Pittsburgh's Loss is Jersey City's Gain

Congrats to Rick Easton! Grub Street's Underground Gourmet rated Bread & Salt , in Jersey City, NJ, as NYC best new pizza.


Celebrate Piedmont Truffle Season at Pittsburgh's DiAnoia’s Eatery'

WHAT: DiAnoia’s Eatery's beloved dinner series continues with a 5-course dinner inspired by the Italian Piemonte region. The dinner includes wine pairings hand-selected by Chef Dave and Chef Justin during their recent visit to Italy. Highlights of the menu include Barolo wine braised beef cheeks and two housemade pastas. A vegetarian option is available. It is priced at $225 per person including wine pairings, tax and gratuity.

WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Sunday, December 8th, 2019 

WHERE: DiAnoia’s Eatery 2549 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

WHY: Chef Dave recently visited the Piemonte region of Italy for the first time and was able to enjoy the beginning of their truffle season. He felt the holidays would be a perfect time to celebrate this region and particularly their famous and rare white truffle “tartufi.” This highly sought after tartufi is featured in each of the dinner’s five courses.

FOR BOOKING and more information: https://www.dianoiaseatery.com/product/truffle_dinner/


2020 Guide for Spain

2020 Michelin Guide includes an astonishing total of 12 for Martin Berasategui, Ola Martín Berasategui, in Bilbao, adding to the 3 Stars for his eponymous spot outside Bilbao, and Lasarte in Barcelona.  Cenador de Amós, in Cantabria, joins the roster of 3 Star holders.


2020 Guide for Italy

Good News for Fans of Massimo Bottura, and a new 3 Star.  Massimo's Osteria Franescana is known as a "tough ticket" OTM is fortumate to have lumched there more than once.  Now there's a chance for more Massimo - his Florence place, Gucci Osteria, which opened in 2008.got its First Star in the 2020 GUide;  The Guide also christened the first 3-Star in MIlano, namesake of Chef Enrico Bartolini.

Changing Chefs at Chicago's North Pond

After 20 Years, Bruce Sherman Turning Over Kitchen To Chef de Cuisine Tim Vidrio. Since taking over what was then a casual park café in 1999, Bruce Sherman has been the only executive chef North Pond has seen. Now, as 2019 draws to a close, Sherman is turning over the kitchen to his longtime chef de cuisine, Tim Vidrio. “It’s with mixed emotions for sure…back then, I couldn’t have dreamt of all we’d achieve here, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished. The time feels right, there is a strong team in place and I look forward to seeing what the next twenty years bring – for the restaurant, and for me,” states Sherman. Under Sherman’s leadership, North Pond has been honored with many accolades, such as earning a Michelin star rating for seven consecutive years as well as multiple James Beard nominations, including a win for Sherman as Best Chef: Great Lakes (2012). While he’ll no longer be running the kitchen, he will, along with longtime business partner Richard Mott, remain a partner. “I want to thank Bruce for all he’s done here. He’s been a great chef, partner and friend and I understand his desire to start a new chapter. We will all miss him, and equally, we’re excited to see Tim grow into this role,” states Mott. Chef Sherman’s last day of service will be New Year’s Eve.

Vidrio joined the North Pond team in early 2011 and for the past three years has been chef de cuisine.  Prior to joining North Pond, Vidrio worked his way through Chicagoland kitchens, including Le Francais, Moto, and NoMi at the Park Hyatt Hotel. He shares Sherman’s philosophy of respectfully and sustainably working with the best of the season, while maintaining close relationships with farmers, producers and growers. John Arents, who worked at North Pond some fifteen years ago, returns in December as Managing Partner/General Manager, and longtime GM Natalie Boschert will return from maternity leave in spring in an operations role. So while Sherman has molded North Pond’s culinary philosophy over the years, Vidrio has been executing that philosophy and no major changes to the cuisine style and level of service are anticipated.


There are some other changes coming soon though…in early spring, the restaurant will close several days for some updating. The most notable change will be the installation of a very large, dramatic skylight in the main dining room, along with new seating and tables and a new kitchen. Details will follow at a later date.  North Pond serves dinner Wednesday -- Sunday beginning at 5:30 p.m.; Sunday brunch service begins at 10:30 a.m. Smoking is not permitted in North Pond. Valet parking is available on weekends at the corner of Lakeview and Deming Streets and reservations are recommended. For reservations or further information, please call 773.477.5845 or visit North Pond.



Thanksgiving Dinner from Pittsburgh's Spork Pit

Chef Christian Frangiadis is once more offering delectable pre-sale smoked turkeys from his custom smoker for Thanksgiving holiday through the Spork Pit Website.  For $107+ tax, a 13-lb. spatchcocked turkey will be served with a quart of cranberry-pepita-sage stuffing and a quart of foie gras gravy.  Guests can pick up hot turkeys on Thanksgiving from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or cold, vacuum-sealed a day prior from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  In addition, a 12" eight-slice pumpkin pie can be ordered for $32.10.  A few notes on the meal:

  • The meal features fresh, hormone-free turkey from Strip District Meats. It will be brined for two days in rosemary-onion brine and then rubbed with smoked paprika, sage, white pepper, black pepper, red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried mustard. 
  • Orders will be taken online (links coming soon) for turkeys through Sunday, November 24. Please let me know if you are interested in covering. I would also be delighted to share information on brine recipes for anyone doing at home preparation. 

Bigger and Better Gelinaz, Worldwide on December 3

138 Restaurants, in 38 Countries- Wow!!  Many of the World's Outstanding Chefs, 148 of them, will be participating, Get details & Tickets at https://gelinaz.com/. 


And the Winners are - Wine Star Awards Announced

  • Person of the Year – Linda Reiff, President & CEO, Napa Valley Vintners
  • Lifetime Achievement – Francis Ford Coppola
  • Philanthropy Award – The Bob and Marie Gallo Foundation
  • Wine Executive of the Year – Bob Torkelson, President & CEO, Trinchero Family Estates
  • Winemaker of the Year – Dave Phinney, Founder & Winemaker, Locations Wine
  • Social Visionary of the Year – International Wineries for Climate Action (Jackson Family Wines and Familia Torres)
  • Wine and Culture Award – Hampton Water (Gérard Bertrand, Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi)
  • Innovator of the Year – Oregon Solidarity (King Estate, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Silvan Ridge Winery and The Eyrie Vineyards)
  • American Winery of the Year – Bogle Vineyards, Clarksburg, CA
  • European Winery of the Year – Tasca d’Almerita, Sicily, Italy
  • New World Winery of the Year – Trapiche, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Wine Region of the Year – Sonoma County, California
  • Winery Experience of the Year – Viña Vik, Millahue, Chile
  • Importer of the Year – Maisons Marques & Domaines USA Inc
  • Sommelier / Beverage Director of the Year – Laura Maniec-Fiorvanti, Cofounder, Corkbuzz
  • Retailer of the Year – Wine.com
  • Spirit Brand / Distiller of the Year – Nonino

The winners will be honored at the 20th annual Wine Star Awards Dinner in San Francisco, California, at the Palace of Fine Arts on Monday, January 27th, 2020. To attend or RSVP please contact Jen Cortellini at jcortellini@wineenthusiast.net. To read in-depth profiles of the Wine Star Award winners, pick up the Best of Year Issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine hitting newsstands December 10th, 2019 or online at WineMag.com. To join the social conversation follow @WineEnthusiast on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #WineStarAwards.

he 150th anniversary of Moët & Chandon Impérial Bru

From Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to the emperor of France, Roger Federer’s status as the GOAT, Scarlett Johansson becoming the world’s highest paid actress, to Virgil Abloh’s ascent to the top of the fashion industry, Moët & Chandon has paid tribute to some of history’s most iconic figures and cultural moments. This holiday season, the pioneering champagne house is honoring another milestone by celebrating the 150th anniversary of Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut with a stunning limited-edition bottle and gift box of its flagship wine.Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut 150th Anniversary Limited Edition Bottle & Gift Box (SRP $39.99; available nationwide): Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut was first created in 1869, named Impérial in honor of Napoleon, a close friend of the Champagne House’s Moët family. A gift that exudes history and elegance, this limited-edition bottle or gift box will resonate with loved ones this he center adds a touch of inspiration as the year closes out. A graceful golden straw yellow in color, this wine has a lively palate combined with finesse with bright fruity aromas of apple, pear, white peach and citrus and notes of floral nuances.

Happy 90th Barry Sterling

Here's aToast to Barry Sterling, Founder of Iron Horse Vineyard.  When we lunched with Barry abd his LOvely Wfe Audrey a few years ago, we sampled all 10 of Iron Horse Cuvees.  Here's hoping Barry & Audrey will Celebratein in the Same Fashion.  And best wishes to all at Iron Horse,  From Ann and Peter.