Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

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Index of restaurants mentioned on our Blog:

Al Di La (5/21/05)
Alain Ducasse (6/2/06)
Alinea (10/21/05)
Alto (1/26/06)
Amma (4/30/06)
An American Place (9/05)
Annisa (12/19/06)
Appellation (5/31/06)
Aquavit (1/23/06)
Aroma (8/23/05)
Artisanal (7/3/05)
Asiate (2/2/06)
August/N.O. (7/22/06)
August/NYC (7/10/06)
A Voce (4/19/06)
Babbo (6/18/06)
Bamn! (9/10/06)
Bar Americain (8/6/05)
Bar Carrera (7/31/06)
Bar-bo-ne (10/22/06)
Barbounia (5/3/06)
Barca 18 (10/29/06)
Bayona (7/19/06)
Beckta Dining (6/10/05)
Beppe (11/17/05)
Bernard Magrez (6/2/06)
Bette (5/31/06)
Bloodroot (6/24/06)
Blue Hill (8/20/05)
Blue Smoke (6/26/05)
Bob Lobster (8/9/06)
Bodegas Farina (11/16/04)
Bond 45 (9/28/05)
Bracco Wines (8/22/06)
Brown's (8/9/06)
Burger Joint (1/27/05)
Cafe des Artistes (4/05)
Cafe Gray (5/8/05)
Caracas Arepa (9/10/06)
Celeste (5/29/06)
Chez Le Chef (10/2/05)
Chikalicious (4/7/06)
Chinatown Brasserie (6/5)
Cookshop (10/25/05)
Cuvee (7/19/06)
Daisy Mae BBQ (10/12/06)
Darna (7/3/06)
Dave's Italian (10/21/05)
DB Bistro (1/26/06)
Devi (8/1/05)
Dona (4/17/06)
Eleven Madison (7/12/06)
El Parador (8/21/05)
The Emerson (3/7/06)
En Plo (3/16/06)
Evergreen Shanghai (9/06)
Fig + Olive (4/26/05)
Flatiron Lounge (5/8/06)
Four Seasons (6/24/05)
Frere Jacques (8/12/05)
Frontera Grill (4/8/05)
Gilt (2/14/06)
Good Burger (10/3/05)
Gramercy Tavern (7/05)
Hearth (8/13/05)
Heidelberg (3/16/06)
Indochine (7/31/06)
Inn at Little Wash'tn (3/05)
'ino (6/21/05)
Inside (10/26/05)
In Tent (8/4/06)
Jack's Luxury (6/27/06)
Jean Georges (5/13/06)
Jerry's (6/13/06)
Jimmy's (11/3/05)
Jovia (10/23/05)
Kai (7/7/05)
Katsuhama (10/22/06)
Katz's Deli (8/1/05)
La Cote Brasserie (7/06)
Lady M (5/30/06)
Lai Wah Heen (7/14/05)
Le Bernardin (3/16/06)
L'Ecole (8/10/06)
L'Orange Bleue (4/26/05)
Maremma (4/22/06)
Maxie (4/17/06)
Menchenko-Tei (8/14/05)
Mercadito (10/17/05)
Mermaid Inn (8/22/05)
Mie Jakarta (7/15/06)
The Modern (4/1/06)
Momofuku (6/10/05)
Mother's/N.O. (7/22/06)
Moto (4/8/05)
Nectar (4/30/06)
Nobu 57 (4/5/06)
NoHo Star (3/28/06)
Nougatine (5/13/06)
Odeon (2/10/06)
oms/b (8/8/06)
Osteria Del Stato (4/8/05)
Pearl Oyster Bar (5/28/06) Penelope (10/16/05)
Perry Street (9/20/05)
Per Se (4/5/06)
Peter Luger (3/22/06)
Petite Abeille (9/4/05)
Petrossian (12/22/06)
Phoenix Garden (9/16/05)
Piano Due (3/23/06)
Picholine (1/31/05)
Pizza Napoletana (3/3/05)
Prune (6/13/06)
Public (8/5/05)
Rai Rai Ken (9/10/06)
Rancho La Puerta (12/05)
Rao's (10/6/06)
Rat's (4/22/06)
Rice (8/25/06)
Riingo (2/18/05)
Roberto Passon (12/05)
Rosendale Cement (9/05)
Ryland Inn (7/28/05)
Sahara's (4/20/06)
Sakagura (7/21/05)
San Domenico (2/1/06)
Sanford (4/8/05)
Saravanaas (7/31/06)
Shake Shack (3/31/06)
Shun Lee Palace (12/2/05) Sip Sak (8/13/06)
SmorgasChef (11/10/05)
Solera (2/10/06)
Sophie's Cuban (8/15/05)
Sushi Samba (11/4/06)
Tasting Room (10/16/05)
Thomas Henkelmann (6/24/06)
Tia Pol (5/31/06)
Tibetan Kitchen (8/8/06)
Trio (11/6/05)
Tru (4/8/05)
Uglesich's (2/28/05)
Upstairs (9/4/05)
Vintage (7/28/05)
Walter's (6/24/06)
West Bank Cafe (8/18/06)
Woodman's (8/9/06)
Zarela (7/10/05)
Zip Burger (7/3/06)

A rotating list-in-formation of some of our favorite (mostly) food- and drink-related sites:

Accidental Hedonist
Alice Feiring
All Business - Restaurants
Amateur Gourmet
Amuse Bouche
An Obsession with Food
Andrea Strong
Ayun Halliday

Basic Juice
Beatrice
Beer Blog
Cheers
Chef Talk

Chef2Chef
Cocktail Chronicles
Cocktails.About.com
Cooking with Amy
Daily Olive
David Lebovitz
DM WineLine
Drink Boy
Drink Boy - Blog
Dr. Vino
eGullet
Enoch Choi, MD
Epicurious
Fabulous Foods
Fermentation
FineWineMag.com
Food Reference
The Food Section
Fork and Bottle
Global Chefs
Good Food
GourmetFood.About.com
Khymos
KIPLog
Leite's Culinaria
Lenn Devours
Local Wine Events
Mama Cooks
Manhattan User's Guide
MegNut.com
Mexican Food
Nat Decants
NPR
NYCNosh.com
Orangette
The Pour
Professor Bainbridge
Rose Levy Beranbaum
Sally's Place
Savory New York
Savory Sojourns
Snack
The Sake Diaries
The Spice Must Flow
The Spirit World
Spittoon
Tasting Menu
Traveler's Lunchbox
Uncorked
Vino Cibo
Vinography
WineAbout
Wine.About.com
Wine Anorak
Wine Terroirs

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James Beard Award-winning authors
ANDREW DORNENBURG & KAREN PAGE's Web Log
October 2006

Named one of GourmetFood.About.com's "Top 10 Food Blogs" in 2006

"If you asked me what I came into this world to do,
I will tell you: I came to live out loud."

Critic and novelist Emile Zola
(1840-1902)

THE WEB'S FIRST GASTRONOMIC VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR:

You'll want to visit our Blog October 2 - 31, as we kick off our month-long "VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR" for our new book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. We can't think of a more delicious or enjoyable way to introduce you to some of the most highly-praised and/or popular food-and-beverage-loving sites on the Internet! For more info, click here.


Andrew Dornenburg, Enoch Choi & Karen Page at Draeger's

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 — Happy Halloween, and greetings from San Francisco's Hotel Rex, where its Study has provided us with the DSL line allowing us to post today's Blog marking the final day of our October 2006 "Virtual Book Tour" for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT.

We've got lots of adventures from our trip to share with you in good time, but one we can share immediately is the Live Blog of our class last night at Draeger's - San Mateo, courtesy of "the world's 22nd most popular wine blogger" Dr. Enoch Choi, who had hosted the Friday, October 13th, stop on our Virtual Book Tour (VBT) and whom we had the delightful pleasure of meeting face-to-face last night.

During our recent travels to the Bay Area, we've scarcely been able to keep up with our own VBT, stealing glances at new posts from the lobby at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay or the office at Draeger's between meetings. But we've loved the creative and passionate postings of Orangette's Molly Wizenberg, ForkAnd Bottle's Jack and Joanne, and LennDevours' Lenn Thompson.

Today's Stop on our VBT: You can find interviews with each of us posted on today's enormously popular (as one of the top 15,000 most highly-trafficked sites on the Internet) host site FoodReference.com, courtesy of James T. Ehler. (We thank Chef Ehler for his exceptional patience and graciousness this month.)

Hope you'll check back over the coming days as we catch up on our reports from San Francisco, with reports of some of the great breakfasts we enjoyed here, our first turducken (thank you, Rachel and David Michael Cane), plus the single most educational and enjoyable Champagne experience of our lives (thank you, Dom Perignon!).


Want to sample this luscious Tarte Tatin? Click Orangette

Friday, October 27 - Tuesday, October 31, 2006 — We're going to finish out the final three days of our Virtual Book Tour for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT in the Bay Area. Hope you'll join us live and in person on the evening of Monday, October 30th, at Draeger's - San Mateo for what promises to be a deliciously fun evening sampling some of the world's great food and drink pairings. (There's still time to register; just click here!)

And please join us virtually on these final stops of our month-long Virtual Book Tour:

Friday, October 27, 2006
Host: Molly Wizenberg
Accolades for Orangette

"Best Overall Food Blog."
2005 Food Blog Awards

It's little wonder that Molly Wizenberg's Web site Orangette was named the "Best Overall Food Blog" at last year's Food Blog Awards: She definitely has a way not only with words, but with photography. The mouthwatering shot of Tarte Tatin illustrates her post today on WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, as host of Day 20 of our "Virtual Book Tour."

And our respect for Molly's taste in culinary literature only continues to grow as she, too, comes out of the closet as a fan of our book CULINARY ARTISTRY (which features our own favorte recipe for Tarte Tatin courtesy of chef Dieter Schorner on page 47). What to drink with Tarte Tatin? Click here to read Molly's delicious thoughts.

Monday, October 30, 2006
Hosts: Jack Everitt & Joanne White
Accolades for forkandbottle.com

Jack & Joanne have lovingly compiled more than 300 pages on their site, providing an insider's guide to eating, drinking and living, while exploring artisan food, wine, cheese and much more!

Monday, October 30, 2006
Host: Lenn Thompson
Accolades for Lenn Devours

"Best Blog Covering Wine, Beer or Spirits."
2005 Food Blog Award category nominee

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Hosts: Chef James T. Ehler
Accolades for foodreference.com

The enormously popular FoodReference.com is one of the "Top 15,000" most highly-trafficked sites on the Web. Its mastermind is chef James T. Ehler who serves as webmaster, writer, editor and publisher.

We hope and expect to be able to provide additional commentary from the Bay Area!

Where should we eat in the Bay Area? We've been so busy that we haven't had a moment to contemplate any of our meals in advance. Any recommendations of not-to-be-missed spots for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Email us at Dornenburg@aol.com.


Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit at 5 West 19th Street in NYC

"Andrew and Karen's book [WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT], like CULINARY ARTISTRY before it, does more than educate; it inspires."
Paul McCann, KIPlog.com

Thursday, October 26, 2006 — If memory serves us, today's host of our Virtual Book Tour for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT Paul McCann didn't even know that his impressive site KIPlog.com had been named one of GourmetFood.About.com's Top 10 Food Web sites (as was ours) until we let him know during our communications to schedule this stop on the tour.

The site's compilation of hundreds of food blogs all over the world in itself might make KIPlog.com worthy of such a distinction. Where else can you read about the existence of such sites as the Singapore-based ChubbyHubby.net featuring "musings on food, wine and marriage" or this week's spotlighted New Zealand site BronMarshall.com?

But Paul also features compelling writing and photography on a host of food-related topics, from a recipe for calzones to a (food) pornographic shot of an Italian beef sandwich that has us both lusting after one before we've even finished our first cup of caffeine this morning.

So, our thanks to Paul McCann and KIPlog.com for hosting today's stop on the tour. Be sure to click through to read beer lover Paul's mouthwatering desert island list of favorite beers and, of course, what he'd want to eat with them!

Paul McCann is at KIPlog.com/food.


Bottlerocket islands are organized by food pairings

Our thanks to the good people at Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit for hosting us for such an enjoyable evening last night. They served up a number of peak wine and cheese pairings — from Muenster with an Alsatian Pinot Gris, to Manchego with Rioja.

We loved getting to meet so many fellow food and wine lovers, from Gayle Nadler (who informed us that Northwestern's alumni list had received a notice of the event; thanks, NU!) to pastry chef (and Kansas City native) Joy of Jean Georges (who left with greetings for JG's James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini).

Looking to pick up a signed copy of WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT to give as a gift? At the moment, there are only two places in the world you can find one:

Borders - Penn Plaza (33rd Street & Seventh Ave.), NYC

and

Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit, 5 W. 19th St. (near Fifth Ave.), NYC

Enjoy!

"Readers can browse alphabetical lists of specific ingredients, dishes and drinks; photos and large-size format make it easy to skim and search..."

Our thanks to TIME OUT: NEW YORK's James Oliver Cury for including WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT as one of two featured books on the subject of "pairing food and booze" in the Oct. 19-25 issue!


The pristine salads behind the counter at Azuri Cafe


Enormous fried cauliflower and spinach pie, doused with sauce


Shawarma gyro plate, with handmade puffy pita bread


The baklava dessert at Azuri Cafe

Running an errand on the West Side yesterday presented us with yet another opportunity to check off a restaurant from our beloved list of NEW YORK magazine's best "Cheap Eats" spots, which has yet to steer us wrong when it comes to food.

While we had our doubts about Azuri Cafe after reading about its apparently infamous "service without a smile" (2006 Zagat Survey) and then witnessing some of the most insensitive if not downright hostile service we've seen in New York (a 1999 New York Times article quoted on the restaurant's takeout menu characterized it as merely "gruff"), the food itself was undeniably delicious.

You can find a lot of great hummus in New York City (our nearby Ali Baba and Kalustyan's typically keep us pretty happy), but Azuri Cafe's is so light and flavorful it might beat them both in a blind tasting. The cracker-crusted fried cauliflower (which will set you back all of $1.25) is one of the best versions we've ever tasted. We also loved the spinach pie and the shwarma. Only the limp baklava (which we ordered to go, and saw it literally thrown down on the counter after we'd paid) was subpar.

Our baklava's treatment could be considered civil compared to that given to an African-American customer who dared to say he didn't want sauce on the sandwich that had just been prepared for him.

No matter how good the food is at a restaurant, eating lunch in such an emotionally dysfunctional setting isn't our idea of a good time. If we were in the neighborhood craving delicious Israeli cuisine (or great cauliflower), we might consider buying it here, as we sensed a real commitment to delivering quality food. But without a commensurate commitment to hospitality, we'd definitely get it to go.

Azuri Cafe is at 465 West 51st Street (near 10th Ave.), New York City. (212) 262-2920.

"...When Karen Page contacted me to see if I wanted to write about their latest book, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, I figured that based on what they've already done for me [i.e. write CULINARY ARTISTRY], I practically owe it to them; besides, I would have bought it anyway."
Betsy Block, MamaCooks.com

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 — We've enjoyed reading Betsy Block's essays on cooking on NPR.org and on her Web site MamaCooks.com. And we're not alone: John Willoughby, the executive editor of Gourmet, says, "Betsy Block is one of my favorite Boston writers."

So we're especially delighted that Betsy Block is hosting us for Day 18 of our Virtual Book Tour for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT.

And we're also delighted that she also uses her post today to come out of the closet as a fan of our book CULINARY ARTISTRY. There seems to be a lot of that going on these days!

Alinea chef Grant Achatz mentions in the November 2006 Chicago magazine that CULINARY ARTISTRY is his #1 most-used cookbook. Other top chefs have stated likewise.

Essentially, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT is CULINARY ARTISTRY for food and drink. Each book explores the subject of flavor compatibility and its role at mealtime.

So, if you like one, you're bound to enjoy the other.

And if you already like both, you're bound to enjoy Betsy Block's Blog today!

Betsy Block is at www.mamacooks.com. And don't miss today's article by Betsy "One Mom's Stint as the Healthy Halloween Grinch" on NPR.org.

The book on entertaining we're most looking forward to reading this fall: PARTY CONFIDENTIAL by Lara Shriftman & Elizabeth Harrison

Click here to order your copy!


Karen Page and Alan Rickman at The Acting Company Gala


The Acting Company Chair Earl Weiner welcomes the crowd


Angela Lansbury's bicycle from "Murder, She Wrote," and...


...Yul Brenner's slippers from "The King & I" on auction


BBG President Scot Medbury, Brian Lyn, Andrew Dornenburg
(who plan to reunite with Karen for Georgian food in Bklyn!)


Sisterhood is Powerful: Karen Page, flanked by "the girls"

"The hottest new culinary guidebook to hit the shelves in years...[The authors] have opened up a new world for not only foodies, but for restaurant owners, chefs and waiters across the country...A must-read."
John Foley, host, of The Restaurant Blog on AllBusiness.com

Tuesday, October 24, 2006John Foley has held just about every job there is in the restaurant business. Now, he blogs about it on one of the Web's most popular business sites, AllBusiness.com, so that others can learn from his experience.

Today, John Foley hosts us on Day 17 of our "Virtual Book Tour" for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. You can find his review here.

We don't remember when we were ever this swamped, but you know what they say about "all work and no play...." So of course we accepted the invitation of The Acting Company's Chair Earl Weiner to join him and his author wife Gina Ingoglia last night as their guests at The Acting Company's annual Masquerade Gala at Cipriani - Wall Street.

The event was hosted by Bob Martin ("The Drowsy Chaperone"). Phyllis Newman presented the Joan M. Warburg Humanitarian Award to the Honorable Thomas H. Kean, while the inimitable Angela Lansbury (who tore up the dance floor with Earl) presented the John Houseman Award to Patti LuPone.

We were happy to contribute a private wine consultation and a copy of WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT to the event's Silent Auction, which also featured such one-of-a-kind items as Angela Lansbury's bicycle from "Murder, She Wrote" and Yul Brenner's slippers from "The King & I."

The Acting Company is a Tony Award-winning not-for-profit organization that promotes literacy through theater, so it's no surprise that it attracted entertainment luminaries such as Rosanne Cash, Audra McDonald (who performed a few numbers), and one of the world's greatest living actors of stage and screen, Alan Rickman.

We'd had the pleasure of meeting Rickman a few years ago when he was in New York on Broadway in "Private Lives," which we'd seen and loved in London. We had a surprisingly long and enjoyable conversation with him then about his influences, and how his classic training informed even his popular roles, such as the entrepreneur / terrorist he portrayed in the movie "Die Hard." While the script called for him to wear something else, Rickman had successfully argued that his suave character would wear a custom-tailored suit adding to the memorability of arguably the most dashing terrorist in film history, a role that won Rickman accolades as one of the movie's best surprises. One of our other favorite of his performances was as the ghost in "Truly, Madly, Deeply," co-starring his friend Juliet Stevenson in her own outstanding performance.

But, of course, our "Harry Potter"-loving nieces will just be thrilled that we got to see "Professor Snape."

The Restaurant Blog is on AllBusiness.com.

The Acting Company is at www.theactingcompany.org.


The Children's Sculpture Garden brings smiles to many faces


The tall center structure is circled by smaller sculptures...


...all the work of grades K-12 artists, as is this one of Gandhi


...and this one, inspired by the lyrics to Lennon's "Imagine"

After paying a visit to a friend recuperating from surgery on Sunday, we learned of this sculpture garden across the street and decided to swing by. It turned out to provide a much-needed uplifting of the spirit, and we're grateful to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for making its existence possible.

Children's Sculpture Garden is at Cathedral of St. John the Divine at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), New York City. (212) 662-4481.


Day 16 of our Virtual Book Tour for
WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT

Monday, October 23, 2006 — Winner of the 2006 James Beard Award for Best Internet Food Web Site, Leite's Culinaria can justifiably call itself "the cream of the crop." Host David Leite refused to entertain being a part of our "Virtual Book Tour" until he'd laid eyes on WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, which looked like it would mean FedExing the book to his hotel in Portugal.

But through a stroke of luck, we were able to obtain and messenger a copy to David mere hours before he left his Manhattan home to catch his flight to Europe. His verdict? Not only is he today's host of our "Virtual Book Tour," but you can read what he thinks about WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT at the bottom left-hand corner of the site's home page here.

Paul Clarke, host of The Cocktail Chronicles, had his own doubts. A self-proclaimed "spirits and cocktails geek" and a regular contributor to Imbibe magazine who's also written about the history and culture of cocktails for Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail (published by the Museum of the American Cocktail), he worried that his favorite beverages would be given short shrift in a book like WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. In the end, however, Paul found the book "remarkable." To read why, click here.

The Cocktail Chronicles is at www.cocktailchronicles.com.

Leite's Culinaria is at www.leitesculinaria.com.


The dining room at Bar-bo-ne in the East Village


Antipasti: Calarmari Panzanella with pepperoni and runner
beans (left, $7), Asparagus Fries (top, $7), and Roasted
Beets with toasted ricotta salata and oranges (right, $6.50)


Classic spaghetti carbonara at Bar-bo-ne


Chicken liver ravioli with balsamic onions at Bar-bo-ne


Pappardelle with braised short rib ragu at Bar-bo-ne


Bar-bo-ne's nut-studded semifreddo doused with espresso


Bar-bo-ne host Alberto shows us a photo of his daughter

"WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT...is a gorgeous book."
—Thierry Rautureau and Tom Douglas, co-hosts, "Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen" radio show on KIRO 710 (10/21/06)

Sunday, October 22, 2006 — Babbo. Lupa. Otto. Po. When a new restaurant's chef has such a resume, it doesn't take a lot of arm twisting to convince us to pay a visit, as we did last night (after our 9 pm ET interview with Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau on their "Seattle Kitchen" radio show) to the East Village's Bar-bo-ne, where chef John Baron mans the stove.

We loved the "asparagus fries" that the food guru at our table spotted on a neighboring table and ordered immediately: asparagus spears fried in a light wine batter and served with pancetta aioli ($7). A roasted beets salad made with toasted ricotta salata and oranges ($6.50) won thumbs up, too.

But the pastas were such a delicious and filling bargain that we could have stopped then and there: classic spaghetti carbonara ($11.50) lived up to its name, and chicken liver ravioli served with balsamic onions ($12) deserves its reputation as a house specialty.

While we enjoyed the grilled quail (served with green lentils and tomato vinaigrette, 21) and the fried monkfish (with baby carrots and chickpeas "two ways," $19), no one was crazy about the balsamic glazed spareribs, which came served with a celery root torta ($20).

It's easy to tell that host Alberto has a thing for wine, given the delightful and wide-ranging selections offered (primarily by the quartino and the bottle) at this relatively small restaurant. (The wine guru at our table was happy to taste his first Sardinian rose.)

Bar-bo-ne proves the case that last impressions can be as important as first. After receiving an indifferent greeting at the door, we were especially happy to be won over by being served a delicious nut-studded semi-freddo doused with espresso at the end of our dinner, and even shown photos of the host's beautiful children that adorn the walls as we were leaving.

Bar-bo-ne is the kind of neighborhood restaurant we always find ourselves wishing were in our neighborhood.

Bar-bo-ne is at 186 Avenue B (bet. 11th - 12th Streets), New York City. (212) 254-6047.

Didn't receive your copy of our latest e-newsletter yesterday?
You can read it here.


Glasses of Sapporo beer with toasted sesame seeds


Grind the seeds in the mortar and pestle, add sauce, and
combine. Dip bites of tonkatsu into the sauce. MMMmmm...


Half-portion of tonkatsu with potato salad and cabbage
(which you can drizzle with the dressing provied)


"The works" include miso soup, pickled vegetables and rice

We were surprised to discover that we'd never blogged Katsuhama, one of our favorite restaurants in Manhattan. So we took along our digital camera the other night to shoot the spread that makes up a tonkatsu dinner here. A half-portion of tonkatsu (deep-fried yet not at all oily pork cutlets) comes with miso soup, pickles, white rice, shredded cabbage salad with addictive dressing, and potato salad. It will set you back all of $10. (You'll probably be stuffed, but if you find yourself craving something sweet, try the pumpkin pudding.)

Katsuhama is filled with Japanese patrons and the occasional Caucasian patron like us, or Village Voice restaurant critic Robert Sietsema, to whom we send out a blessing on our every visit for first turning us on to this place. "It's magnificent. I look forward to my every visit there," Sietsema had told us when we'd interviewed him for our book DINING OUT. We do, too.

Katsuhama is at 11 East 47th Street (bet. Madison and Fifth Aves.), New York City. (212) 758-5909.


Moderator John Hockenberry, David Rockwell, Julie Taymor,
and Simon Doonan at NYPL LIVE! on Friday night

Our thanks to David Rockwell for including us on his guest list for the panel discussion of his new book SPECTACLE at the New York Public Library on Friday night.

In Spectacle, the architect David Rockwell, in collaboration with designer Bruce Mau, explores the allure of larger-than-life events that take place around the globe. From the running of the bulls in Pamplona to the Holi Festival in India to deafening and dangerous NASCAR races, Spectacle considers what it is about these "shared, live experiences" that transforms not only the way we see the world, but also how we connect with each other.


The new Borders at 2 Penn Plaza (33rd St. & Seventh Ave.)


Sign announcing our signing for Borders' Grand Opening

"Two of my favorite food writers have done it again with a fabulous new book that should be in the library of anyone who loves food and wine....[It] will take your level of beverage pairing knowledge to the next level (or two)."
Cheri Sicard, FabulousFoods.com

Friday, October 20, 2006 Glued to your TV screen last night to watch the Cardinals defeat the Mets in Game 7, so you missed our signing at Borders? Not to worry you can join us on Wednesday, October 25th, at Bottlerocket to taste some fabulous wines and hear highlights from our book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT.

Speaking of fabulous, you'll want to check out today's host of our "Virtual Book Tour": FabulousFoods.com is one of the most popular food-related sites on the Web. Cheri Sicard has built a truly impressive resource for home cooks, featuring everything from recipes to cookbook reviews. We're delighted that she reviews WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT today.

Special thanks to Borders' Daryl Mattson for our delightful conversation (spanning everything from the Inn at Little Washington to the incomparable combination of Champagne and French fries); it was a pleasure to see him again after connecting with him several years ago at an event at Borders' WTC location. And a special "hello" to chef Anthony Spadaro, who wasn't able to make it to our signing last night, but whose fabulous wife showed up to have us sign three copies of our books in honor of their anniversary this month. Congratulations!

Borders - Penn Plaza is at 2 Penn Plaza, at 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue, New York City. The store's GM Dan [last name TK lest we misspell it!] gave us a mini-tour which included what is arguably the single most fabulous view of any bookstore cafe in America. Plus, we signed a few extra copies of all our books there, so if you're looking for one to give as a gift, you can check out this new location and pick one up there!

Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit is at 5 West 19th Street, New York City. Join us there on Wednesday, October 25th, at 6:00 pm for a glass of wine and a mini-seminar on pairing food and beverages. Special thanks to Tyler Colman of DrVino.com, Laren Spirer of Gothamist.com, and others for helping to get the word out about this fabulous event! Web: www.bottlerocketwine.com

FabulousFoods is at fabulousfoods.com.


Andrew Dornenburg and, Karen Page with Bernie Sun at
House of Burgundy in NYC (Photo credit: Tanja Yokum)

We'd previously mentioned with great delight the Burgundy event we attended the other at House of Burgundy featuring a tasting of four Sopexa Burgundy wines, poured by Sopexa's Ranit Librach and famed Jean Georges wine director Bernard Sun, whom we had the pleasure of interviewing for our book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. However, as that post has disappeared, we're investigating our technical difficulties.

In the meantime, we'll share the good news that Washington, DC Burgundy lovers are in luck: You can meet and taste with Bernie next Friday, October 27th, from 4-7 pm at Addy Bassin's MacArthur's Beverages, 4877 MacArthur Blvd., NW, in Washington, DC. The tasting is complimentary; be sure to tell Bernie that Andrew and Karen sent you....

Count on Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert to come up with a line that takes our breath away in summing up the thread running through director Sofia Coppola's extraordinary films, the most recent of which is "Marie Antoinette," opening today:

"This is Sofia Coppola's third film centering on the loneliness of being female and surrounded by a world that knows how to use you but not how to value and understand you."

Thursday, October 19, 2006 Yes, we're back in New York City, and looking forward to signing copies of our new book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea Even Water Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers tonight at the Grand Opening of the new BORDERS at 2 Penn Plaza (33rd Street and Seventh Avenue).

Hope to see you there tonight at 6:30 pm!

P.S. Don't miss today's great "Virtual Book Tour" stops mentioning WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT:

- Thursday, October 19th: Heading to the West Coast, we're featuring a terrific two-for on Thursday. No less an authority than The Washington Post reports that Hillel Cooperman of TastingMenu.com was "the first food blogger nominated for a prestigious James Beard Foundation journalism award." He's also organized dozens of bloggers to bestow awards upon singular food experiences.

And we learned of Derrick Schneider's Web site ObsessionWithFood.com which has been praised in the pages of The Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, and USA Today because he kept writing such nice things about our book CULINARY ARTISTRY. (We're hoping he likes WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT just as much!) That's Derrick's wife Melissa's lovely photography on the site.


Title page spread of WHAT TO DRINK

Week of October 16, 2006 We didn't expect to be using a single boarding pass during the first four weeks after the release of WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. But as we're off to Chicago for a few days unexpectedly (sadly, for a family funeral), we wanted to key you up for the exciting third week of our "Virtual Book Tour."

Here's this coming week's line-up:


Left: Andrew Dornenburg & Robert Hess compare cocktail shirts
Right: Robert Hess, Ann Rogers, Andrew, and Karen Page at the
terrific Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans in July

- Monday, October 16th: Attention all you cocktail lovers out there: You'll have a triumvirate of great sites to check out on Monday, thanks to Seattle-based cocktail expert Robert Hess of Microsoft, who's planning posts on three different sites: drinkboy.spaces.live.com, drinkboy.com, and thespiritworld.net

Robert Hess is the person we credit as first turning us on to the world of mixologists and bar chefs. His site DrinkBoy.com is a well-regarded gathering place for some of the most serious members of this group.

And the International Associations of Culinary Professionals is also planning an announcement of WHAT TO DRINK at IACP Global News Blog. Blog editors include Ruth Alegria, Scott Givot, Elena Hernandez, Kate McGhie and Yukari Pratt.

Coincidentally, keep an eye on Epicurious.com for a piece by Assistant Editor J.J. Goode, whose writing talent came to our attention after reading his first-person essay "One-Armed Mire Poix and Other Culinary Misadventures" on Leite's Culinaria.

- Tuesday, October 17th: Headed by culinary Web pioneer Sally Bernstein since 1994, Sally’s Place is a virtual goldmine of info on restaurants, chefs, recipes, books, products, cooking schools, ethnic cuisines, travel, lodging, and more.

- Wednesday, October 18th: The Blog of New York-based wine importer Joe Dressner was cited among Food & Wine magazine's "Top 7 Wine Blogs."

- Thursday, October 19th: Heading to the West Coast, we're featuring a terrific two-for on Thursday. No less an authority than The Washington Post reports that Hillel Cooperman of TastingMenu.com was "the first food blogger nominated for a prestigious James Beard Foundation journalism award." He's also organized dozens of bloggers to bestow awards upon singular food experiences.

And we learned of Derrick Schneider's Web site ObsessionWithFood.com which has been praised in the pages of The Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, and USA Today because he kept writing such nice things about our book CULINARY ARTISTRY. (We're hoping he likes WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT just as much!) That's Derrick's wife Melissa's lovely photography on the site.

On Thursday night, you can join us LIVE at the Grand Opening of BORDERS - TWO PENN PLAZA (which is located at 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue), where we'll be signing copies of WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT at 6:30 pm.

- Friday, October 20th: Cheri Sicard created one of the most popular cooking communities on the Web at FabulousFoods.com. This site is fabulous indeed — not to mention popular: It's one of the most highly-trafficked general food sites on the Web. From cooking tips to book reviews to guest chef tutorials, if it’s fabulous — you’ll find it here.

And if you missed the first two weeks of our "Virtual Book Tour," scroll down and/or click here so you can catch up on a plethora of previous postings!

From our emailbox:

"I thought I had subscribed, but seem not to be getting your newsletter.  Love, love, love your books and will purchase WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT ASAP. Regards,"
Suzanne Herriman, _@si.rr.com

FYI, our e-newsletter has grown since February 2004 to more than 21,000 readers, and so we distribute it using Topica.com. Unfortunately, some emailboxes (including rr.com addresses) block Topica.com emails, so our e-newsletter isn't able to get through. You can always access the most recent issue of our e-newsletter from the left-hand menu of our home page at www.becomingachef.com.

(Note: As always, you can write to us at Dornenburg@aol.com.)


Emily and Mari in the studio at Martha Stewart's "Eat Drink"


Andrew and Karen with host Lucinda Scala Quinn at Sirius


Fresh Thai basil rolls with peanut-tamarind sauce


Crispy duck with bamboo shoots and pineapple in red curry

"WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT is a fantastic new book...by culinary 'power couple' Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page."
Lucinda Scala Quinn, host, "Eat Drink" on Martha Stewart Living Radio

Friday, October 13, 2006 For Day 10 of our Virtual Book Tour for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, we're staying in the Bay Area with a visit to Dr. Enoch Choi's self-proclaimed "22nd most popular wine blog." Choi's claim to fame is being featured in The New York Times for his habit of blogging in bed. (And in his posting today, Dr. Choi describes us as "bohemians." Ha!)

We'd scarcely met a handful of the hosts of this month's Virtual Book Tour before its kick-off, but look forward to meeting Dr. Choi at our Monday, October 30th event at Draeger's in San Mateo which will feature a seminar in food and beverage pairing *plus* a tasting of a number of "Holy Grail" pairings that every self-respecting foodie should sample at least once in a lifetime. Hope you'll join us for what is sure to be an entertaining and educational evening with a great group of people! (Details here.)

We spent an enjoyable hour yesterday afternoon discussing food and beverage pairings with Lucinda Scala Quinn on her wonderful show "Eat Drink" on the Martha Stewart Living Network. Our thanks to the entire team (including Mari and Emily) for making our visit such a pleasure!

Later, we ended up at Wondee Siam II, where we'd enjoyed an impressive lunch one Sunday afternoon this summer after a run, finding it to be a nice step up from the usual corner Thai restaurant in terms of food, ambiance, and definitely service. Our second visit had us wishing that this were our neighborhood Thai restaurant.

"Eat Drink" is hosted by Lucinda Scala Quinn on Martha Stewart Living Radio on the Sirius Satellite Network. www.marthastewart.com/radio

Wondee Siam II Thai Restaurant is at 813 Ninth Avenue (bet. 53rd and 54th Streets), Manhattan. (917) 286-1726.

From our email box:

"I'm writing with greetings from [James Beard Award-nominated chef] Stephanie Kimmel, in Eugene, and news of her latest venture [Provisions, a specialty food store, deli, artisan bakery, wine shop and pizza bar that opened this month]. We just ordered copies of your latest book [WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT] to carry in the store and hope we'll see you in Oregon sometime soon. Best,"
Jessica MacMurray Blaine,
Catering & Communications, Marche Provisions (Eugene, Oregon)

"The book [WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT] is truly a masterpiece and honestly, the best I could find on the subject."
Kristina Palko, Ambrosia Brand Manager, www.ambrosiawine.com (Napa, California)


Arriving at the studios of Sirius Satellite Network


The very nice co-authors of the new book Bar Code


Andrew describes one of his favorite pairings to Frank


Karen Page, host Frank DeCaro, and Andrew Dornenburg


Daisy May's BBQ cart on 49th bet. Sixth and Seventh Aves.


Public fountain and dining area off the same block of 49th


Daisy May's pulled pork sandwich, cole slaw, rice and beans


Today's host Amy Sherman

Thursday, October 12, 2006 Amy Sherman hosts us from San Francisco today for Day 9 of our "Virtual Book Tour" for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT on her award-winning Blog Cooking With Amy and we report on our hilarious radio interview with host Frank DeCaro at the Sirius Satellite Network.

Cooking with Amy was named one of the Web's "Best Food Blogs" in global media ranging from Forbes (which named it the #4 Best Food Blog) to The Guardian. We're delighted that Amy offered to host us on her distinguished site today. We're also especially pleased to see how much this month's hosts are referring to one another in their posts, illustrating the strength of the online food community.

To say we had fun on Frank DeCaro's radio show yesterday is an understatement: We had a blast! We learned on air of our mutual admiration society for Chicago sommelier Scott Tyree of Tru restaurant, and imagine Scott's ears were burning red as we sang our respective praises for his talents and other attributes.

And we had almost as much fun before and after our interview! Beforehand, we enjoyed meeting three fellow authors Stephanie Naman, Wendy Tatum, and Ian David and their publicist in the Green Room while awaiting our interviews so much that we offered to post their photo (above!) on our Web site, and share a line about their new book Bar Code: Your Personal Pocket Decoder to the Modern Dating Scene.

Afterward, we were excited to spot a Daisy May's BBQ cart right outside Sirius's offices in the McGraw-Hill Building on West 49th Street. We'd read and heard (most recently over dinner with Andrea Strong of The Strong Buzz) its praises sung, but had never had a Daisy May BBQ encounter of our own. Ten bucks changed all that, as we ordered up a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw and a side of rice and beans. We'd planned to take it home, but we stumbled upon a beautiful public space next to a waterfall sculpture and a fountain, and decided to dig in then and there. The BBQ was so good it made each of us stop and look at the other, wide eyed.

We're back to the Sirius Network this afternoon for our interview with Lucinda Scala Quinn on Martha Stewart's "Eat Drink" show hope you'll join us there!

Cooking with Amy was named one of the Web's "Best Food Blogs" in global media ranging from Forbes to The Guardian, and is hosted by Amy Sherman.

Bar Code is by Stephanie Naman, Wendy Tatum, and Ian David. If you're single and live in Boston, Chicago or Miami, check out their upcoming (free!) launch parties not to mention their new book at www.barcodethebook.com.

Daisy May's BBQ has a street cart on 49th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues and another near 40 Wall Street, New York City. There's also a restaurant at 623 11th Ave. (corner of 46th St.). www.daisymaysbbq.com

Frank DeCaro can be found on the Sirius Satellite Network, and at www.frankdecaro.com.

Martha Stewart's "EatDrink" radio show hosted by Lucinda Scala Quinn can be found on the Sirius Satellite Network, and here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 Today's host of Day 8 of our Virtual Book Tour is SavoryTidbits.com, which is the blog of Chris McBride and Jennifer Usdan McBride, who also run SavoryNewYork.com and SavorySanFrancisco.com.

The latter sites are free online services "dedicated to helping people make better decisions about where to dine out." You can find brief video profiles accompanying many write-ups of restaurants such as L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

And all you listeners of Sirius Radio home of Howard Stern, The Who, and more please join us today on Frank DeCaro's "hilarious" noontime show. We'll be joining Frank at 12:15 pm. (And then join us again tomorrow, October 12th, on Martha Stewart's show on the same satellite radio network.)

"Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody."

Bob Dylan

Whom does today's media serve?

Last night, David Letterman had Nicky Hilton and Bob Woodward on as guests. They were introduced in that order.

Since Karen read the biography of Nellie Bly (the first woman reporter, who went undercover to expose corruption in New York) in the 6th grade and since we both watched "All the President's Men" in high school (or later, in Andrew's case), we have both idealized the role of a free press in making the world a better place. So it's disillusioning to see it too often transformed from a medium for righting wrongs and celebrating greatness into a money machine designed for earning ratings and profits at any cost to society. (Of course this is old news to many, but one of us didn't get around to seeing the extraordinarily prescient 1976 film "Network" until just this past year.) We are a society in which a woman who made her name via a porn video (in fact, the sister of one of Letterman's guests yesterday evening) is one of the most famous women in America. What does that say about us as a society that values fame over greatness?

Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post values accuracy, contributing to his stature as one of the best restaurant journalists in America today. He's asking the hard questions, calling it like he sees it, and making his column in the Post a not-to-be-missed read for New York City diners. Today, while acknowledging it as an indispensable reference guide for its "accurate and unparalleled" compilation of restaurant data, he takes on the 2007 Zagat Survey's long-befuddling "average estimated cost" listings, which are frequently less than the minimum prix fixe offered by the restaurant and that's before beverages, tax, and tip. We salute him for his efforts to suggest how this useful guide could be even better. You can check out his other observations in today's "Free Range" column "Cost in Translation" here.

Savory Tidbits is at www.savorytidbits.com.

Sirius Radio is at www.sirius.com.

Steve Cuozzo is at www.nypost.com.

From our emailbox:

"Chicago magazine this month interviews our (Chicago's) top chefs and Grant Achatz of Alinea fame says his favorite read is one of your books (I think it was CULINARY ARTISTRY but it may have been another?).
Check it out November issue. Best,"
Laura Levy, L Squared Productions (Chicago)

Thanks, Laura we haven't seen this yet, but we'd like to! In fact, we were so curious about this that we actually had it confirmed by Chicago magazine's Chief Dining Critic Dennis Ray Wheaton, who emailed us:

"In Penny [Pollack]'s interview with Grant Achatz, she asked him
about his most-used cookbook. He said:

'CULINARY ARTISTRY by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.'


So there you have it from the mouth of
one of the hottest and most promising chefs in America."

Thanks, Dennis, and Penny! And, even more, thanks Grant!


Karen Page and "Amateur Gourmet" Adam Roberts, with
his copy of David Copperfield tucked under his arm


Kicking off with cheese and chorizo at Bar Carrera


Christopher pours us a glass of Txakoli at Bar Carrera


A celebration of pork: pork belly (front) and cured leg (back)


Shrimp-egg tapas, salmon with honey, and pan con tomate


Ending our tapas feast with chocolate and tawny port
after learning they only sold PX sherry by the bottle

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 Our host for today Day 7 of our Virtual Book Tour for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT started the food blog Amateur Gourmet, which won an award or two for "Best Humor." We learned last night over tapas and drinks that Adam Roberts is even better known for having invented the Janet Jackson cupcake after her infamous wardrobe malfunction.

His photo essay on the subject was reportedly featured in media globally (from CNN to The Guardian), and landed him a book deal with Bantam/Dell to write Eat Like a Grown-Up, due out next fall. We connected about our Virtual Book Tour after he'd hosted our fellow author pal Ayun Halliday on her own VBT for Dirty Sugar Cookies in June.

Adam Roberts is the AmateurGourmet.com.

Bar Carrera is at 175 Second Ave. (near 11th St.), New York City. (212) 375-1555.

"Waiting for Adam"
(with apologies to Samuel Beckett)


Motionless, side by side, two authors wait at the bar at Veritas.

Act I:

In a message dated 10/8/2006 3:09:10 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, amateurgourmet@gmail.com writes:
Hi Karen and Andrew, sorry this is coming so late late late!  (It's been a busy day...)  I'd love to meet you somewhere we can have wine (Veritas maybe?) I'd be happy to meet after 5 PM...as late as you'd like. My cell # is 646-xxx-xxxx. I imagine the tour will be over around 4 so feel free to call with a plan and I'll meet you out.

Re: Tonight at 5:30 pm at Veritas  (43 E 20th St)
Hi Adam, Looking forward to seeing you there! Cheers,
Karen & Andrew c:  917/xxx-xxxx v:  212/642-xxxx

Karen: Nothing to be done.
Andrew: I'm beginning to come round to that opinion.

Act II:

Scene: Veritas, Sunday at 6:10 pm

Karen: Well, shall we go?
Andrew:
Yes, let's go.

We have been touched to receive so many classy outpourings of support from our friends and colleagues across the country and around the world on the publication of our new book
WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT.

They mean more to us than you could ever know.

"This is SOOOOO brilliant. You two are beyond amazing. Will follow you around the Web as you pioneer this terrific way to add to your/our community. Salud to your new book and both of you!!!!"
Magda Bogin, director, CocinarMexicano.com (Mexico)

"Absolutely a great addition to your entire body of work within the culinary-hospitality field. A great read and certainly a very interesting approach to the segment of our industry devoted to matching food and wine (other beverages not excluded). Enjoyed the familiar names and in particular that of a former resident of Toronto, now firmly established in New York....With very best regards,"
J. Charles Grieco, Chair and President, The Ontario Hostelry Institute (Canada)

"Great idea on the e-tour, and congrats on the launch
of your terrific new book! Go get 'em!"

Danny Meyer, author, Setting the Table (NYC)

"CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Hope that a ball gets rolling and rolling! Best,"
Hiroko Shimbo, author, The Sushi Experience, who has been cited as "the Julia Child of Japanese cuisine"

"Congratulations on the extraordinary write-up in Chef Magazine! You should be quite proud of your accomplishments and it is clear that you have done it again with WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. I hope this message finds you both well and I hope to see you soon,"
Charlie Trotter, chef-owner, Charlie Trotter's (Chicago)

Our thanks from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who's taken the time to write (and our apologies to those we've not yet had a moment to thank personally, i.e. just about everyone!).

Remember: If you order a copy of WHAT TO DRINK WITH
WHAT YOU EAT
online and forward your email receipt to CookbookRave@aol.com by October 31, 2006, we'll thank you on our Web site and in the Acknowledgments of our next book FLAVOR MATCHMAKING (Fall 2007). For details, click here.

You'll join an illustrious roster of artists and authors, entrepreneurs and filmmakers, chefs and restaurateurs, and other kind-hearted food lovers who are choosing to support WHAT TO DRINK in this way. Thanks in advance!


Spotted this weekend at 39th & Third: five identicallly-
colored cars, all taxis except for the Lamborghini!


Wine writer Dave McIntyre knows and likes! his grapes!

"There's a lot to like in this book, for wine experts and novices alike. We get a glimpse of the sommelier's life, or at least an introduction to his or her way of thought. This can give us not only insight into food-drink pairing but also on how to enjoy our restaurant meals to the max."
Wine writer Dave McIntyre

Monday, October 9, 2006 Welcome to the first day of the second week of our Virtual Book Tour for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. Our Day 6 host is Dave McIntyre, who's written about wine everywhere from the San Francisco Chronicle to the Wine Enthusiast.

Having just returned from a literal immersion in port(!) in Portugal, Dave regrounds himself in the Capital (he lives in Maryland) by writing up WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT (which covers port as well as wine, beer, spirits, coffee, tea, water, and more!) on his Blog:

On the plane, I had the pleasure of reading a new book by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, called WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. It's a fun and thorough look at the complex issue of wine-and-food pairing. I've posted my mini-review on my blog.

Check it out!

Dave McIntyre is at dmwineline.com, and his blog is here.

We are honored to have been selected as featured authors along with comedian Chris Elliott, basketball legend Walt Frazier, Barbra Streisand biographer Tom Santopietro, and Notre Dame coach Charlie Weiss for the Grand Opening of Borders' newest Manhattan location at 2 Penn Plaza. Please join us on Thursday, October 19th at 6:30 pm as we sign copies of our new book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT at the new store!

Borders(R) Celebrates the Grand Opening of its New Manhattan Store in 2 Penn Plaza Oct. 9 Through Oct. 22

NEW YORK, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ Borders will celebrate the grand opening of its 23,480-square-foot store in Manhattan located at 2 Penn Plaza at the intersection of 7th Avenue and West 33rd Street beginning today, Monday, Oct. 9 through Sunday, Oct. 22. Throughout the two weeks, special events are planned including author signings and live music. During the celebration, Borders will give away prizes including two $250 Borders gift cards, a Sony(R) Reader and a set of Borders Classics books.

Please join us for the following grand opening events: Thursday, Oct. 19 * 6:30 p.m. - Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page sign What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea — Even Water — Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers.

Throughout the grand opening weekend, customers will also experience some of what the new Borders store will offer Manhattan all year-round the area's first Seattle's Best Coffee(R) cafe and Paperchase gifts and stationery shop, as well as educational discounts, diverse events, great title selection, special features and a wonderful place to simply gather and explore.

"Buy this book. And be happy to pay full price....
the most comprehensive, illuminating and useful book of its type I've yet to come across."

—Tom Wark, on WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT

If you are a frequent reader of wine blogs, then Tom Wark's daily wine blog Fermentation requires no introduction: it's one of the most passionate wine blogs in cyberspace.

So we were delighted to stumble upon his October 6th review of WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, which you can read here.

Tom Wark is at fermentation.typepad.com/fermentation

P.S. If you spot WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT mentioned on a Blog, please let us know so we can share the link here!


The 1998 Paolo Scavino Barolo that kicked off our night...


...along with cheese plates galore to accompany it...


...featuring fresh-made mozzarella, and Parmesan from Murray's


Congratulations to Michael Gelb on his 4th degree black belt!


Sitting down on cushions to a beautiful table chez Brett & Deb

Gail Simmons, Andrew


The Moroccan theme was continued with couscous, tagine


Steve Beckta's "Sophie's Choice": Beer or Chateau d'Yquem?

Sunday, October 8, 2006 What we love most about our friends: That we so often open emails with messages like "Want to come by for a glass of 1998 Paolo Scavino Barolo at 6?" or "Imagine this is a fancy evite: Please join us for a dinner party...." What we love even more is being able to say yes, as we did last night to both!

That our friends in question were couples who've moved out of town and whom we hadn't seen in months made the night all the more treasured. So we kicked off our evening with a glass of Barolo and a selection of wonderful cheeses with fellow author (and 4th degree aikido black belt!) Michael Gelb and mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski (whose performance the night before at Lincoln Center we were sad to miss) before heading downtown to connect with restaurateur Steve Beckta and his executive coach wife Maureen Cunningham at the lovely home of Deborah and Brett Traussi.

After a magnificent spread of Middle Eastern and Moroccan-inspired dishes, we couldn't believe we actually exited the cab after the ride home with our mouths still watering but that's what sharing a taxi with restaurateur Richard Coraine (of Eleven Madison Park) and capping off the night with a discussion of some of the best doughnuts of our lives will do!


Rao's (on East 114th St.): A Family Tradition for 110 Years


Andrew and Karen with Rao's owner Frank Pellegrino with
his new copy of WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT


Nicky the Vest, who is in the Bartender Hall of Fame, shows
off his gold sequined vest, just one of 100+ in his collection


Checking out the "Wall of Fame" with tablemates Curt and Carla


Rao's tomato sauce table lamp; tender seafood salad


Fritto Misto di Mare; stuffed littleneck clams


An incredible penne with vodka tomato sauce; rigatoni
al filetto di pomodoro; and risotto al funghi porcini


Some of the largest shrimp we've ever seen, bathed in lemon,
butter and white wine; pan-seared val chop with peppers


Andrew's favorite: Rao's charcoal-broiled lemon chicken


Bistecca alla Pizzaiola (shell steak); sauted green beans


Cookie plate; tiramisu, cannoli, and Italian cheesecake


Frank Pellegrino introduces chef Carla to the room...


...before saluting other members of the "Rao's family"...


...Rao's co-owner Ron Straci and Frank Pellegrino, Jr.

Friday, October 6, 2006 You've followed along to Day 5 of our Virtual Book Tour for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT? Then you deserve a special reward! Hmmm...how about a round-the-world vacation, with stops in Mexico (via Amy McDaniel's MexicanFood.BellaOnline.com) and Italy (via Rao's)?

Amy McDaniel, a candidate for a master's degree in creative nonfiction at The New School, writes about Mexican food for BellaOnline, one of the "Top 500" most popular sites on the Web. She writes, "Just as Karen and Andrew think beyond wine when it comes to drinks with food, at mexicanfood.bellaonline.com I think beyond beer with tacos.  At this stop on the tour, find a creative dinner party menu with beverage pairings inspired by WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT."

Indeed you will! Amy's stop on our Virtual Book Tour will teach you exactly how to use the book, just like Amy did, to pick up clues that will lead you to the ideal match for each dish of a special dinner. (And of course just paying as much attention to what you drink as what you eat will in itself help to ensure that the dinner is special!) From the opening page, click on any of the three bullet points to the right under "Features" for details on how Amy did it, the menu from Frontera Grill chef Rick Bayless and sommelier Jill Gubesch that inspired her, and the menu (with wine pairings!) she created for and served to her guests.

If this discussion is already making you too hungry, then you're sunk because we're about to tell you what an unforgettable lunch we enjoyed yesterday at Rao's. But the infamous family-owned restaurant on East 114th Street that doesn't take reservations (as all of its 10 tables are booked in advance, like vacation condos) doesn't serve lunch, you protest. You're right; they don't. But yesterday they did. And what a lunch it was!

In celebration of Rao's anticipated December 2006 opening at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Rao's owner Frank Pellegrino and his family hosted a roomful of media guests yesterday for a rare taste of its fritto misto, penne alla vodka, lemon chicken, and cannoli (and much, much more).

The Pellegrino family couldn't appear to be any more committed to this venture's success: Frank Pellegrino's own son, Frank Pellegrino, Jr., is set to move to Las Vegas with his wife Carla Pellegrino, who is executive chef of the new restaurant, and who created yesterday's impressive lunch feast, to open the new restaurant, which seeks to evoke the welcoming atmosphere of the original restaurant and the same "air of informal exclusivity and ambience of family tradition."

Yesterday was our second experience dining at Rao's, with the first taking place five years ago following a photo shoot there with chef Michael Romano of Union Square Cafe, who'd named Rao's one of his favorite places to eat on a night off in our book CHEF'S NIGHT OUT, and Frank Pellegrino who insisted we stay for dinner after the shoot (clearly "an offer we couldn't refuse", so to speak). We had such a great time (and having Bruce Springsteen stroll by our table on the way to his was just icing on the cake) that we've longed to return for the experience (and that lemon chicken!) ever since. Instead of waiting another five years for the opportunity to dine again on East 114th Street, we'll look forward to checking out Rao's - Caesars Palace in the meantime.

(P.S. A special thank-you to our tablemates from the Zagat Survey, Curt Gathje and Carla Spartos, whose company made our lunch all the more pleasurable.)

Rao's is at 114th Street and First Avenue in New York City. We won't bother listing its phone number because it's next to impossible to get a reservation for one of its 10 tables (sorry!), unless one of those tables is already yours. Web: www.raos.com

Rao's is expected to open in December 2006 at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South, in Las Vegas. You can get a reservation here, so dial away! Phone: (702) 731-RAOS. The restaurant plans to serve dinner daily, with all major credit cards accepted. Web: www.raos.com or www.caesarspalace.com.

Happy Birthday today (Fri, 10/6) to LAPD Chief Bill Bratton!

"If you go to a restaurant once, even if you had to reserve weeks in advance, and you like that restaurant a lot, make your next reservation on your way out. Introduce yourself to the maitre d' and make it then. Lavish praise on the chef. Lavish praise on the serve staff. Tip well. And then on your second time back, confirm your affection for the restaurant one more time. And by the next time you call, now you have a contact. And you will soon become a regular at the restaurant."
—Restaurateur and author of Setting the Table Danny Meyer,
to the Wall Street Journal's Gwendolyn Bounds (10/3/06)


Today's host author Ayun Halliday (w/carrots), w/Andrew,
on the day we hosted her Virtual Book Tour stop in June


Woman painting a mural on the building next to Tia Pol


Our lunch at Tia Pol ranged from fish carpaccio to braised cuttlefish
to a calamari po' boy...all enhanced with a glass of manzanilla sherry


Arriving at NYC's Argot Studio for our radio interview with Los
Angeles-based host Evan Kleiman of KCRW's "Good Food"

Thursday, October 5, 2006 We're so glad you've joined us again today for Day Four of our Virtual Book Tour for our brand-new book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. On the heels of Meg Hourihan's Dr Pepper-fueled review, we suspect today's host Ayun Halliday has been drinking something a bit stronger.

We have fellow author and Northwestern alum (as is Karen) Ayun to thank for giving us the idea of setting off on our own Virtual Book Tour after we had so much fun hosting her for Day 14 of hers this past June 14th. However, Ayun credits fellow author Andrea Buchanan with giving her the idea, so we guess we owe her a "thank you," too. Thanks, Andi!

And while we're on the subject of "thank yous," we'll again thank the wonderful Meg Hourihan of MegNut.com and Brett Moore of GourmetFood.About.com for hosting our stops the past two days.

We had a little in-studio action yesterday, too, stopping by the Argot Studio for a delightful cross-country radio interview with radio host Evan Kleiman of KCRW's "Good Food." Evan is a cookbook author and the owner of Angeli Caffe in Los Angeles in addition to hosting this acclaimed food radio show. We've only had the pleasure of being interviewed by her in LA a couple of times, as we're typically in a New York sound studio's soundproof booth (as pictured above!) when we're chatting with her. You should be able to listen to the interview online, so we'll keep you posted regarding which upcoming Saturday it's scheduled to run.

Finding ourselves hungry around lunchtime in Chelsea, we stared across and up Tenth Avenue at our beloved Spanish tapas bar Tia Pol. Like two parched travelers in the desert stumbling upon a body of water, we shook our heads to dissuade ourselves of the mirage that appeared before us of its open doors.

Except it was no mirage. How did we not know that it's been open for lunch since the very start, as co-owner Mani Dawes assured us it has? We have no idea. But after tasting the three excellent lunch items mentioned above, we're awfully glad it was open yesterday. And how thoughtful of Mani to drive home the message of our own book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT by ensuring that our dishes were accompanied by a taste of manzanilla sherry, transforming this excellent lunch into an extraordinary dining experience.

Ayun Halliday, author of Dirty Sugar Cookies, The Big Rumpus, Job Hopper and No Touch Monkey!, can be found at www.ayunhalliday.com.

Evan Kleiman, host of "Good Food" on KCRW Radio in Los Angeles, also owns Angeli Caffe. You can read about "Good Food" at www.kcrw.com.

Tia Pol is at 205 Tenth Avenue, bet. 22nd and 23rd Streets, New York City. (212) 675-8805. Serving lunch and dinner.


Darna's talented Moroccan chef Lahcen Ksiyer in his kitchen


Delicious carrot and eggplant salads, balancing our Darna burger


Traditional post-Ramadan pastry used to break the fast

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 Step right up, and welcome to history in the making: Day Three of our Virtual Book Tour for our brand-new book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT!

Today's host is Meg Hourihan, who publishes the delightful food-loving site MegNut.com. Although we've never spoken to her, we can tell you a few things about her.

Meg has read our e-newsletter, which is where we first put out the call to our 20,000+ readers that we were looking for Web sites and Blogs to host us on this tour.

Meg is patient. We had to apologize profusely to our hosts after the tour was already scheduled and needed to be re-scheduled due to another pressing deadline. Meg graciously just rolled with it!

Meg describes herself thusly: "Food enthusiast Meg Hourihan follows her culinary curiosities on megnut.com. Daily updates include links to great food features on the web, reviews of lectures, books, and meals, and the occasional recipe."

But a quick Google search on our part reveals: Co-founder of PyraLabs (i.e. Blogger), Meg Hourihan has been called a "Young Innovator Who Will Create the Future" by MIT's Technology Review and one of the "People of the Year" in PC Magazine.

Wow!

We can tell you one another thing about Meg, thanks to a September 29th email we received from her husband. She is married to fellow food and wine lover Jason Kottke (of Kottke.org), whose Web site we've also enjoyed without ever knowing the two were married!

So, our thanks to Meg Hourihan for reading our e-newsletter, being patient, and being the kind of overachieving food and drink-loving enthusiast willing to host a stop on our Virtual Book Tour this month! (And to husband Jason Kottke, who sounds like a pretty cool guy, too.) Check out her site today at MegNut.com, which even links to Monday's host David Lebovitz's interview with us.

Now....Are we the only non-Moroccan lovers of Moroccan food in New York City? After featuring Moroccan cuisine in our last book THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF for which we interviewed the legendary Paula Wolfert (author of Couscous) and for which Andrew spent time in the kitchen of the now-shuttered Lotfi's (NYC's first Moroccan restaurant) learning how to make couscous from scratch we can't get enough of it.

Readers of this space already know that we're crazy about Darna, a Moroccan restaurant that quietly opened its doors this summer in Murray Hill. We popped in last night for a Darna burger (medium-rare lamb burger with goat cheese) and a glass of rose, and chef Lahcen Ksiyer insisted we sample some of the vegetable salads he'd been preparing that day. For two people in the mood for red meat, we were bowled over by how crazy we were for Lahcen's beets, carrots, eggplant, and potatoes!

Darna is frequented by Moroccan VIPs who rave about the food as much as we do, but we're always sorry to see so many open tables indicating that other New Yorkers are missing out on the delicious experience of Moroccan cuisine in this lovely, informal setting.

So what are you all waiting for?! Go and tell 'em (chef Lahcen and partner Mourad) we sent you, so they'll be sure to extend the same warm Moroccan hospitality to you that has won us over as fans!

Darna is at 633 Second Avenue (bet. 34th and 35th Streets), New York City. (212) 213-9095. And keep an eye out for Babouche Lounge & Restaurant, due to open October 18th at Prince and Mercer.

Meg Hourihan is at MegNut.com.

"R.W. Apple, a Times Journalist in Full, Dies at 71."
Today's New York Times online (October 4, 2006)

Our hearts go out to Johnny's wife Betsey on his passing. While we've collaborated on a number of panel discussions on dining with his distinguished participation, it will be our March 2004 dinner together in the private dining room at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago that we remember most fondly, sharing with the likes of Johnny and Betsey, fellow panelists Colman Andrews and Bill Rice, plus a Who's Who of Relais Gourmands chefs (from Daniel Boulud to Patrick O'Connell) an extraordinary dinner featuring "a bottle or two" of Johnny's beloved Penfolds Grange. While Andrew was nervous at first to be seated next to Johnny, two political questions and a wine question launched a night of spirited storytelling and discussion around the table that none of us could ever forget.


Our neighbors Agnes and Brian's wedding cake!

Tuesday, October 3, 2006 Welcome to Day Two of our Virtual Book Tour for our one-day-old book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT!

First, we'd like to send a huge "thank-you" to David Lebovitz of DavidLebovitz, Charlie Suisman of ManhattanUsersGuide, and David Nelson of Chef2Chef.net for kicking things off yesterday with such a powerful bang! WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT started the day not even on the charts of Amazon.com and BN.com, but ended it on both in the "Top 500."

We're hoping that today's host can continue the upward trend! After all, About.com is one of the 100 most popular sites on the Web, and host Brett Moore does an especially nice job covering the food scene for GourmetFood.About.com. Brett is an alum of the New England Culinary Institute who read our first book BECOMING A CHEF on his way up, and so he's come full circle reading and reviewing WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT!

And a special "congratulations" today to our lovely neighbors Agnes and Brian on their wedding this past weekend. One of the things we like about this special couple is that they are not "either / or" people -- they are "both / and" people, like us. For example, why settle for just a heavenly chocolate cake with white icing for your wedding cake, when you could also be enjoying a deliciously nutty Polish cake right alongside it??

GourmetFood.About.com is hosted by Brett Moore.


Former Chez Panisse pastry chef David Lebovitz with Andrew
Dornenburg in front of Pierre Herme in Paris in November '05


Our David Lebovitz-inspired "Breakfast of Champions" (not
to mention Karen's first-ever Mallomar!)

Monday, October 2, 2006 Welcome to the first day our Virtual Book Tour, which is our way of celebrating the first official on-sale date of our new book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT! Don't miss our global kick-off today on two of our favorite Web sites in the world one in Paris, one in New York City plus one in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to which you can enter a free subscription to read about our book every day this week!

Since he's hours ahead of us here in New York, we'll start by introducing you to Paris-based David Lebovitz of www.DavidLebovitz.com. Want to know what to drink with chocolate? Or what we really think of Mario Batali and Rocco Di Spirito? Or why on earth Karen had her first Mallomar for breakfast this morning, in David's honor? Then you can't miss David Lebovitz's Q&A with us on his Web site today.

Charlie Suisman of ManhattanUsersGuide.com, who is based crosstown from us in Manhattan (and yet whom we've never met!), needs no introduction. After all, all the smartest, hippest, in-the-know New Yorkers we know already read Manhattan User's Guide (which they affectionately refer to as simply MUG). We know this, because on those precious occasions that editor Charlie Suisman has deemed one of our books or our food e-newsletter worthy of mention, it has resulted in a flood of congratulatory emails in our inbox from the likes of the city's top publicists, authors, and even financiers. What do you mean you haven't yet signed up for your free subscription?! Tsk-tsk. Click here immediately!

David Nelson, who hosts Chef2Chef.net, the exceptionally popular Web site for professional chefs, got his start by earning a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University. For more than two decades, he's lived in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he's developed a special expertise in the cooking and serving of wild game (winning numerous cooking competitions). He's been featured in the pages of magazines ranging from Cooking Light (although we suspect not for game!) to Food Arts.

David Lebovitz is the author of The Great Book of Chocolate, Ripe for Dessert, and Room for Dessert, and a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse. Die-hard chocolate lovers wouldn't dream of visiting Paris without booking David to give them the insider's tour. You can find him at www.DavidLebovitz.com.

Charlie Suisman is at www.ManhattanUsersGuide.com. Here's MUG's take on MUG:

Manhattan User's Guide is a daily e-mail that keeps you on top of the city...from splashy restaurant openings or wonderful hole-in-the-walls to useful services such as the best moving companies or tailors to the best shopping in town, the occasional look at bad architecture, good politics, good architecture, or bad politics. How the media is behaving. MUG does the legwork and tells it straight. MUG began publication in 1992 and developed a loyal following for its monthly newsletter that ran through 2000. The daily e-mail MUG launched in January, 2003. If you'd like to subscribe to the most entertaining and useful e-mail you may get all day, click here. And it's free!

David Nelson is the face behind Chef2Chef.net, which has amassed an astounding 750,000+ pages of information for professional chefs and other cooking enthusiasts. This is a truly staggering accomplishment on which we heartily congratulate David and his entire Chef2Chef.net team! Their Foodservice Daily e-newsletter is FREE and goes out to 25,000 subscribers; to sign up for your own complimentary subscription (so you can read this week's e-newsletters, all of which feature WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT), just click here.

Did you know...that Mallomars were created by Nabisco in 1913 and first sold to a grocer in West Hoboken, NJ? The metropolitan New York City area boasts the most loyal Mallomars fans: More than 70 percent of all Mallomars sales are generated in the shadow of the Big Apple.

Karen's generally not a big marshmallow fan. (On Girl Scout camping trips, she'd eat the graham crackers and chocolate, and skip the marshmallow in her S'mores.) But she can appreciate why someone would love Mallomars. Their chocolate coating is surprisingly thin, and the marshmallow to cookie to chocolate ratio very well balanced. For a grocery store cookie, Mallomars are rather impressive!


CIA's 1998 Michael Honig "Continuum" Cabernet Sauvignon


Heirloom tomatoes Cynthia purchased at Abingdon Square...


...turned into this delicious tomato and basil salad


Momo sure knows his meat -- including the "Gotcha" steak!


Broiled to perfect rare / medium rare, served with sweet corn

Sunday, October 1, 2006 In celebration of our brand-new book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, which makes its official debut on bookstore shelves tomorrow, we're making a special offer to anyone who buys the book online before October 31st. For details, click here.

We arrived home last night after dinner at the home of our friends Cynthia and Jeff in a pleasant red meat / red wine coma. The red meat in question was great stuff they'd procured from Albanese Meats and Poultry, one of those little old-time butcher shops it's hard to believe still exists after a handful of decades in business. (Apparently Momo gave the "Gotcha" steak its moniker after learning that customers who tasted it were customers for life. Cooked by Cynthia to a perfect rare / medium-rare, it lived up to its reputation.)

We also indulged in an Indian summer celebration of the best of the Abingdon Square Greenmarket (at West 12th Street and Eighth Avenue), including sweet corn cut off the cob and sauteed with a hint of pimento, and wonderful heirloom tomatoes served sliced with a chiffonade of basil.

After sharing a bottle of prosecco, we opened the bottle of 1998 Michael Honig "Continuum" Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) we'd been given by The Culinary Institute of America this spring after delivering the commencement address. This round and velvety Cab had relatively little tannin, and ended up going nicely with our steaks although since we were enjoying them rare, they could have handled even more.

Given this morning's rainstorm and the chill in the air, it's sadly clear that summer's over. We can't imagine having seen it off a better belated farewell. Thanks, Cynthia & Jeff!

Albanese Meats and Poultry is at 238 Elizabeth Street (near Houston), New York City. (212) 966-1788. Momo's mom ran this old-school butcher shop until she was 97. Now Momo minds the store. Yes, it's one and the same butcher shop you saw in the Robert DeNiro American Express ads.

The Sartorialist features photos of Albanese Meats and Poultry in a January 2006 Blog here.

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culinary artistry, dining out, chef's night out, becoming a chef

For aspiring foodies there's finally a definitive guide to beverage and food pairings. Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have compiled expert advice from America's top sommeliers and other experts in WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. Taking a holistic — almost philosophical — approach, the book offers ways to increase enjoyment of food and drink and gives practical advice like matching foods and wines by region and a list for a 'starter case' of wine to have on hand....This book is the perfect addition to any kitchen library."
Letizia Rossi, CoolHunting.com



 
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