Author: Lillian Africano

Long Island Wine: New York’s Big Grape

Share: Just like Rodney Dangerfield, Long Island wines sometimes get “no respect.”  Last April, John Oliver of the Last Week Tonight show swigged North Fork Chardonnay out of a bag and called it “terrible.” Congressman Steve Israel defended his bailiwick’s vineyards in an email. “The Long Island wine industry is no joke. Our vineyards produce award-winning wines, attract more than a million visitors each year, employ hardworking New Yorkers and stimulate our local economy.”  The congressman was right. With New York State the third largest wine-growing region in the United States, Long Island is considered the premier region and...

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Gaby Brasserie Française

Share: I love so much that is French. The food, the wine, the language, the cities. Pretty much everything. So last year, when I was invited to the first New York baguette competition at the Sofitel, I discovered more than some magnificent baguettes. Turned out that the stylish, French-accented midtown hotel housed a handsome restaurant called Gaby Brasserie Française, named for a Parisian model who found her milieu in 1920s. The brasserie setting was created by Paris-based interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, and the place offered continuous service from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Given those long hours, I...

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Celebrating St. Patrick

Share: On March 17th, it seems as if the whole world is Irish, with parades, fireworks and other celebrations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, the Caribbean and beyond. However, it is Ireland that throws the world’s most important party, a four-day festival this year, featuring carnival-style parades, concerts, visual arts and dance events, outdoor theater, exhibitions and even a treasure hunt. Yet though the day is known for revelry, merrymaking and drinking, it began as a solemn religious holiday marking the death of Ireland’s patron saint. Patrick, whose given name was Maewyn, was born in Wales...

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The Leopard at des Artistes: Superb Food and Nostalgia

Share: Sometimes a meal is served with something extra that makes it truly memorable. During a recent visit to The Leopard at des Artistes, not only was my dinner superb from start to finish, it was accompanied with a warm glow of nostalgia. The restaurant is located in the former Café des Artistes, which before it closed in 2009, was one of my favorite places for glamorous atmosphere and lovely food. Established in 1917, Café des Artistes was a stylish icon, famous for the saucy Howard Chandler Christy murals and extravagant floral arrangements. Today, I’m happy to say, Christy’s nymphs...

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The Romance of Sailing Ships: Cruising Aboard the Star Flyer

Share: I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.  John Masefiel Once upon a time, during “The Golden Age of Sail,” the oceans belonged to the clipper ships. From the late 16th to the mid-19th century, those graceful and majestic vessels, with their soaring masts and billowing sails, carried goods and...

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