Round Up

30 06 2006

Good –  The Devil Wears Prada
Bad –  Superman Returns
Fugly – When A Stranger Calls

Children of Men 


The Italian

The Last Kiss

Lady in the Water

The Quiet

The Fountain


Mini’s First Time


Red –  Nardi Brunello di Montalcino, Toscano 2001

Another Red – Vietti Barbera d’Asti, Piemonte 2004
White – Hofstatter Pinot Grigio, Alto Adieg 2004
Sparkling – Saracco Moscato d’Asti, Tinella 2005 


Week in Wine

29 06 2006

Lodi Zinfandel

2003 Abundance Vineyards Old Vine Mencarini Vineyards Lodi Zinfandel ($14)

2004 Clay Station Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel ($13)

2004 Gnarly Head Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel ($12)

2004 Ironstone Vineyards Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel ($10)

2003 Ironstone Vineyards Reserve Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel ($19)

2004 Jessie’s Grove Earth, Zin & Fire Front Row Lodi Zinfandel ($13)

2004 Earthquake Zin Lodi Zinfandel ($28)

2003 Ravenswood Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel ($15)

2004 Talus Collection Lodi Zinfandel ($8)

2003 Woodbridge Select Vineyard Series Old Vine Fish Net Creek Lodi Zinfandel ($11)



NV Gallo Family Vineyards Twin Valley California

Chardonnay $5

2005 Mirassou Monterey County Riesling $10

2005 Pepperwood Grove California Viognier $8


2005 L’Uvaggio di Giacomo il Gufo Lodi Barbera Rosato $10

2005 Pedroncelli Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Rosé $9

2004 Riverside by Foppiano California White Zinfandel $6

2005 Sobon Estate ReZerve Amador County Rosé $10


2005 Mirassou California Pinot Noir $10

2004 Papio California Cabernet Sauvignon $7

2003 Woodbridge Select Vineyard Series Fish Net Creek Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel $10

Little Ears

28 06 2006

Orecchiette (orecchio, ear) are a distinctive Puglian type of pasta shaped like small ears. They are about 3/4 inch across, slightly domed and their centers are thinner than their rims makin them soft int he middle and somewhat chewy outside. Making them takes ability and practice. So I but them readymade as major industrial pasta producers like Barilla and Voiello havejoined the smaller artisanal shops in making them. Check the expiration date because overtly old orecchiette are problematic to cook.

  • Orecchiette col ragu: use a red sauce or switch for a creamy ricotta variation; scarafiuni is a Puglian stuffed pasta that also works with this
  • Orecchiette e Broccoli Rapa con Salata: with rapini
  • Orecchiette e Broccoli di Cavolo con Lardo Soffritto: mix in some lard, this is very traditional. And fattening!
  • Orecchiette con Broccoletti: add some salted rictotta
  • Orecchiette con i Funghi: mix with sauteed porcini or other wild mushroom
  • Orecchiette alle Olive: a minced olive sauce

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Rabid Broccoli

27 06 2006

Also known as rapini (Chinese flowering cabbage, brocoletto, choy sum or broccoletti di rape), Broccoli rabe is a nonheading variety of broccoli that has long thin leafy stalks topped with small florets that resemble tiny broccoli florets. Flortes are delicate and leaves slightly bitter. Prized by Romans and cultivated all over the southern Mediterranean, broccoli rabe was imported Stateside by southern Italian farmers in the1920s. It is most plentiful between late fall and early spring and readily available in California except in June and July so Imiss it already. It wilts very easily and needs to be commercially stored sprinkled with ice. Choose firm green small stems with compact heads. The flower buds should be tightly closed and dark green (not open, not yellow). Seke out the Andy Boy label which is top of the line if you don’t have a farmers market to meet your needs.Store in your crisper unwashed, either wrapped in a wet towel or in aplastic bag. It will keep for two to three days only. For longer storage, blanch and freeze.

To prepare, rinse throughly in cold water, shake off and cut the bottom stalks (tough to eat). It is very bitter when raw and has almost no flavor. Even a light steaming brings out flavor but be aware that it cooks down. You can cook it like broccoli but whether your braise, saute, boil or steam do not cook more than 8-10 minutes. For classic Pugliese presentation, cook 6 minutes (al dente) and saute with oil and garlic. Some people like it as a cold salad: steamed, then cooled and dressed with oil, hot pepper, garlic and seasoned as you will. You can add boiled new potatoes or mix in with a pasta sauce.

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Shapely Pasta

25 06 2006

Spaghetti is fine for smooth tomato sauces, but a chunkier sauce needs a pasta that can trap and hold it as it travels from plate to mouth. There are many whimsical pasta shapes that do just that, fashioned after such things as shells, corkscrews, wagon wheels, and radiators. Shapes are easier to eat than rods or ribbons, so they’re a good choice if you’re serving kids or crowds. Many are also sturdy enough to use in pasta salads and baked casseroles.

Pasta tubes or stuffed pasta works well in pasta salads.

Casarecci = cesariccia are short lengths of rolled and twisted Italian pasta. They’re usually served with meat sauces. Substitutes: fusilli, strozzapreti, gigli, farfalle

Cavatelli usually refers to small pasta shells that resemble tiny hot dog buns and are often served with thick, chunky sauces or in pasta salads. It is also a dumpling made with ricotta cheese. Substitutes: orecchiette, gnocchetti, rotini, malloreddus

Conchiglie (pasta shells, pipe rigate, maruzze) resembles conch shells and is often served with tomato or meat sauces, or in pasta salads. A smaller version for soups is conchigliette, while larger, stuffable shells are called conchiglioni. Substitutes: lumache, fusilli, gemelli, farfalle, radiatore, penne, macaroni, rigatoni, ziti, ruote, conchiglie, cavatelli

Conchiglioni (jumbo shells, giant shells) Pasta shaped like conch shells come in various sizes; this is the largest. It is often stuffed and baked. Substitutes: lumaconi, manicotti, cannelloni

Creste di galli (“cockscomb” in Italian). Substitutes: macaroni, gigli, farfalle

Farfalle ( bow-tie pasta, butterfly pasta) is often served with chunky sauces or in pasta salads. A smaller version is called farfallini, while a larger version is called farfallone. Substitutes: conchiglie, radiatori, fusilli, tubular pasta

Fusilli (corkscrew pasta) shaped like either like screws or springs, this is a good choice for pasta salads and casseroles, or for serving with hearty, thick sauces. A long version of the spring-shaped fusilli is called fusilli col buco. Substitutes: rotini, spirali, gemelli, farfalle, radiatore, penne, macaroni, rigatoni, ziti, ruote, conchiglie, cavatelli

Fusilli col buco (fusilli bucati lunghi) is a long version of the spring-shaped fusilli. Substitutes: perciatelli, spaghetti

Gemelli (“twins” in Italian) are short rods twisted together in a spiral pattern. Used in pasta salads or casseroles. Substitutes: fusilli, farfalle, radiatore, penne, macaroni, rigatoni, ziti, ruote, conchiglie, rotini, cavatelli

Gigli (riccioli, campanelle) flower shapes (gigli is Italian for “lilies”) good with hearty chunky sauces. Substitutes: fusilli, rotini, gemelli, farfalle, radiatore, penne, macaroni, rigatoni, ziti, ruote, conchiglie, cavatelli

Gnocchetti is made to look like gnocchi, the popular potato dumplings. To confuse matters, a larger version of gnocchetti is also called gnocchi. Both sizes are good with thick sauces. Substitutes: cavatelli, orecchiette OR malloreddus

Gramigna are small curls of Italian pasta that are good with light sauces. Substitutes: carnneroni. tubetti

Lumaconi = giant snails This is an outsized version of the Italian pasta shape called lumache, which resembles a snail shells. Lumaconi are usually stuffed and baked. Substitutes: conchiglioni, manicotti, cannelloni

Malloreddus (gnocchetti sardi): This Sardinian pasta is very similar to gnocchetti, except that it is often flavored with saffron. Substitutes: gnocchetti, cavatelli

Maltagliati (“poorly cut” in Italian) is used for various kinds of pasta scraps.

Margherite means “daisies” in Italian, but this pasta shape looks more like shells, with ridges on the outside. A small soup pasta version is called margheritine. Substitutes: gigli, conchiglie

Orecchiette These “little ears” are pieces of Italian pasta shaped like tiny ears or bowls. Substitutes: fusilli, orzo, acini di pepe, tubettini, conchiglette, coralli

Quadrefiore Substitutes: penne

Radiatori resemble small radiators. The “grills” do a good job of scooping up chunky sauces. Substitutes: farfalle, conchiglie, ruote, rotini

Ruote (ruotine, wagon wheels, wheels, ruote de carro) are shaped like wagon wheels, and they’re great with chunky sauces or in pasta salads. Substitutes: farfalle, conchiglie, radiatori, penne

Rotini (rotelle, spirals, twists) look like short springs made from spaghetti. They are good with chunky sauces, or in pasta salads. Substitutes: fusilli,ruote, gemelli, torchio, penne

Spiralini are spring-shaped lengths of Italian pasta good with chunky sauces, or in pasta salads. A larger version is called spirali. Substitutes: fusilli, rotini, ruote, gemelli, torchio, penne

Strozzapreti means “priest strangler” in Italian, and it refers to a pasta shape that resembles a rolled towel. Substitutes: gemelli, penne, casareccie, fusilli

Torchio resemble torches, the better to scoop up chunky sauces. Substitutes: gigli, orecchiette, farfalle, conchiglie, radiotori

Trenne is triangular, and cut into short lengths. It’s good with chunky sauces or in casseroles. Substitutes: penne, trennette, ziti

Trennette is similar to trenne, only smaller. Do not confuse this with trenette, which is a long ribbon of pasta. Substitutes: trenne, penne, ziti, mostaccioli

Troffiette A Ligurian specialty, these are small, twisted bits of pasta and served with pesto. Substitutes: strozzapretti

World Cup

24 06 2006
AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

Games to watch:

July 5 – Munich: POR v FRA (Match 62; semifinal)

July 8 – Stuttgart: GER v L62 (third place)
July 9 – Berlin (Final): ITA v W62

New Hotels

23 06 2006

Thailand – Four Seasons Tented Camp; Chiang Rai, Golden Triangle.

Fifteen tents with polished teakwood floors; handwrought, copper-clad bathtubs; and other well-chosen sybaritic interventions take the edge off roughing it (guests must walk beneath bamboo trees and jungle ferns and across a suspension bridge to reach the spa, restaurant, and two bars). Days are dedicated to exploration (trips to local villages), adventure (riding elephants—there are six in residence), and relaxation (nine different treatments are on offer at the spa). Tent No. 15 offers the most privacy, and prime pachyderm-watching—it overlooks the elephants’ own camp and pool. Arrange a day trip to Mae Fah Luang, the Royal Thai–sponsored agricultural project, to sip locally grown coffee and visit hill tribes. Get a Thai massage on your private sundeck at dusk, when a chorus of frogs and birds can be heard along the Ruak River. 800/332-3442 or 66-53/931-200

Chicago: The James.

297 guest rooms in mid-aughties minimalism—dark-wood platform beds, leather cube stools, cocoa-brown carpeting, slate-tiled bathrooms with brushed-chrome and marble sinks, and an orchid placed just so. Amenities, however, are anything but spare: in addition to Wi-Fi and a 42-inch plasma TV, each room has a stereo with an iPod dock. Book any of the 550-square-foot Loft rooms, which have views of installations by Chicago artists. Primehouse, the hotel’s requisite steak joint. (This is still Chicago, after all.) 55 E. Ontario St.; 877/526-3755 or 312/337-1000

South Africa: Marataba – Marakele National park, Limpopo

Prouvé-style furniture adorns the 15 tented suites; handcrafted architectural lighting hangs from rough-hewn beams in the main lodge; and an enfilade of sleek chaises waits beside the 40-foot plunge pool. Marakele National Park is a sanctuary for rare antelope species—roan, sable, mountain reedbuck—and more than 400 kinds of birds, including the endangered Cape vulture. Book Suite 1, the most secluded, reached by a walking bridge and featuring a vast picture window with spectacular views of the Waterberg mountains. Request a dinner served in the boma, under the starry African sky. 27-44/532-7818

Argentina – Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

Carefully restored oak floors and carved wood paneling dating back to the 1930’s provide a backdrop for furnishings in muted browns, tans, and whites. A garden planned by Carlos Thays—who designed the city’s botanical gardens—eases past a tiered waterfall up to the new 17-floor Posadas building, which houses most of the 165 rooms, all of them equipped with the latest modern luxuries (marble baths, high-speed Internet). At the Ahin spa, treatments come with tea and music selected specifically for the time of day.The 23 rooms in the palacio have antique chandeliers and oversize tubs. Ask for one that looks onto the garden. Vinoteca’s menu has some 3,500 bottles and 40 Argentine cheeses. A swim in the indoor pool, where 750 colored bulbs simulate the changing of light from dawn to dusk. 800/233-1234 or 54-11/5171-1234

Indonesia – Bulgari Bali. Uluwatu

The 59 villas are built of ylang-ylang thatch, volcanic stone, and dark tropical woods. The Milanese style of designer Antonio Citterio is apparent in the sleek Bangkiray wood and chocolate tones of the clifftop bar, the geometry of the bamboo-beamed ceilings, and the clean lines of the black terrazzo bathrooms.A helicopter and vintage Harley-Davidsons are available for use, but the hotel’s best feature is an untouched beach worthy of Robinson Crusoe. Oceanfront villas closest to the bar are an ideal perch for viewing fiery sunsets and theatrical storms that roll in from the sea. Stroll the beach and watch surfers at Dreamland, a dramatic sweep of sand a 10-minute drive away. Climbing the stone kul-kul tower at the temple on the grounds. Jalan Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin; 62-361/847-1000

New York City: Gramercy Park Hotel.

The boutique-hotel impresario has enlisted artist Julian Schnabel to create its interior. Forty-six suites and 139 rooms. Michelin-starred chef Alan Yau, of London’s Hakkasan and Yauatcha, is set to open a ground-level boîte with leafy views of the park across the street. A stroll in Gramercy Park, the only private park in Manhattan—hotel guests are given the much-coveted key. 2 Lexington Ave.; 212/920-3300

New York City: The London NYC

David Collins will introduce sleek sensibility (glossy satin, leather, sexy mood lighting) that turned the Berkeley Hotel’s Blue Bar into a red-hot scene for the coolest Britons in London. Bad-boy chef Gordon Ramsay gets a chance to play nice in a dining room patterned after his original Chelsea restaurant, where he first gained attention for an aggressively contemporary menu. Quintessentially, the elite global concierge, will handle guests’ every whim (private jets, box seats, after-hours shopping) without blinking. And the Golden Door will bring its 24-karat fitness routines to a workout studio with two private outdoor decks. Some 500 rooms, including 10 suites and 40 studios. Waterworks will make a splash with its custom line of bath fixtures, apothecary products, towels, and robes. Check out Ramsay’s informal bar menu, which we hope will include favorites such as pressed foie gras with smoked eel or roasted scallops alongside peppered golden-raisin purée. 151 W. 54th St.; 866/656-1777 or 212/307-5000

Le Neuborg, France – Chateau du Champ de Bataille

Located halfway between Paris and Deauville (an easy hour’s drive from each), the 17th-century castle was designed by Le Vau, the architect of Versailles, and is an ideal place to act out your Sun King fantasies. The place was already an attraction, thanks to its 100-acre private gardens (the largest in France), Garcia’s personal collection of 17th- and 18th-century objects and furniture (including chairs that belonged to Madame du Barry, Louis XV’s mistress), and a program of open-air summer operas. Each of the 18 luxurious guest rooms has been named and decorated in the same exuberant spirit as the other hotels Garcia has done around the world, often using specially commissioned fabrics. Book the Japanese room, furnished with Viardot antiques and custom-printed, hand-embroidered silk curtains by Etro. Alfresco performances of Mozart’s Magic Flute and L’Illusion Comique, by the great 17th-century French playwright Pierre Corneille. 33-2/32-34-84-34

Rome – Boccadileone Suites.

The first property that the Ferragamos’ Lungarno Hotels has established outside of the family’s native Florence, where the fashion clan already owns the design hotels Continentale and Gallery Hotel Art, as well as the classic-but-cool Hotel Lungarno and Lungarno Suites. With a heritage like this, great style seems guaranteed. The location, a 19th-century palazzo above the Ferragamo men’s store on Rome’s Via Condotti, can’t be beat—nor, from what we hear, can the attentive service (one staff member per room) or the ultra-hip interiors by Michele Bonan, the architect behind the Florentine hotels. The hotel’s interior and Ferragamo’s brand are explicitly linked with details such as sofas in tailored gray suiting fabrics, silk-lined curtains splashed with the Ferragamo buckle logo, and black-and-white photographs illustrating the shoemaking family’s history. Nine studios, four suites, and one split-level penthouse suite with rooftop views and a vast marble bathroom. In warmer weather, take breakfast (locally sourced bakery products, fruit, jams, honey, and yogurt) on the sixth-floor outdoor terrace-lounge—one of the highest points on Via Condotti—with breathtaking views of Rome, from the Pincio hilltop to the Spanish Steps. 23 Via Bocca di Leone; 39-055/ 2726-4000

Vienna: Do & Co Hotel.

The 45-room aerie occupies the top four floors of local architect Hans Hollein’s stone-and-glass masterpiece, facing the ornate Gothic towers of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Europeans love insider allusions, and Vienna was besieged by the Turks in 1529. Plus, Do & Co just happens to be owned by Istanbul native Attila Dogudan, a restaurant mogul known for his toffee-colored dining establishment in Stephansplatz. Forty-one rooms and two suites with steam baths. All rooms have espresso machines, Bang & Olufsen multimedia centers, and Demel chocolates at turndown. The Bernie Suite’s balcony—above Stephansplatz—offers the best view in the house. A glass of crisp Riesling Trocken Gaisberg in the clubby Onyx Bar. 12 Stephansplatz; 800/337-4685 or 43-1/24188

Lijing, China – Banyan Tree.

The arboreal logo should look familiar. This property, just launched in the ancient capital of the Naxi kingdom on the Yunnan plateau, is number seven for the hugely successful Banyan Tree group, a Singapore-based chain famous for its Asian-influenced style and environmentally conscious ethos. The 55 single-story villas, which start at 1,148 square feet, each have a private gate and garden and face the peaks of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. In a nod to the indigenous culture, buildings use signature pink stones, gray bricks, and red-clay roof tiles curved in the Naxi style; works by local artists accent the interiors. Culture buffs explore the nearby Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; relaxation-seekers retreat to the spa for a classic Royal Banyan treatment; and the adventurous head north to Shangri-la, taking in Tiger Leaping Gorge—the world’s deepest, sandwiched between the Jade Dragon Snow and Haba Snow mountains—on the way. Forty garden and deluxe garden villas; 13 pool and deluxe pool villas; one two-bedroom pool villa; and one two-bedroom, two-bath Presidential villa with a private driveway and outdoor pavilion. Drink like the locals in the Tea Lounge, where a small but well-edited selection of homegrown mountain brews is served, including the fruity Bi Luo Chun and Chen Nian Pu-erh (known for its health benefits). Yuerong Rd., Shuhe, Gucheng; 866/822-6926 or 86-888/533-1100

Maldives – W Maldives – Fesdhu retreat and Spa

The progenitors of the affordable-chic urban hotel experience—defined by vast swaths of sleek stone surfaces, mood lighting, and techno-dub sound tracks in the lobbies, plus genially insouciant service from a youthful staff—would hardly leave all their hip credentials behind just because they’re setting up shop on a pristine deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Away-from-it-all privacy, but with modern conveniences a “whatever, whenever” phone call away. The resort’s 28 beachfront villas and 50 over-water retreats filter traditional island elements (thatching, bamboo) through W’s signature contemporary aesthetic. Guests can pick their own fruit for breakfast—orange and grapefruit trees have been planted in abundance all over the property—and have it prepared and delivered to their rooms (likewise with fish: hook your own catch of the day for dinner, and the chef will bone, fillet, and cook it to order). The Away Spa, with its four guest room–sized treatment rooms for facials, wraps, and massages, will offer yoga and guided meditation. Seventy-eight Retreats: 28 Marvelous Beach, 46 Marvelous Aqua, three Wow (suite-style), and one Extreme (villa-style). Book an inflatable “island,” a raft that accommodates up to six and comes stocked with a cooler full of your libations of choice. North Ari Atoll, Fesdhu Island; 877/946-8357 or 011-960/ 332-9489

Shanghai – Jia.

Buro/Hecker Phelan and Guthrie, the A-list Australian architecture and design partners, have transformed a 1924 building in Jingan, near People’s Square, into an ultramodern temple filled with colorful printed fabrics, wallpaper, and furniture by the likes of Pier Giacomo and Patricia Urquiola. Space has not been sacrificed to style—even standard rooms clock in at almost 500 square feet—or comfort to convenience, for that matter. And with high-end stores occupying the first two floors and the city’s boutique district just five minutes away, JIA will be a shopper’s paradise. Fifty-two rooms, plus two 1,000-plus-square-foot penthouse suites, both specially designed for high-profile guests (with bodyguards in tow). Wong’s ambitious expansion of the JIA brand (next stop: Krabi, Thailand) is bound to attract droves of natty globe-trotters who are sure to make this Shanghai’s newest hot spot. 931–33 Nanjing Rd., Jingan

Sri Lanka – The Fortress.

Sri Lanka’s post-tsunami renaissance has been propelled by the recent openings of two Aman properties. The Fortress, in Galle, 70 miles from the capital of Colombo, is sure to add to the already building buzz. The sprawling resort pays homage to the UNESCO-preserved Galle fort and promises to bring modern sophistication to the misty 2,000-year-old merchants’ port town. Singapore’s C&C Design (which recently won an award for the design of Huvafen Fushi, the Fortress’s sister resort in the Maldives) chose a soothing aesthetic: simple lines, Burmese teak–paneling, a Dutch vaulted entrance, and expansive garden colonnades that draw the eyes toward panoramic vistas of stilt fishermen casting their lines into the Indian Ocean. The 49 guest rooms are divided into five types, including two Fortress Residences, each of which features a frangipani-shaded infinity pool, plasma TV’s, and two bedrooms with super king–size rotating beds dressed in Frette linens. Wine3, a wine bar housed in a 750-square-foot glass cave, offers degustations from the 2,000-bottle cellar. Visit the T room, meet with the hotel’s tea sommelier, and try Sri Lankan handpicked white-tip tea, reputed to protect skin from sun damage. Galle; 800/ 525-4800 or 94-91/438-0909

Dubai: Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.

Over-the-top entertainment and appealing extravagance. The hotel is well situated within the mall (the biggest outside of North America); Ski Dubai, the third-largest indoor ski resort in the world, is right next door. You’ll find the requisite sumptuously appointed rooms (all with flat-screen TV’s, multimedia players, and ultra-plush robes), a lengthy menu of spa treatments, and an ayurvedic wellness center. And then there are the 15 ski chalets, to house the guests who come to schuss down those pistes. Considerable, especially with the dining options; these range from Aspen Café, which overlooks Ski Dubai and serves “Arabian high tea” (diminutive onion-labneh sandwiches; saffron–black currant scones), to a juice and vitamin “bar” next to the fitness center, to the 935-seat Sezzam, where guests select one of three venues—Flame, Steam, or Bake—and their order is prepared accordingly. The 393 rooms, spread over a formidable 520,000 square feet, include everything from deluxes to a sprawling 1,000-square-foot Presidential suite. The 200-acre Montgomerie golf club is just a 10-minute drive away. Sheikh Zayed Rd., Al Barsha; 800/426-3135 or 971-4/341-0000