MARIANI’S

Virtual Gourmet


  February 18, 2024                                                                                            NEWSLETTER


Founded in 1996 

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"Chinese Restaurant" By John Sloan (1919).

        

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THIS WEEK
EATING AROUND BOSTON
Part One

By John Mariani

NEW YORK CORNER
ANTOYA

By John Mariani

THE MAGDALENE LAUNDRIES
Chapter Seven
By John Mariani


NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR
SPARKLING WINE FOR ANY EXCUSE

By John Mariani



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EATING AROUND BOSTON
Part One

By John Mariani

 
 

 

EASTERN STANDARD

775 Beacon Street

617-530-1590

 

       It sometimes seems that as many restaurants close over fights with their landlords as they do for lack of business. In the case of Eastern Standard, which was immensely successful in its original Kenmore Square location, owner Garret Harker had something of a tiff with his landlord at the Hotel Commonwealth that shuttered the then fifteen-year-old restaurant, now resplendently re-opened in Fenway.
       Working with a new space, Harker sought to evoke the spirit of the old one, with 23 bar stools at a marble bar, arched, wood-striped ceilings and terrazzo floors, white tablecloths and big roomy booths. The spirit of Boston itself is alive and boisterous in the main dining room, so try for a quieter table or booth to the rear.
       Harker has made a judicious choice in appointing Nemo Bolin as culinary director, with good cred in top Boston restaurants like Locke-Ober and Craigie Street Bistro before opening his own small restaurant, Cook & Brown Public House in Providence, where I was very impressed with his canny knack for imbuing simple dishes with superb flavor. Now, on a much larger stage, Bolin is doing the same, with a longer, lustier menu containing much that New England farms and waters can offer.
        You might begin with a plate of oysters ($4), Littlenecks ($2.50), smoked bluefish ($14), a lobster cocktail with Green Goddess dressing ($21) or hefty Jonah crab claws ($5.50), and right now there’s a terrific winter’s squash soup with
spiced pepitas, fig vinegar and crème fraîche laced in ($13). Maryland-style crab cakes (plural) are crusted with Saltine crumbs and served with a mustard sauce and Old Bay seasoned onion rings ($30).
       There are three finely wrought pastas on the entrée section: baked rigatoni with hearty, well-seasoned lamb sausage and a tomato-and-cream sauce with a dollop of ricotta ($27); light potato gnocchi receive the Bolin treatment of adding flavor with pork braised in cider, carrots and a walnut pesto ($29), and house-made bucatini (not often encountered) with Littleneck clams, green garlic, dashed with white wine and chili flakes ($27). All the pastas are easy enough to split for two as a starter.
       All American restaurants have to serve roast chicken (unless it’s in the South, where it’s fried), and the big half a bird served at Eastern Standard ($32) absorbs a garlicky jus and mustard, as do grilled sourdough and the frisée lettuce.
       There are daily items, and on the Thursday I visited it was a fabulous honey-lacquered breast of duck, rosy, not too rare, with a grilled Bosc pear, buttery pearl barley and the zing of lemon thyme ($34). I would certainly come back on a Sunday for the English cut prime rib with bone marrow and horseradish. Fortunately, you can get three massive bones (right) full of quivering marrow any night of the week, with pickled shallot, parsley and sea salt ($24).
       Desserts are lavish and meant to be shared, not least the crème brûlée with citrus salad ($12) and the overindulgent butterscotch pudding (left) with praline ice cream ($12).
       The wine list, with about 275 labels, has dozens of bottles below $75.
       Starting up a restaurant is hard enough, but starting over can be even more daunting when the old location had its hardened fans and the new one isn’t all that easy to find.The popularity of the new Eastern Standard proves that Harker and his staff have made it very easy for old-timers and new to find its virtues not just intact but expanded and improved.

 

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

 

        Incidentally, while in Boston I stayed in Cambridge at the newly renovated Kimpton Marlowe Hotel on the Charles River. It now has 237 very spacious rooms and suites, all of them with a spectacular panorama of the rather unspectacular Boston skyline. The new décor is designed to fit in with the city’s artistic spirit by using  custom furnishings and locally inspired artwork, in details like the channel-stitched headboard; velvet, blue-green lounge chair; and an oval mirror above the credenza with both metal and leather accents. The artwork reflects the city’s architecture, monuments and sports, including rowing on the Charles, an ottoman whose fabric mimics the pages in a book and words from writings and poetry by E.E. Cummings,

Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
       
 
The restaurant Bambara (left) offers a menu of American and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine for breakfast, dinner, and weekend brunch and cafe-style, lunch menu.

www.hotelmarlowe.com

 

 










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ANTOYA
37 East 32nd Street
212-695-3131

By John Mariani



                                                                                                            Korean Chicken at Antoya


  

         The vitality of Manhattan’s Koreatown is all out of proportion to its two-block length, for the street teems with locals and tourists, many of them Asian and most Korean, all here to pop in and out of the numerous Korean eateries that line the brightly lighted stretch of the formerly entrenched Garment District. Most are quite casual, like The Kunjip set on two floors; Jongro BBQ within Karaoke City; Udon Lab; and Bangia gastro-pub.
        Antoya, now open six years, is somewhat more upscale, though wholly unpretentious, with a long bar and entry room and a rear dining space, somewhat louder, all set with back-to-back booths fitted out with a brazier at the center of the table.
         There is a 12-seat Chef’s Counter that serves both a 10-course meal with paired wines included, via wine director Joo Lee, previously at Eleven Madison Park. 

         It’s a long menu with many categories, so, assuming you are going to want at least one of the barbecue selections, confer with your waiter as to the best way to go about it, since there are some options with several cuts of meat on the plate. Everything comes on rustic ceramic plates and bowls of different colors and textures. The meats come raw to the table and are cooked by your waiter on the brazier.
         Begin with gyeran jjim ($5.99), a lovely, steaming egg custard soufflé with mushrooms, bacon, melted Gouda, a dollop of  pink cod roe and truffle. Mandoo ($14.99) is a crisp finger dumpling filled with fried beef and pork, while pajeon ($16.99) is a crisp, salted scallion pancake.
         Korean chicken has taken hold in competition with Buffalo wings, and dak nalgae twigim ($22.99) are served in a spicy-sweet marinade that gives up more flavor than the simply fried Buffalo variety.
         Notable is the array of half a dozen side condiments, individualized for certain dishes, all of them adding various tastes—sweet, salty, sour, bitter—that enhance just about everything at Antoya.

      Kkotdeungsim ($58.99) is a well mottled ribeye steak rolled and skewered, while osam bulgogi ($35.99) combines spicy stir-fried squid and fatted pork belly. Chadol Kimchi bokkeum bap ($25.99) is a wonderful, multi-flavored big bowl of fried rice and sliced  beef brisket liberally layered with moderately pungent kimchee.
      Everyone’s doing “crafted cocktails” these days but Antoya’s are well worth breaking your martini habit for. Try the Lava Lamp with coconut rum, triple sec, grenadine and lime juice topped with Sprite and Bailey’s Irish Cream ($18). They also serve Korean soju, the clear grape brandy, in four varieties, some flavored., as well as traditional Korean spirits like jinro ilpoom, bok bun ja and the rice wine saeng makgeolli.
     Antoya has certainly established itself among the newer Korean restaurants as a more refined, unrushed restaurant serving a daunting array of fatted beef. And rather than fast-paced “who gets what?” service, your meal will be hospitably plated and explained and you’ll have time to learn about this exotic cuisine as you go.

 

Open daily for lunch and dinner.


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                        Remembering Chef David Bouley (1953-2024)
                                                 By John Mariani



        David Bouley, one of America’s most innovative chefs, has died of a heart attack at the age of 70 at his home in Kent, Connecticut. 
    
Known for his exacting standards in the kitchen and a restless drive to create, Bouley was emblematic of the highly independent chef of the New American Cuisine that changed the perception of our nation’s food around the world.
       His focus on using the best, sometimes exotic, ingredients combined with classic French culinary technique—he had dual French citizenship—became a hallmark of the best of his colleagues’ work in the 1990s and afterwards. In 2020, the French Government bestowed upon him the title of Knight in the Order of Agricultural Merit for outstanding contributions to food and agriculture. And for his lifelong mission to make food that was healthful and to spread the doctrine of good nutrition, Bouley garnered Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and the Rogosin Institute, an affiliate of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.        
      
Born in Storrs, Connecticut, on May 27, 1953, he spent summers milking cows and making butter at his French grandparents’ Rhode Island farm, which gave him a lifelong connection to the land from which his ingredients came. After attending
the University of Connecticut at Storrs, he took jobs in restaurants in Cape Cod and Santa Fe, then went to France to study the Cours de Civilisation Française at the Sorbonne in Paris.
       There he discovered his interest in food and culture and was soon traveling the traditional road of young cooks to join the kitchen brigades of restaurants in France, which included the renowned Moulins de Mougins in Cannes. Paul Bocuse in Lyon and Auberge de’L’ill in Illhaeusern. Next stop was New York at some of the city’s finest French restaurants like Le Cirque and La Côte Basque.
           In 1985 restaurateur Drew Nieporent opened Montrachet in a dreary stretch of TriBeCa that helped galvanize the neighborhood, hiring Bouley as chef. Quickly they acquired a New York Times rave review, praising innovative dishes like smoked eggplant and roasted red pepper terrine, roast duck with wild mushrooms, leeks and pearl onions in a red wine sauce tinged with cinnamon and smoked salmon in a mousseline with sevruga caviar. By then, however, Bouley’s sense of perfectionism sometimes meant long waits between courses, causing titanic battles between him and Nieporent, with Bouley exiting to open his own namesake restaurant nearby in 1987.
         From then on, Bouley got nothing but raves from every quarter, including Michelin stars and six James Beard Foundation awards. Bouley was a very beautiful restaurant, softly lighted with votive candles and smelling of ripe apples piled in baskets in the foyer. Still, the long wait times persisted as he lingered over a cook’s dish and, if it was not perfect, throw it in the waste can and tell the cook to start it all over again.  Once, when I dined there with Ella Brennan, owner of Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and her new young chef Emeril Lagasse, the wait between courses—and there were a dozen of them—could be a half hour, causing a still hungry Lagasse to remark, “Do you think we could send out for pizza while we wait?”
         By then Bouley had become a celebrity, even named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” in the world in 1994. After becoming obsessed with bread making, in 1997 he relocated Bouley as Bouley Bakery, which he used on 9/11 as a base to feed rescuers at Ground Zero. Then, in 1999  he opened an idiosyncratic Austrian restaurant named Danube, authoring East of Paris: The New Cuisines of Austria and the Danube.
     He was still in the vanguard of modern cuisine at the turn of the century, but sometimes difficult to locate. Where Danube had been, he opened Brushstroke in concert with the Tsuji Culinary Institute in Osaka. Next came a lecture series and dinners focused on healthful food called The Chef & The Doctor. Then there was Bouley Test Kitchen as a private event space and learning center for visiting guest chefs, while he began developing products for Bouley enterprises, including Bouley at Home, which closed when the pandemic hit.
      His imagination was feverish, his ferreting out of new, healthful ingredients his guiding light, as his cooking became less rich than the butter-and-cream cuisine he’d learned in France and which he’d turned into tasting menus, which in France would have been six or seven course; at Bouley it was twelve, paving the way for other chefs worldwide to increase it to 18 or even, in the case of Spanish innovator Ferran Adrià at El Bulli, up to 50.
      “I reviewed David and his brilliant team three times in as many locations (all four stars),” says former Times critic Brian Miller. “His restaurants always carried the aroma of astonishing intelligence and endless innovation. What a historic loss to our profession.”
      Not many chefs deserve historic status, and fewer still might be called icons. But in the case of David Bouley his name will join the great ones—including some of his illustrious French mentors—who helped define the best and most influential of their era. 
     
Bouley is survived by his wife, Nicole Barthelme, and five siblings.



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THE MAGDALENE LAUNDRIES
By  John Mariani



CHAPTER SEVEN



         Katie sighed and said, “I know what you must have  been going through. But does it mean you have to leave the Church?”
         Joseph shook his head. “Katie, it just got worse and worse. There was a real cover-up going on.  I wrote letters to De Castro’s superiors and heard nothing except that the Church was policing itself on these matters and that I was a good soldier to report it. Bunch of bullshit. They just swept everything under the carpet. And the damnable thing is that the parents mostly seemed okay with that. Some even believed their daughters had been the seducers and needed to be sent away.  And you know where that was?”
         “To another Catholic school?”
         “In most cases, yes, but if the girl had really been accused of seduction or even being complicit in the acts, she might have been sent to a very tough Catholic reformatory.”
         Katie tried to think of any reformatories in her memory where such girls might have been sent.  She remembers some girls going to other states, without their parents, and, in a few cases, girls who did of their own accord break from their families.  In one instance a seventeen-year-old senior ran off with a young priest at the high school.  Katie heard they got married, had kids and then lost track of them.
         “In the Philippines there were a handful of such places,” Joseph said. “The girls were locked in, had no freedom whatsoever and made to do some of the work on the property and for the local parish. Only when both the nuns and the parents agreed the girl was ready to re-enter the wicked world did they have a chance to get out. Which might well have been after years of virtual imprisonment.”
         “I had never heard of that.”
         “Then I don’t suppose you ever heard about the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland?”
         Katie shook her head.
         “I’d never heard a word about them either, but it seems that right up until a few years ago, maybe the mid-1990s, there were these Church-run reformatories—they actually called them ‘asylums’—for wayward girls that go back to the eighteenth century. And from what I’ve heard, they were just brutal places.”
         “These were girls from the Irish schools?”
         “Most of them were apparently prostitutes and orphans, but yes, a parish or a parent could turn in a girl if she got pregnant or because they seemed overly sexual, even flirtatious. Unless they could get the girl to join a convent, once inside laundries she couldn’t escape, and she’d spend their days working under horrible conditions in the laundry room. A lot never made it out.  I’ve heard there have been some unmarked graves on the properties that may contain the victims who never got out.”
         “And this has been documented?” asked Katie. “How many girls were involved.”
         “No one knows. This kind of thing is just now being admitted to even exist in Ireland. No one I know of has written anything much about it.”
         Katie was starting to understand why Joseph was sitting before her.
         “So you left the Church because of your frustration?” she asked.

         “Frustration is one of those things priests are supposed to endure,” he answered. “But, Katie, we’re talking about crimes here.  And nobody, not the Church or the local police—and I’m assuming this is as true in New York right now as it is in the Philippines and Ireland—is doing anything to stop it or expose it. Nobody’s getting arrested, nobody’s going to jail, even though the Church’s superiors are completely aware of criminal activity. I felt like a fool after leaving De Castro’s office. I realized he was basically holding me to a vow of silence I could not keep.”
    “Like Bing Crosby.”
“Guess so.  And that’s why I left. In the end, Katie,  thought I could do more on the outside than on the inside. But I’m going to need a lot of help.”
         Katie saw it coming into focus now.
         “And you want me to help you with this work?”
         Joseph smiled weakly and said, “I’ve got nowhere else to turn, Katie. You’re an award-winning reporter. You can, what do they say, ‘blow the lid off this story?’”
         “The lid being the entire Catholic Church? As in St. Peter’s dome in Rome?”
         “If that’s where it leads, maybe so.”
         Katie racked her brain trying to think of any other investigations by journalists into such allegations as Joseph Evangelisti was making.  In the back of her mind she remembered a colleague at McClure’s who had once worked for the Boston Globe told her about an investigation by his paper of child molestation among the city’s Catholic priests back in the 1970s. But, said her colleague, nothing ever came of it. Word was that both the Boston archdiocese and the city’s District Attorney had it shut down, with the compliance of the paper’s editor-in-chief and publisher.
         Katie had asked her colleague if anything had happened with the story since, and he said that no one had ever followed up in all those years.
         Katie told Joseph that story and said, “Things may be different now—that was like twenty-five years ago—but that shutdown sounds like what you’ve been describing is still going on.”
         Joseph nodded, saying, “It goes on, definitely it goes on.”
         “Let me think about this, Joey. It’s a very, very big deal and sounds like it has tentacles.  I know an ex-cop I’ve worked with on some investigative stories in the past.  He’s very smart, very honest and, lucky for us, he comes from the Bronx and is an Italian-American Catholic. I think we should all get together for a meeting right away.”
         Katie Cavuto and David Greco had already gone up against Italian mobsters in Naples, Chinese mobsters in Taipei and a Moscow-controlled drug syndicate, and they almost lost their lives doing it.  Great articles had come out of those endeavors but Katie wanted to avoid any further involvement with such dangerous groups with intentions to murder David and her.  Dealing with the Catholic Church this time didn’t seem to her to fall into those categories of criminality, even if she thought she knew the Church was involved in all sorts of shady financial dealings around the world.  The Church was a very big business and, far more than it should, rendered to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s while often keeping God’s things way in the background.
         “Did you tell your parents all this?” asked Katie.
         “I did.”
         “And they were O.K. with your leaving the priesthood?”
         Joseph folded his arms as in an embrace. “Well, they told me something I never knew anything about.  It seems that when I was about six years old my parents got a call from our parish monsignor asking if a priest who’d been there for only about six weeks could stay at our house for one night and that he would be leaving for Rochester in the morning. My parents said of course. You remember, Katie, that having a priest even visit, much less stay, at your house was a great privilege in those days.
         “His name was Father Keenan and he already had a reputation as  whiskey priest, so my father didn’t offer him a drink. So, when it came time for him to go to bed they put him in my bedroom—he got the bed and I had like a sofa to sleep on. Now, I don’t remember this, but apparently at some point I came downstairs and told my parents Keenan wanted me to hop up on his lap, and I didn’t want to.”
         “Jesus! What did your parents do?”
         “My father says he literally grabbed Keenan by the collar and threw him out the front door and his suitcase after him.”
         “Did he call the police?”
         Joseph shook his head. “No, you didn’t call the police about priests. My father just told Mom, ‘Let the new parish deal with the bastard!’”
         “So, they told you this story now because. . .?”
         “Because they believed everything I told them and the reason I was leaving the priesthood.  Mom broke into tears and my father hugged me and said I should do what I needed to do. He said he was proud of me for what I’d already done.”
         There was a pause, then Joseph asked, “So will you help me on this?”
         Another pause, then Katie asked, “You got a cell phone, Joey?”

 

 



©
John Mariani, 2018



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NOTES FROM THE WINE CELLAR


SPARKLING WINES FOR EVERY EXCUSE
By John Mariani




  

 

    “Only the unimaginative can fail to find a reason for drinking champagne," quipped Oscar Wilde, so that popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly needs no celebratory day or moment. Its effervescence has given it as much a romantic association as it does the joy of winning a battle or a game of chess.  Which is why it’s the height of wasteful stupidity for athletes to pour it over each other’s sweaty heads after a victory.
      Granted, when speaking of Champagnes that carry a price tag of $100 or $300 or more, one might wish to save it for a special occasion. But fortunately there are enough excellent sparkling wines in the market to drink a bottle any day of the week—which the enormous success of Italian Prosecco has shown in the last decade.
    Champagne, in all its styles, from Demi-Sec and Extra Dry to Brut and Pas Dosage, may still hold an edge against other nations’ sparklers, but each has its own appeal and price points.  Here are some I’d happily drink just to improve one’s outlook, or, as Marlene Dietrich observed, sparkling wine “
makes you feel like it's Sunday and there are better days around the corner." 

 

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé ($99.99). The House (which also owns Salon, De Castellane and Delamotte) was established in 1812 and still family-run. The brand is now the third best-selling Champagne in the world. In 1968 L-P developed a new process of maceration for a rose, culling from ten different crus of Pinot Noir in the Montagne de Reims. Maceration,  lasting from 48 to 72 hours depending on the harvest, extracts deep rose color, which can be tricky in a Champagne, and has a richer Pinot Noir taste than many others. It holds up well with smoked salmon and the white meat of chicken.

 

Rotari Rosé Brut ($15.99). Made  from Pinot Nero and Chardonnay, in Italy’s high altitude Dolomite mountain valleys of Trentino, Rotari has a lovely pink color, long-lasting perlage and a burst of fruit, with just 12.5% alcohol, and its price makes it easy to drink any day of the week with crustaceans and white-fleshed fish, as well as cheeses like Brie and Pecorino.

 

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2015 x Le Bel Objet ($200). A special gift bottle (left) was created as Le Bel Objet by Paolo Paronetto in various chromatic variants that evoke the  harmony, “vibrant energy, optimism and joy of Veuve Clicquot champagne”  sold in a case of six bottles for $2,200. Without the gift boxes it sells for about $200.


Maison Ruinart Rosé  ($102).  Kudos must go to Ruinart, founded in 1729,  for creating in 1764 rose champagne  called "oeil de Perrier" (eye of the partridge), a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that has a light coppery tinge to it. They have also come out, for the first time in 20 years a new cuvée called  Blanc Singulier ($130), a reaction to its team finding stronger maturity and aromatics in their grapes due to climate change. This is 100% Chardonnay, and cellar master Frederic Panïotis says, “through reworking the blends and aging them in large oak vats, the research progresses. It’s a promise full of authenticity:  composed of 80% of the wines from the vintage year, with an atypical climate and special maturity, and very low sugar content. “  . . Dom Ruinart 2010 ($300). says of this vintage, “it bears the hallmark of Ruinart’s signature fresh, aromatic chardonnay. Time will allow her to take on even great depth, fullness and complexity.” But it’s hard to wait any longer when it is so delicious right now, especially for those who like low or no dosage. It is aged under cork—a re-introduction for this method—with manual disgorgement.

 

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2015 ($90). This celebrates the 76th Vintage of the House, with its label showing only the white vintage mark used in the cellars. It’s a blend of 44% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay and 24% Meunier, aged for six years, with six months after disgorging. Moet’s usual floral bouquet flourishes upon being poured, with lively bubbles and a scent of anise. Excellent choice for game birds. 


Mathew Bruno
 Carneros Blanc de Blanc 2020 ($65). This Italian family located in Sonoma and Napa Valley for three generations makes limited editions of its wines, from wine makers Stephens Moody and Dr. Nicola Hall. The grapes are from the coolest section of Carneros grown in shallow clay soil and they receive the winds from San Pablo Bay. The wine has a fine effervescence that stays at the rim and a refreshing mix of fruit and acid that makes it wonderful to drink with storing-flavored  fish like salmon, trout and bluefish.

 

Valdo Prosecco Superiore ($65). Proseccos are not made in the méthode champenoise but instead in the charmat method of controlled temperature. The best production zone in in the Valdobbiadene Hills, and Valdo’ Superiore is one of the best examples, made from 90% Glera and 10% Chardonnay, with a resulting 11.5% alcohol, making it very easy to quaff whenever you’re in the mood. It’s perfect for Italian seafood pastas like linguine with clam sauce or grilled Mediterranean fish.

 

 




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MAYBE THAT'S WHAT THEY CALL PORK IN AUSTRALIA?


























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



   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. 

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.

                                                                             








              

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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