Indulge your love of the at A Passion for Wine, November 7, PPG Wintergarden

A Passion For Wine is an annual celebration that features fine wines donated from renowned restaurants, wineries, vineyards, private collectors, and celebrities auctioned to benefit CF research. Held at the beautiful PPG Wintergarden, Saturday, November 7th, guests will enjoy the exquisite cuisine of Sonoma Grille paired with wines from Two Angels, Gloria Ferrer, Chateau St. Jean and Freeman Vineyard & Winery, music and more. Over the past ten years the efforts of A Passion for Wine have raised over $1,000,000 for cystic fibrosis research!  Join OTM for a Great Party and a Great Cause.  For more information and tickets go to https://www.cff.org/Display/dsp_EventMasterHandler.cfm?idEvent=12577&idFieldOffice=69, or call (412) 321-4422.


Bar Boulud, NYC, October 27 -

OTM's good friends at DANIEL, Bar Boulud and db Bistro Moderne are sharpening their knives in preparation for the annual game celebration, made entirely with D’Artagnan game meats. Join Ariane and Daniel, who will serve not only as hosts, but as guides through the forest and field, the lore and flavors of the game feast. It all kicks off with a 6.30PM cocktail reception with a buffet of fall game charcuterie, followed by a four-course dinner resplendent with pheasant, elk, quail and red leg partridge, to name just a few favorites. The wines, with an emphasis on the Burgundy region, will all be poured from rare large format bottles. The feast will conclude with dessert and actual games. $180 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For more information or to reserve, contact Kathryn Brennan 212.595.1313 x 161 or kbrennan@danielnyc.com


Robert Parker's Wine Bargains available November 3

OTM listening Wine-Lovers, get your order in now at OTM Bookshelf for this first ever publication by the so-called "Emperor of Wine".  OTM has a pre-release copy but of course we're sworn to secrecy about what wines are included.  Given Parker's influence prices can be expected to go up for wines that are included, so $17.99 for an early copy might be a good investment.  If you want to know more about RP, listen to OTM's interview with Parker biographer Elin McCoy, OTM Audio Archives Nov. 20, 2005.


Seeing Stars in NYC - Bravo Daniel!!!

Great news for OTM's good friend Daniel Boulud - a 3rd Michelin Star!!!  Daniel joins Jean Goerges, Le Bernadin, Masa & Per Se in this elite category.  Other "winners" include Alto rising from 1 star to 2 and Corton making a debut in the guide with 2.  Gordon Ramsay London hung on to its 2 stars.  Alain Ducasse's Adour and Del Posto both slipped from 2 stars to 1. 

Jean-Luc Naret, Michelin spokesperson says of Daniel "The main difference is consistency.  His cooking has really been excellent this year."  OTM agrees - we enjoyed a magnificent meal (served in the newly expanded and delightful bar) in July.  We also had fun at Daniel's latest NYC venture DBGB, which has not been popular with some reviewers - we recommend it - Bar Boulud with Pittsburgh native Damian Samsonetti in the kitchen and Cafe Boulud are also great choices.  All this and Daniel is just an all-round nice guy - who says they don't finish first?


Quince, an OTM favorite in San Francisco just reopened at a new location

OTM's good friends Lindsay and Michael Tusk, owners of SanFrancisco's critically acclaimed Quince restaurant have opened their much-anticipated Jackson Square location. Quince in Jackson Square is a more spacious, comfortable expression of the previous PacificHeights location, offering an elegant, contemporary dining experience. The new restaurant is located in a 1907 brick and timber building at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Montgomery Street in San Francisco’s historic and vibrant Jackson Square neighborhood. Another old friend of OTM, Italian wine expert David Lynch, has created a wine program to showcase Italian varietals from small, lesser-known producers from Northwest Italy rounded out by a wide selection of French and domestic wines. Lynch’s focus on Nebbiolos - particularly Barbarescos, Barolos and other Piedmontese wines – have been chosen for their singular quality as well as value. The restaurant’s new bar features an Italian-inspired cocktail program as well. Visit www.quincerestaurant.com for more information.  We can't wait to check out the new Quince in person, but you can be sure it's great if you get there before we do. Lindsay, Michael & David - OTM wishes you the very best for a successful launch.


Good News & Bad News - always the good new first

OTM is delighted to hear that Fabio Trabocchi is back in the Kitchen, taking over the helm at The Four Seasons Restaurant.  We're sure he'll be a magnet for discriminating diners.  Our favorite Trabocchi dish is "Father's Pork Chops" from his cookbook, but we'll be by the Four Seasons soon to find out what treats he's offering there.  We also hear the The Lever House restaurant reopened.  We saw the name of the Chef somewhere, but can't find it just now; we also heard where Brad Thompson moved after the Lever House closing, but that info's in the same place - missing.  Best wishes to Karen & David Waltuck of beloved Chanterelle, may it RIP in the hearts of all those who loved it, including OTM.  Also RIP to Tribute in Chicagoland, which announced its closing ahead of the bad news about the 2016 Olympic Games site selection.  We believe these two sad events are connected only by their geographical proximity. 


The Allison, Newberg OR, an OTM

OTM always likes to discover and bring you new developments in food, wine and travel, and we found an unexpected treat during our current trip to Portland.  The Allison, Oregon Wine Country’s first ever full service resort, opened officially last Friday, and OTM was there yesterday.  It's much  more than a luxurious place to spend the night while touring the area.  Chef Nathan Lockwood's local, sustainable ingredient-based cuisine is a delight for both the eye and the palate, and the 15,000 sq. ft. Spa is as large and luxurious as the guest room area of 85 rooms and suites.  Decades of planning have culminated in the creation of a fabulous destination, with perfection in every detail. We can't wait to return and enjoy staying for a few days.  Just a 35 minute drive from Portland (with Peter at wheel on an unfamiliar route), The Allison is ideally situated for a visit to the delightful Oregon wine country.  In a couple of words - GO HERE! You'll be able to hear OTM's interviews with General Manager Pierre Zreik and Chef Lockwood in an upcoming program.


Ingredients, the Film - a timely Documentary about "Local Food"

OTM just talked to Portland star chef Greg Higgins about this film that he helped create, and which premiered yesterday in the "Rose City" of Portland OR, where OTM is right now doing a fine dining tour.  The web site http://www.ingredientsfilm.com/ says "American food is in a state of crisis. Health, food costs and our environment are all in jeopardy. A movement to put good food back on the table is emerging. What began 30 years ago with chefs demanding better flavor, has inspired consumers to seek relationships with nearby farmers. This is local food." Watch for Ingredients on your local PBS station, and in the menatime find out more on the web site.  You'll be able to hear OTM's interview with Greg in an upcoming program, together with our interviews with Portland's other top Chefs.


More info. for G-20 visitors to Pittsburgh

Due to space constraints some information Ann prepared was not included in todays' Tribune Review article.  OTM is pleased to provide this below.  Welcome to Pittsburgh, we're sure you'll enjoy your visit.

Green Dreams

Chefs everywhere buzz the words: fresh, local, sustainable, organic, all-natural. But Pittsburgh’s connection between farm and table is especially tight and long-standing. Even before the 1992 establishment of The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), farmers linked to local chefs.

The Pines Tavern, in Gibsonia, held “dinners in the fields” before national media grabbed at the phenomenon. big Burrito Corporate Chef Bill Fuller recalls that, early in 1997, he addressed PASA to facilitate Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance, a cooperative of farmers in Southwestern Pennsylvania that provides a large variety of fresh, healthful food products directly to local restaurants. bB restaurants—especially Casbah, Soba, Kaya and Eleven—support local farm suppliers and train scores of young chefs in that m.o. to carry on the mission.

Of course Southwest Pennsylvania is blessed with riches of fine producers. The Pittsburgh region rates tops in the US for per capita count of farmers’ markets. And the area’s Slow Food convivium is among the largest and most active in the country. All these factors merge into a host of ingredient-focused menus in local restaurants.

Pittsburgh also rides in the forefront of chefs and restaurateurs growing their own. The Pines Tavern plants over two acres of heirloom tomatoes, herbs and other organic produce for its kitchen. Chef Keith Fuller of Six Penn Kitchen tends a roof garden as well as an off-campus farm. For years The Café at the Frick has partnered with farmers and now also has its own, tended by Grow Pittsburgh, producing organic foodstuff on the grounds and in the greenhouse of its estate venue. Ditto romantic Hyeholde, and others too many to name.

Day-Parts

Breakfast is a keen sport here. For those who like funky and Formica, there are diner-esque places like DeLuca’s, Jo Jo’s and Ritter’s. On the campaign trail, President Obama enjoyed Pamela’s so much he invited owner Pamela Cohen to cook her pancakes for a Memorial Day event at the White House. Popular Square Café, in Regent Square, has a more healthful menu and a good neighborhood vibe.

Recommendations for Sunday Brunch always point visitors to the grand buffet in the Grand Concourse, a restored gilded age P&LE Railroad Station. While the setting is magnificent—marble, stained glass ceiling, palms—if you’d prefer to avoid steam table cuisine, check out Casbah instead. Sunnyledge, in a former Shadyside mansion, sets a classy historical backdrop.

Expect restaurants to be crowded at 7-8 pm, when everyone wants to eat, and don’t expect massive options in late night dining. Count these on one hand. Restaurants in the Cultural District may offer pre-show and post-theater menus—but only when shows or concerts are running. Best to check.

Other Quirks

Pittsburgh is a big wine town, boasting numerous tasting groups, private wine cellars and exceptional restaurant wine dinners. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust runs a sell-out series of Wednesday Wine Flights, at the Theater Square Cabaret, led by wine guru Dave DeSimone, with light fare by Chef Toni Pais of Café Zao. Expect to find excellent wine lists at: The Carlton, Eleven, Mio, Sonoma Grille, Nine on Nine, the Wooden Angel in Beaver, Le Pommier, LeMont, Pines Tavern and Capital Grille—to mention just a few.

On the other hand, Pennsylvania is a Liquor Control state. Always verify that the restaurant has a liquor license. If not, you’ll need to visit a State Store and take in your own.

 

 


Let's hear it for OTM's good friend Mike Novak

Congratulations to Mike Novak and his team at The Pines Tavern, in Gibsonia, PA, on being named a 2009 Santé Restaurant Award Winner for Sustainable Restaurant. Santé, the Magazine for Restaurant Professionals, created the Santé Awards as a way of recognizing excellence in restaurant food, wine, spirits, and service hospitality. The Santé Awards program is the only peer-judged restaurant and hospitality competition in North America. The Culinary Hospitality Award for Sustainable Restaurant honors restaurants and professionals that exhibit outstanding achievement in sustainable culinary service and hospitality. The Pines Tavern got additional accolades for their sustainable agricultural achievements. So do check out The Pines' great wine list and dishes based on produce from their lovely garden .  For further details visit www.santemagazine.com and www.thepinestavern.com.