Posts for December 4, 2012

Famed Italian Winery Hit by Vandals Destroying $25 Million Worth of Wine

Gianfranco Soldera

A highly respected winery in Tavernelle, Italy, south of Montalcino, was the target of a calculated attack on its cellars this week that may have been an act of revenge by rival winemakers who were tired of being bad-mouthed. Case Basse di Soldera is a top producer of Brunello di Montalcino, with bottles of their last vintage (2006) selling for around $300 apiece, and as the New York Times reports, vandals succeeded in opening up vats containing six years' worth of vintages and dumping the wine out onto the floor. The motive for the crime? Estate proprietor Gianfranco Soldera maybe kinda needed to be put in his place.

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Chef Marco DeCotiis Serving Up Canadian Comforts at Noir

Noir's Quebec Tourtière

Noir chef Marco DeCotiis, who was born and bred in Montreal, is hipping East Passyunk Ave.’s ranks of restaurant-goers to the wonders of Canadian cuisine with some recent menu additions. For the winter months, he’s serving up a hearty and beefy pot-pie-like concoction called a Quebec Tourtière. It combines ground beef, pork and veal with spices, like cloves, cinnamon, allspice, star anise, cumin and fennel seed, and celery and onions in a golden, flaky puff pastry. He’s also mingling a little bit of South Philly in his take on poutine. Noir’s version of the Canadian comfort food staple features Cannuli’s sausage in the pile of house-cut fried potatoes, cheddar cheese curds and beef gravy. Yum, pass the La Fin du Monde.

Breaking: Donald Trump Given ‘Highest Rated Sanitary Award’ in New York

The laconic entrepreneur just tweeted some excellent, if unanticipated news: "Just won the highest rated sanitary award in NY—an A--& the food is great also. Trump Grill/ 57th & 5th." That's right, things may still be a little bit stanky in Vegas, but today, a new high bar has been set over on Fifth Avenue, and it all happened during a routine health-department inspection. According to the NYC Department of Health, his restaurant joins a small-but-prestigious list of only 18,824 other spots to receive "A" grades. Remember this day, people, and never stop dreaming. [realDonaldTrump/Twitter, Earlier]

Crook Lifts High Tech Hoagie-Ordering Apparatus From Ardmore Wawa

Leave the ordering machine, take the hoagie!

Looks like Mitt Romney isn’t the only person preoccupied with those “touch tone keypads” folks use to order their subs hoagies at Wawa. Seems one bold crook was so taken by the sandwich order placement device at Wawa’s Ardmore outpost, that he decided to take it with him on his way out. NBC Philly reports that police are on lookout for an unidentified man who walked into the convenience store shortly before midnight one night last week, casually disconnected the machine, stuck it under his shirt, and walked out. The computer terminal’s value is $1,600, but aside from facilitating turkey gobbler orders for late-night drunks looking for a hoagie fix, there’s no real practical application for the purloined apparatus. [NBC Philly]

Earlier: Sandwich Gaffes: Romney Orders a ‘Sub’ in the Heart of Hoagie Country

Osteria’s Jeff Michaud Welcomes Back His Italian Mother-In-Law For a Holiday Feast

Mamma Pina and Jeff Michaud in Osteria's kitchen.Photo: Osteria

Osteria’s chef and co-owner Jeff Michaud is perhaps the only dude alive who gets excited about his mother-in-law paying a visit to his workplace. As she did last spring when visiting with Michaud and his wife all the way from Bergamo, Italy as they welcomed their daughter into the world, Mamma Pina Carrera is cooking dinner at Osteria next week, and this time it's going to be a traditional Italian Christmas feast. “What can I say, she’s an awesome woman,” Michaud told Grub when asked about their relationship. “We actually have a lot in common, and get along really well.”

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Starr and Garces Noticeably Missing From Last Night’s The Layover

Stateside's George Sabatino with Anthony BourdainPhoto: Stateside

With a lackluster Phillies season behind us, the Eagles ruining football as we know it, and the Flyers sidelined by an NHL lockout, the only thing this town and its citizens were holding out hope for last night was Anthony Bourdain putting forth a favorable representation of our fair city in the The Layover. And thank goodness, he knocked it out of the park. Yes, it’s all about the attitude here, but we pronounce it “atty-tood.” No, we don’t have much tolerance for bullshit, and even less for douche economics. If visits to Pho 75 and the Mutter Museum fail to exorcise your Dirty Frank’s-induced hangover, we don’t know what will. That braised lamb shoulder at Zahav is every bit as good as depicted. And yes, The Geator holds more sway than Kevin Bacon and Bill Cosby.

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The 2012 Grub Street Gift Guide: 29 Gift Picks for Food Lovers of All Sorts

If you're reading this, your gift-giving list this year probably contains at least a couple of food-loving people you just know would love ... something. But there's so much clutter — and so many useless kitchen tools — that finding a real gem of a present can turn into a chore. Rest easy, though: Grub Street turned to some of the country's best chefs, bartenders, and restaurant owners to see which gifts they'll be giving (or hoping for) this year. From simple $6 stocking stuffers all the way up to the best (and no doubt most expensive) knives imaginable, we've got you covered at every level.

Watch Alinea Take Over Eleven Madison Park, and Vice Versa

We had the good fortune to hang out behind the scenes of the great and ambitious switcheroo between the Chicago restaurant Alinea and New York's Eleven Madison Park earlier this fall, and now here's a companion music video, produced by Alinea to commemorate the occasion. It gives some sense of the logistical hurdles — and a healthy dose of the inherent frenzy — involved when one fine-dining restaurant steps outside of its comfort zone, travels 800 miles, and settles right now into another kitchen.

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