaddaya call them?—portals? You think the National Archives are available that way?”
            “Maybe. Worth typing it in. Let me know what you find.”
            David hung up, made himself an espresso and wished Katie were with him to help him with these search engine things. But he started with Yahoo!, typed in NATIONAL ARCHIVES, and was amazed to see a page come up, with a slot to type in AUSTRIA 1945-1950.  Again, more pages, scores of them, detailing the components of the military government established on July 5, 1945, which shared oversight with their Soviet, French and British counterparts. The occupation was officially terminated July 27, 1955, by the State Treaty for the Re-establishment of an Independent and Democratic Austria.
           The majority of the material seemed concerned with the finances of post-war Austria, the transfer of funds, gold, silver, jewelry and various currencies. Others involved reports and investigations into crimes relating to art objects encountered in the re-opening of museums and libraries. Several sections of the files were devoted to war crimes and restitution. What followed were 300 pages and thousands of files of names of individuals and companies either making claims or being sued for money and property—even “Horses of Misplaced Persons.”
            Further down were files on the Military Police in Vienna, who were there to help investigate the day-to-day crimes committed during the Allied occupation, anything to do with U.S. personnel, either as the cause or object of criminal activity, including the black market. From what he read, David sensed that the M.P.s largely ignored prostitution and gambling activities, and the black market dealings in food and liquor seemed of minor importance to the Americans, who found their Soviet and French counterparts were often themselves involved in many of those activities.
            There was much more about drug trafficking in the files, and it appeared the Americans and British worked together on many of the cases involving the selling of morphine. David found nothing specific about an illegal market for penicillin, though it might have been lumped in with the other drug cases. As an experienced detective, he knew that the much sought-after drug in post-war Europe would certainly be worth a great dealon the black market, especially if it were diluted, as the mobs often did with liquor during Prohibition, and later with heroin and cocaine.
            The fact was that penicillin had been discovered by a Scottish doctor named Alexander Fleming (right)  in 1928 but not used as an antibiotic until 1942; even then it was difficult to make in large supplies—by June of that year there was only enough to treat ten patients.  But within two years U.S. laboratories began producing penicillin on a mass scale, though the supply was restricted to Americans and Allied troops, saving perhaps millions of lives. Neither Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe nor Japan had access to the drug, resulting in many deaths from disease. The shortage lingered well after the war was over, thereby making its sale on the black market highly desirable.
            The files contained substantial lists of criminals caught and gone free, separated into categories. The list of those involved in the black market was about a hundred names long, and because David did not own a printer, he copied the names out on a yellow legal pad.  He then checked off those described as deceased—none executed, as he suspected there would be on similar French and Russian lists—and those imprisoned. He then figured if there were any clues to a Harry Lime-type figure the list might contain, he would zero in on those who were operating before Graham Greene got to Vienna in February of 1948.
            His cut-down list contained every nationality in Eastern Europe, Great Britain, and the U.S., and each was identified by name, nationality, and current whereabouts, with fewer and fewer as of the 1950s.            

Esther Hauptman. Austrian. Incarcerated 9/14/46.

Hermann Strauss. Austrian.  Deceased 10/10/1951.

Tomas Shumanov. Russian. Whereabouts unknown 3/4/1949.

Michael Stern. German. Whereabouts unknown.

Sigrid Schuster. Austrian. Deceased 7/9/48.

Lionel Townes.  British. Incarcerated 6/8/1949.

Susanna Kroner. Austrian. Deceased 12/3/1947.

Janos Szabor. Hungarian. Whereabouts unknown.

Lazlo Horvat. Hungarian. Deceased 11/11/1947.

Oskar Gurning. German. Incarcerated 2/31/1946.

James Rodgers. American. Incarcerated 4/6/1947

Harold Neame. British. Whereabouts unknown.

Ingrid Spichler. Austrian. Incarcerated 12/5/1947.

Gyorgy Specenkoff. Russian. Whereabouts unknown.

Ernst Keller. German. Deceased 11/6/1949.

William Walters. American. Incarcerated 10/5/1947.

Stephen Berwick. British. Incarcerated 4/18/1947.

Bela Czarky. Czechoslovakia. Deceased 11/6/1949.

Herbert Shumann. Austrian. Whereabouts unknown.


            There were about fifty more names, and David noticed that most of the Russians seemed to have escaped capture, possibly escorted by the Soviet police through the sewers of Vienna into the Soviet zone. There were only two Americans, both apprehended and incarcerated before Greene got to Vienna. David suspected very few, if any, of those who escaped were ever captured, for by the time Austria was returned to the Austrians, ferreting out black market activities had ceased among the various Military Police. If such criminal activities continued to flourish—and they certainly did—it was now the business of the Austrians.
            David looked over the list several times but could find nothing to bring him closer to Graham Greene or Harry Lime, and he felt bound to tell Katie as much. Maybe there was a real Harry Lime, he thought, but post-war Vienna was perhaps not the place to look. He’d tell Katie that, but meanwhile he was open to hearing what she was up to.



To read previous chapters of GOING AFTER HARRY LIME go to the archive

John Mariani, 2016




By John Mariani


        Do Americans really like wine very much? Were you to believe all the reality TV shows, it seems the only thing the “Real Housewives” of Beverly Hills (below), Atlanta and Miami do all day is swig Champagne at al fresco lunches or poolside, as does everyone in “White Lotus.” (Of course, you’d expect that in a fictional comedy like “Emily in Paris.”)
         Depending on whose stats you wish to believe, the U.S. wine industry looks positively rosy. According to Research and Markets’ 2022 “U.S. Wine Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Project,” sales of wine (domestic and imported) topped $66.97 billion,  with table wines dominating, followed by sparkling wines (most domestic), whose projected sales will rise 7.7% from 2022 to 2030 and the U.S. wine market size is expected to reach $115.03 billion by 2030.
         The report says the “rising worldwide supply of grapes, increasing consolidation among producers, distributors, and retailers, and a shift in consumers’ drinking patterns are acting as major drivers for the market.” So far so good.
         But the respected annual, just released “State of the US Wine Industry 2023,” by Rob McMilan (below), EVP and founder, Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division, finds some distressing flies in the barrel, reporting several areas for concern in the market. For one, consumers older than 60 are the only growth segment, while those under 60 have a lower share of consumption compared with 2007, when forecasts were that Millennials, Gen-Xers and the rest would be drinking more wines and better wines. This now seems to be reversed, with older wine drinkers trading up to more expensive wines, a trend call “premiumization.” 
In the group of 21 to 29 year olds, 35% drink alcohol but not wine, while only 28% of American consumers overall drink alcohol. The majority of Americans never or rarely touch the stuff.
         What would seem good news enough to make vintners dance in their vineyards may not be so good after all. The heavy rains in California will likely result in a much larger than normal harvest this season, when there won’t be enough consumers wanting to buy all that increased supply. Three smaller vintages, owing to draught and other climatic conditions, prior to the rains were actually beneficial in reducing volume produced.
         The better news is that, according to the Silicon Valley Bank Peer Group Analysis Database, sales of premium wines (above $15 a bottle) are rising, but wine sold below $15 continues to slide, resulting in a second year of negative volume growth in the industry.
         There is optimism, according to the bank, that “the typical consumers of premium wine are sitting on more than a trillion dollars in COVID savings. Our customers have the capacity to use their savings and discretionary income to buy wine even in a soft economy.”  
The question remains whether enough of those consumers will spend those dollars on wines, when inflation has made everything from butter to burgers more expensive.
         Americans continue to drink a great deal more American wines than foreign, but the lower end segment that produces jug, canned and box wines and dirt cheap bottled wines under five dollars, like Charles Shaw Merlot ($2.99), has been dropping in popularity. And let’s face it, how many people want to spend $15, or well above, to drink a bottle of wine two or three times a week? I have friends who call themselves “wine lovers” who share a single bottle over an entire weekend.
         Add to this the fact that there is so much wine in the global market coming from an increasing number of countries that the buyer has an enormous range of wines to choose from at all price points. Competition is fiercer than ever.
         My own take on all these data is that worldwide consumption will remain more or less steady for the next five years. Not only has the war in Ukraine disabled shipment routes, but the crackdown in China of what seems to be a deflating economy with a disturbing drop in population and birth rates can only blunt the excessive optimism of wine sellers who thought that the China would be an inexhaustible market as more of its people entered the middle class and sought to imitate Western culture.
         By the turn of the century the supply of wine had outweighed the demand for something that is for most people something of a luxury. Even the younger generations in France and Italy, where wine has been an ancient staple of the diet, are now shying away from wine in favor of beer. Five, ten years from now, who knows?
         If the future doesn’t look all that bright, there is one one rosy spot: Sales of both still and sparkling rosé wines are soaring, now accounting for 9.3% of the overall wine category. 





"The Bali Yoga Retreat Where Deodorant and Orgasms Are Banned."—London Times (1/27/23).


 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.



MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly.  Publisher: John Mariani. Editor: Walter Bagley. Contributing Writers: Christopher Mariani,  Misha Mariani, John A. Curtas, Gerry Dawes, Geoff Kalish. Contributing Photographer: Galina Dargery. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.


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