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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Tastings

Eat, Drink, Run

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The lottery for the NYC Half-Marathon opened yesterday, so I logged on to the New York Road Runners’ web site to sign up. In addition to asking for my estimated finish time, I was asked if I'd be interested in the following: a beer and barbecue bash, a wine and food festival, and wine tastings. Of course I said yes to all three, and then called NYRR to find out more. Ann Crandall, NYRR's senior vice president of business development and marketing, told me, "Most people don't just run. They run and go out for a beer with friends," says Crandall. "We're looking to form partnerships with local restaurants or chefs and create food-driven post-race events." I can't think of a better reason to run.

Holidays

12 Days of Wine Bags, Day 4

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Bob's Your Uncle's witty wine bags aren't new, but they make me smile every time I see them, making them the pick for Day 4 of my holiday gift-bag journey. These silver-pressed kraft-paper bags poke a nice dose of fun at what we wine folks try do every day—come up with inventive (and admittedly sometimes silly) ways to describe how wine tastes. For a mere $14 you get six bags, each with a different description—for instance, "Vigorous Well Constructed Even a Little Bosomy." And they offer a fun challenge: to find wine that fits the statement on the bag. So if anyone determines a good bosomy wine, let me know.

Holidays

12 Days of Wine Bags, Day 3

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BUILT bag in Ski Patrol Red
Some time during my first few months at F&W, someone sent me a bright pink one-bottle wine bag from BUILT and I have dragged that thing all over the city ever since. It may be a little stained in the corners at this point, but I still love it. These bags (which sort of kicked off the whole reusable wine bag phenomenon in the first place) are made of neoprene, which is the same stretchy, slightly cushy material used to make the wetsuits that divers and surfers wear—hence the durability.
This year BUILT released a new snappier version of the bag in fish-netted neoprene, which brings me to my third day of 12 Days of Wine Bags. These bags come in a few different colors and cost only $14—perfect for impromptu host gifts. 

Chefs

Great Chefs in Kentucky

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I feel lucky living in NYC: Some of the country's best chefs work here, and those that don't often pass through the city. But come next fall, many of those same chefs will be heading elsewhere: Lexington, Kentucky, for the World Equestrian Games. The James Beard Foundation has partnered with the Games and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation to host 16 nights of dinners, where two guest chefs, like F&W Best New Chefs Christopher Lee, Marc Vetri and Nancy Oakes, will cook meals with local Kentucky talent. The dinners will take place in late September and early October, and tickets go on sale in January.

Restaurants

Roman's in Brooklyn

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Since I’m on a Brooklyn kick this week, let’s talk about Roman’s, the new Fort Greene restaurant from the unstoppable owners of Marlow & Sons. I liked the space when it was the bar Bonita (the New York Times Dining Out editor and drinks expert Pete Wells introduced me to it); I like it even more now. I knew I would as soon as I saw the menu. Handwritten on large-squared graph paper, each of the 10 or so dishes have one-word descriptions: crostini; tagliatelle; skate; salad (the potato croquette is the two-worded exception). The waiter revised the menu before my eyes, crossing off "steak" (they ran out) and "pumpkin" (it was a bad one). A bunch of things were killer good including the tennis-ball-size cheese croquette and the meaty, Bolognese-topped tagliatelle. Best of all: the prices. That steak is only $10—no wonder it sold out—the same price as the totally decent-size serving of hand-made tagliatelle and a lot less expensive then most of my cocktails these days.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.