New York State of Wine

Written by Josh Perilo on . Posted in Dining Our Town, Dining West Side Spirit, Eat & Drink, Our Town, The Penniless Epicure, West Side Spirit

thepennilessepicure-150x60 Forget Long Island—these Finger Lake whites are the real deal Anyone who knows me knows that I cheer for the underdog—especially when it comes to wine. And when I was a wine director, I would often try to convince patrons to branch out and try something new. Some people called my methods sneaky. I argue [&hellip
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Peeling Off the Mystery of Italian Wines

Written by Josh Perilo on . Posted in Dining Our Town, Dining West Side Spirit, Eat & Drink, Our Town, The Penniless Epicure, West Side Spirit

thepennilessepicure I love Italian wine, but there’s a lot about the wines from the big boot that can be a little intimidating and just plain confusing. For instance, here’s a pop quiz: When is a montepulciano not a Montepulciano?  When it’s a montepulciano, not from Montepulciano. Confused? So are most people when trying to buy Italian wine. [&hellip
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‘A’ Student: Looks can be deceiving at Shanghai Café—in the best possible way

Written by Regan Hofmann on . Posted in Dining Our Town, Dining West Side Spirit, Eat & Drink, Our Town, West Side Spirit

Dining use this if possible     While many applauded Mayor Bloomberg’s implementation of the restaurant letter grading system to bring transparency to a Byzantine health inspection process, it’s never held much sway for me; everyone knows the best restaurants are the ones most likely to inspire, at best, a grudging C grade and a passing glare from daintier patrons. [&hellip
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Vai-ing for Attention

Written by Regan Hofmann on . Posted in Dining West Side Spirit, News Our Town Downtown, Our Town Downtown, West Side Spirit

Vai stands out from the crowd on Amsterdam Avenue The restaurant row of Amsterdam Avenue is dominated by the sort of Japanese fusion restaurant whose menu is dominated by eight pages of maki that feature mango, cream cheese, and tempura-fried everything. Their outdoor seating is a sea of blond ponytails and pink-and-purple-topped plates, and waves [&hellip
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National Celebrations From Around the World Come to NYC

Written by Regan Hofmann on . Posted in Dining Our Town, Dining West Side Spirit, Eat & Drink, Our Town, Our Town Downtown, West Side Spirit

The Fourth of July has come and gone, and with its weird mid-week placement on this year’s calendar, it left many feeling underwhelmed. Sure, there were fireworks and rooftop grills and too many cans of patriotically branded cheap beer, but some people took the days leading up to it off, some took the subsequent days [&hellip
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No Longer Playing Second Fiddle

Written by Josh Perilo on . Posted in Dining Our Town, Dining West Side Spirit, Eat & Drink, Our Town, Our Town Downtown, The Penniless Epicure, West Side Spirit

thepennilessepicure-150x60 Argentinian malbecs are ready for their close-up It wasn’t all that long ago that I had to beg people to try wine from South America. I almost felt like a snake oil salesman giving them a spiel that, in the end, I always worried would overhype their expectations. But it never did, and the reason [&hellip
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What Wines to Drink for That Spicy Entrée

Written by Josh Perilo on . Posted in Dining Our Town, Dining West Side Spirit, Eat & Drink, Our Town, Our Town Downtown, The Penniless Epicure, West Side Spirit

thepennilessepicure-150x60 I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million more times: Drink what you like, no matter what the “rule” is. That being said, there are suggestions (I won’t call them rules) that are in place because, well, some things just go together better than others. And some things don’t go together at all. [&hellip
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Eating Competitions around NYC Celebrate Uniquely American Pastime

Written by Regan Hofmann on . Posted in Dining Our Town, Dining West Side Spirit, Eat & Drink, Our Town, Our Town Downtown, West Side Spirit

Dining-kimchi-contest The eating competition is one of those American traditions you can’t quite explain without coming across as an apologist for obscene overconsumption. And while the Major League Eating circuit—yes, an actual organization that considers eating competitions sporting events, which has gone so far as to get airtime on one of the many ESPNs—is an easy [&hellip
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