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Some thoughts on giving your fork and knife a rest.

Everyone has a favorite coffee shop in Manhattan. We each like to think ours is somehow better than everyone else’s, as if we would not be seen in any other spot. I doubt there is a single best coffee shop; there are too many great coffee places in New York (think Eddie Murphy grinning while showing off the “world’s best coffee” in Coming To America). That said Irving Farm is my favorite shop on the Upper West Side and the company from which I buy all of my coffee; it has become a second home to me.

The latest Nebbiolo releases have arrived. Here’s an up close look at 2011 and 2012 Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero at historic and innovative wineries in the Alba area.

Before reading, take a guess where the Okanagen is. Pat yourself on the back if you are correct.

      A lifetime ago, or so it seems, I tended bar in the White Elephant, an iconic resort hotel on the island of Nantucket. This was the beginning of my interest and education into the world of wine and spirits.

St. Francis is targeting its Reserve Tier reds at the $100 mark on steak house and white table cloth wine lists. 

At once beguilingly sweet and juicy, with a kiss of tartness, cherries are seduction on a stem. And the fruit’s appeal is only enhanced by its limited availability within a season that lasts just a few weeks in most locales, and less than three months overall across the country. Although most other fruits are now predictable fixtures in the food supply, the cherry’s appearance marks a moment for restaurants to enjoy—and exploit—one of nature’s special treats.

For the next few weeks I am going to highlight some of my favorite restaurants in my neighborhood on the Upper West Side.  Even though I have not been writing about it, I have probably eaten enough for a month’s worth of posts, so I have some catching up to do now that it’s summer time.  To begin: Jacob’s Pickles.

Vinho Verde is both a DOC of Portugal and a  wine type, ideal for the coming months. Find out why.

Many spirits enthusiasts not only are embracing the classic brands and styles but also are seeking out new tastes, often presented in cocktails made from an ever-increasing and dazzling medley of ingredients. To capitalize on these trends, suppliers have concocted a genuinely innovative and exciting generation of original spirits.

It is no secret that business is bubbling for Italy’s Prosecco producers. Total Prosecco sales here in the U.S. now easily surpass Champagne sales and are still growing at a 25% clip.  With a friendly, fruit-forward profile, lower alcohol content and moderate price tag, more and more customers are choosing to forego traditional Champagne and order Prosecco instead. It seems that Prosecco has carved out its own niche, a bubbly with a more informal, sprezzatura image, bucking the conventional notion of formality, celebration and splurge. In fact, along with a smaller, but undeniable Cava resurgence, Proseccos have boosted sparkling wine consumption in the U.S. by nearly 50% in less than a decade.

At a handful of restaurant bars around the country, you’re likely to find the bartender in the kitchen—well before prime bar time—using a Vita-Prep or a Cryovac. He or she may be taring a laboratory scale to weigh out precise amounts of gelatin or xanthan. or maybe the bartender is rolling out a liquid-nitrogen tank to perform a spherification or clarification technique for a component of a libation in progress. What’s going on here?

Pierre and Helene Seillan are part of the unfolding, but still incomplete, saga of generational transfer.

Americans love lamb, but they rarely prepare it at home. Perhaps because it is more expensive than other red meats or because of its traditional reputation as a food reserved for holidays, Americans have left cooking lamb largely to the restaurant experts. It’s not surprising that 75 percent of white tablecloth restaurants feature some kind of lamb on the menu.

Kyle Branche

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If you are breaking into the bar business, you must recognize your weaknesses and seek expert advice. Hiring a professional bar consultant from the beginning can help your venue get off to a flying start and keep it soaring.

Rhone leader uses gastronomy analogy to explain winning wine strategy.

A $6 million auction in Napa Valley illustrates the total domination of Cabernet Sauvignon.

A few words of advice on understanding this French Catalan region: Just start drinking and wisdom will follow.

At its best, cocktail mixology is truly an art, engaging each of the human senses—for example, the feel of the proper weight of the glass and the thin rim, which delivers an elegant sensation to the lips; or the aromas of fresh mint and nutmeg, which transport the recipient of these scents to remote lands or memories of childhood. And just as sweet or pungent smells differ from each other by virtue of their different stimulation of the senses, so also do colors vary and evoke different emotions. A drink becomes impressive when it succeeds in touching the sensibility of the guest by finding the avenue to his or her brain and heart.

These vintners and winemakers think, dream and believe in the power and romance of wine—and the creative side of life, two things that go together like love and marriage.

Managing director of Chateau Phelan Segur gives an update on issues of the day.

A visit to soon-to-be-opened Octoraro Cellars in southern Pennsylvania illustrates the fun and adventure of the East Coast wine scene.

Life in California is looking better all the time. The rains brought drought relief. The Giants won the pennant. And delicious news: Foie gras from out of state is legal on the plate.