E q u i p m e n t R e s t a u r a n t s T o u r s N e w s

 

The Joy of Cocoa
Suggestive instructions on Tom and Sally's Chocolate Body Powder tell you to dip the ostrich feather into the cocoa and "tickle your fancy." If that fails, the powder makes hot chocolate too ($9.95 for 12 ounces; 800-827-0800).

Buzz
At many restaurants the plates now threaten to upstage the food: Parian in Las Vegas's Resort at Summerlin showcases a stunning collection of tableware with china in 54 patterns; Tru in Chicago uses a dramatic "staircase" tray to serve caviar; Sono in Manhattan has a pottery studio in the basement, where chef Tadashi Ono designs the dishes.

Getting Toasted
The retro look of VillaWare's Uno toaster belies its modern features, including separate controls for each pair of slots: one can be set for well-done toast, the other for medium-rare ($119.95; 800-822-1335).

Major Mina
Michael Mina of Aqua in San Francisco and Las Vegas is now testing the waters at Pisces, a new seafood restaurant in the old Burlingame, California, train station. He's consulting chef and co-owner; his inventive menu includes black mussel soufflé (650-401-7500).

Good Morning, Vietnam
Wake up in spectacular Ha Long Bay, eat seafood fresh from fishing boats for lunch, then head to Hanoi for dinner: that's day 11 of a food tour of Vietnam, from March 6 to March 20, organized by the Culinary Institute of America ($4,075; 800-333-9242).

BY MONICA F. FORRESTALL
The Dish
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