Archive for October, 2009

Fattoria Mancini Wine Makers Dinner at SPQR, Tuesday November 3, 2009 – San Francisco

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Fattoria Mancini (image credit: Fattoria Mancini)

SPQR Restaurant
1911 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, California 94115

SPQR is delighted to welcome you to our first wine makers dinner on Tuesday, November 3, 2009 as we celebrate the wonderful wines of Fattoria Mancini from Le Marche. Luigi Mancini, will be present at SPQR to talk about his wine and he will be hand carrying his acclaimed red wine ‘Blu’ made from the rare local grape Ancellotta.

Mancini’s steep, coastal vineyards are located in the Parco Naturale del Monte San Bartolo, in the far north of the Marche region and a few kilometers from the city of Pesaro, and merely a few hundred meters from the shore. On these hills overlooking the Adriatic Sea, a cool microclimate and loamy soils–originating from calcareous sandstone– allow Mancini to obtain wines of structure, which maintain their depth, freshness and elegance. Luigi Mancini continues his heritage of five generations of winemakers and the production of Pinot Noir which was originally brought to the Marche in the early nineteenth century by the Emperor Napoleon. Mancini has been prized for their incredible, exotic production of a Pinot Noir vinified as a white wine the ‘Impero’, for the past thirty years. What a wonderful match for the incredible seafood of the Adriatic! Other indigenous grapes Mancini has revitalized include the Ancellotta (a deep colored red grape) and Albanella (a white grape) which are typical and exclusive of the Pesaro area of Marche.

Chef Matthew Accarrino will offer an additional menu along with our daily menu of a la carte dishes to pair with each of wines which we will offer in 3 ounce tastes, by the glass, half bottle carafe and bottles. We hope you will be able to join us.

Please make reservations on line at


Fattoria Mancini (photo credit: Fattoria Mancini)

BarSu, Oct 29, 2009 Sheraton Grande Hotel Sukhumvit – Bangkok

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Lagarde Wine Tasting at Bar Su 29 Oct 09 (image credit: Bar Su)

The Australian Pub & BBQ, Wine Tasting, Oct 29, 2009 – Bangkok

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Bar Su, Sheraton Grande Hotel Sukhumvit, Bangkok (image credit: Bar Su)

Diplomat Bar, Conrad Hotel – Bangkok

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Diplomat Bar, Bangkok (photo credit: Conrad Hotel)

87-3 Wireless Road, Nonthaburi
Tel. +66 2 6909999
Attire: Smart Casual
Opening Hours:
Mon.-Thurs.: 10:00AM to 01:00AM
Fri. & Sat.: 10:00AM to 02:00AM
Sun: 10:00AM to 1:00AM
Happy Hours: Buy 1 Get 1 Free from 4:00pm-6:00pm; Longest Friday Happy Hour: Buy 1 Get 1 Free from 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Afternoon Tea: 2:30pm-5:30pm
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate-Expensive

A comfortable bar room in the midst of Bangkok’s embassy row. Over the years it consistently attracts a mixed crowd  of  business and embassy people both expat and Thai. The room’s modern and contemporary look is enhanced by touches of Thai design.  The adroit placement of back-lighting behind artifacts and decorations along with the use of silk upholstery in soft tones, make the room appealing as well as comfortable; quality acoustics combined with a top jazz singer, performing every night except Sundays, make this a very satisfying experience.

Valentino & Vin Bar, Open in Derek Hotel – Houston

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Valentino Fine Dining, Houston (photo courtesy: Debra Ford for Valentino, & Vin Bar Houston
Hotel Derek, 2525 West Loop South, Houston, Texas 77027
For Reservations call: 713-850-9200
Opening Hours: The Bistro at Valentino serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The fine dining room opens at 5:00 p.m. nightly and is available during the day for private functions seven days a week.
Complimentary valet parking
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate – Expensive

Expect Piero Selvaggio, founder of Valentino, and partner and Executive Chef Luciano Pellegrini to present as many daily specials amalgamating local produce and specialties as possible. These will take the form of innovative dishes on a small plate or “primi” format and an ever-changing array of assorted cold crudo at the Italian raw bar; you might say similar to Italian sashimi.  Selvaggio and Pellegrini love to experiment with food, fusing authentic Italian cooking with the best that local food markets have to offer.  And, this is Houston after all, so no menu would be complete without beef—Italian style, of course.  Try Pellegrini’s favorite baby back ribs cooked slowly in a smoker and basted with an original Tuscan barbecue sauce.

Sebastiano Mazzucato, a veteran of the Houston dining scene, a charming and hospitable Italian who is experienced at handling the front of the house, has been chosen to serve as “Direttore” for the new Valentino Houston at the Hotel Derek.

Following is an interesting menu, their rendition of “Italian Sashimi”:

TWO FOR $8.5-FOUR FOR $16.5-SIX FOR $25

















The Valentino Restaurant Group has under its umbrella: Valentino, the flagship restaurant founded in Santa Monica in 1972 by restaurateur Piero Selvaggio. Following this success, Selvaggio opened Valentino Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel in 1999 and Giorgio, in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in 2004. He now has just opened Valentino Houston and Vin Bar in Houston’s chic Hotel Derek.

Brown Sugar Jazz Club – Bangkok

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Brown Sugar 2

Brown Sugar The Jazz Boutique
469 Phrasumen Rd. Banglumpoo
Bangkok, Thailand.
+66894991378, +66818057759


Brown Sugar has moved to its new location above.

Since 1985 Brown Sugar, although the old location was a shophouse with a minuscule stage, has been graced by some formidable jazz musicians both local and international. It has now moved to a new location on 469 Phrasumen Rd. Banglumpoo, Bangkok. They have to compete with other jazz venues in the large hotels who bring in top international jazz names. The music is good at Brown Sugar and you probably will enjoy it.

Taboo Restaurant – Palm Beach

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Taboo Restaurant, Palm Beach (image credit: Taboo, Palm Beach)221 Worth Ave
Palm Beach, FL 33480
Tel. (561) 835-3500
Opening Hours:
Lunch: 11:30am to 5:00pm
Dinner: 5:00pm-10:00pm weekdays; 8:00pm-11:00pm Fri., Sat.
Sunday Brunch: Served until 3pm
Dress Code: Dressy
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Expensive

Taboo is a legend on Worth Avenue that continues through the generations! It is an institution, try to overlook the inconsistencies in the cooking and stick to lighter dishes or seafood or maybe just imbibe in a few drinks. It is an experience to go to this the “grande dame” of restaurants in Palm Beach.

Taboo Restaurant (image credit: Taboo, Palm Beach)

Brass Cap Restaurant in Santa Monica – Los Angeles (Closed)

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Brass Cap, Santa Monica (Closed)Brass. Cap
100 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 454-4544 ‎

Bruce Marder’s rendition of what he called an “American brasserie” with its heavy French overtones, in Santa Monica Canyon (just below Pacific Palisades) has sadly closed. It was popular with locals although, possibly it did not attract enough mainstream audience and combined with a tough economy led to its demise. I quite enjoyed it on many occasions when in Los Angeles.

Bruce Marder also owns: Capo, Broadway Deli, Cora’s Coffee Shop, Brentwood Restaurant.

October 31, 2009 Disciples Escoffier, Greater China, Dinner – Shanghai

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Auguste EscoffierPapillon, Lan Club

4/F, 102 Guangdong Lu,
The Bund
near Sichuan Lu
Mon-Sat 12:30pm-2:30pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm; Closed on Sundays
Prices: Expensive

LAN’s newest French restaurant, created by chef William Mahi, the influence behind the kitchen of KEE Club, creates deceptively simple although lofty French cuisine. Be prepared to pay for these modern entrees.
Opened July 22, Papillon is the French restaurant in the LAN Club. It is a showcase of Chef William Mahi, who is known for his intricate presentations with different textures and defined tastes. It was Chef Mahi’s desire to open Papillon on the 4th floor, and to offer the finest French cuisine in the region.
They named the restaurant Papillon due to hundreds of butterflies displayed on the walls with (465 different butterfly specimens), in addition the garden cocktail lounge has a natural plant wall with over many different kinds of plants from all over the world. The way that they exhibit different combinations of flowers and grasses expresses the natural living concept of the LAN Club.

Disciples Escoffier, Greater China
The delegation was established in 2007, with a vision to renovate the culinary arts scene in Shanghai, where over the past few decades the gourmet arena has experienced rapid growth. To forward this development, Disciples Escoffier, Greater China Delegation holds monthly Epicurean Dinners. These informal events are held at established hotels or restaurants in Shanghai and are hosted by some of the best chefs in France and across the globe, who have brought their expertise to the amazing variety of restaurants in this city. The menus are prepared by top chefs and feature a theme, usually with French or Western influences. They offer gourmands an opportunity to indulge in exquisite food and wine in a pleasant atmosphere. The hotels and restaurants salute Escoffier’s vision of promoting the culinary arts scene, as well as an association with some of the top names in the gastronomic field.
Papillon, Lan Club, 102 Guang Dong Road, Shanghai, 200002, China
Menu in the style of Ferran Adria, Juan Maria Arzaak, Martin Berasategui, Santi Santamaria, Subijana, Gianluigi Bonelli.

Menu October 31, 2009

Oyster d’ Avant Garde by William Mahi at LAN Shanghai

Oysters foam Caviar Salt Vintage Style

Raviolis Translucid Iodized Oysters Duck Liver Tomatoes

Sea Bass Purple Basil 30 seconds

Poached bubble Eggplants

(wine included) Escoffier Member RMB400; Non-Escoffier Member RMB500

Please reply to: Tel.

email: for more information or reservations.

Niu’s on Silom, Jazz-Blues Bar, Restaurant – Bangkok

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Niu's on Silom (photo credit: Niu's on Silom)Pictured above: Looking at Niu’s from the courtyard

661 Floor 1-2 Silom Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
Tel. 02-266-5333-4
Fax. 02-266-5335

The Concerto Restaurant is a short walk up a circular stairway to the floor above Niu’s on Silom, the fashionable jazz bar on the ground floor, it is a comfortably furnished room with all tables having a bird’s-eye view of the tree-lined square below, and features a treo of musicians playing very subdued light music; they are hidden up in the front to the extreme left, and provide the perfect background music for enjoying dinner.

Concerto (photo credit: Niu's)Above: The dining room at Concerto Restaurant at Niu’s on Silom

Piccata of Dutch Veal at Concerto Niu's on Silom (photo credit: Piccata of Dutch veal

Spaghetti Vongole (photo credit: Spaghetti vongole with bottarga

Chef Marco Cammarata presented me with an exquisite amuse-gueule, an assembled medley consisting of small dishes of fresh crab, foie gras & mango, and Scottish salmon with fennel and this, I thought, was a good start for what was to come. An uncomplicated menu of spaghetti alle vongole topped with some bottarga to begin, followed by a very hard to come by, at least in this part of the world, genuine Dutch veal prepared as scaloppini piccata. Both dishes were flawlessly executed. When the dinner was finished, the waiter suggested that I order dessert and grappa at the jazz bar downstairs and that turned out to be a very good idea!

Concerto Dining Room, Niu's on Silom (photo credit: Niu's on Silom)Pictured above: Another view of Concerto’s dining room at Niu’s on Silom

The bar room is exceedingly well put together and oozes sophistication and good-breeding, you may choose to be seated in a comfortable leather chair or sit at the bar to listen to one of the rotating vocalists, which on this particular evening was Tessie, who was backed by the accomplished house band with Steve Lowry on trumpet; while I slowly worked on a vanilla and coffee Panna Cotta and sipped a lovely red wine, Montemoro, Special Selection 2003, from Alessandro Puri’s, Wine Merchants Co., Ltd., Bangkok. The club has a state-of-the-art sound system and the entire room, and even the plate-glass windows are soundproofed, this new club gives some serious competition to the Bamboo Bar and other jazz venues in town. Just outside Niu’s bar where live jazz is performed nightly is a relaxed, informal outdoor dining area, seating can expand into the courtyard as required and there is also an outdoor-bar, it is the perfect setting for the cooler evenings of the winter season that is fast approaching.

You may find the schedule of who is playing on any given evening at Niu’s on Silom by going to their website:

Pictured below: Live jazz at Niu’s on Silom bar on the ground floor

Jazz at Niu's on Silom (photo credit: