JUNE 17 – 28


SHEERA BEN-DAVID, the acclaimed vocalist called “a fully developed dramatic singer who delivers the goods on several counts” by The New York Times, will return to the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel with an exclusive engagement from June 17 – 28. Her new show “Come Summer,” welcomes the warm weather with standards by Cole Porter (“Too Darn Hot”) and Antonio Carlos Jobim (“The Waters Of March”); theater classics by Jerry Herman (“Ribbons Down My Back”) and Leonard Bernstein (“Something’s Coming”); and compositions by newer writers like John Bucchino (“This Moment”), Jason Robert Brown (“A Summer In Ohio”) and Tom Kitt (“I Miss The Mountains”).

The show features musical direction by her brother

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Wine Camp 2008 in Mendocino’s Spectacular Anderson Valley

Wine Camp 2008 in Mendocino’s Spectacular Anderson Valley

Three-day Weekend Offers Delectable Excursion into Intricacies of Wine and Food


Wine Camp 2008, an intimate, all inclusive three-day weekend limited to eight campers, takes place July 17 – 19 at The Apple Farm in the heart of Mendocino County’s spectacular Anderson Valley. The focus of this exciting epicurean expedition is to enhance one’s knowledge and enjoyment of wine, food and the combination thereof.

Additional Wine Camp weekends are scheduled for September 25 -27 and October 16 – 18.

Each Wine Camp session offers a series of hands-on experiences at many of Anderson Valley’s finest producers, including Goldeneye, Londer, Navarro and Roederer Estate. Workshops and seminars will examine how wines are made, why they taste the way they do, the art of blending, the science of barrel aging, the grape varietals that thrive locally, as well as the importance of soil, topography, and clonal selection.

The Anderson Valley, described as “California’s own Shangri-La,” is

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Pacific Delight Tours’ 13-day “Historic Cities & Yangtze River” and 19-day “Scenic China & Yangtze River” SuperValue tours offer travelers on a budget an extraordinary opportunity to explore some of China’s most sought-after sites — Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin, Guangzhou and Hong Kong — as well as spend three or four nights on the majestic Yangtze River aboard Victoria Cruises’ Premier Series Five-Star Fleet in outside staterooms with balconies, thus guaranteeing breathtaking views of the scenery. Year-round departures, many of which are guaranteed, are $1,588 to $2,128 per person, double for the 13-day tour and $2,998 to $3,638 for the 19-day program. Rates include China domestic air, most meals, accommodations in deluxe and superior first-class hotels and the services of professional tour guides. Air-inclusive packages are $2,588 to $3,308 for the 13-day package and $4,158 to $4,808 for the 19-day vacation — government-imposed taxes and fees, including the Sept. 11th Security Fee of up to $155, are additional on air-inclusive packages. Prices are subject to change.

Both itineraries include a Yangtze River cruise — exploring the most impressive section of the Three Gorges: Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge; as well as

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Eight of 31 Villas at Amangiri Released for Sale at $7 Million

Majestic private canyons in the dramatic desert wilderness of Southern Utah will soon be home to an enclave of 31 luxury Villas at Amangiri. Eight of the villas, priced beginning at $7 million, will be released for sale today by the resort’s developer, Larkspur, Calif.-based Canyon Group.

“These villas are the ultimate base camp in America’s newest luxury destination, the rugged desert of the ‘old wild’ West,” said Homi Vazifdar, managing director, Canyon Group. “Here, from your own private canyon that was created more than 200 million years ago, you have nature as far as the eye can see, every world-class resort amenity and among the world’s best outdoor adventures at your doorstep.”

The Villas at Amangiri

The Villas at Amangiri – “giri” describes rock formations in Sanskrit – are just minutes from Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Recreation Area, and within easy reach of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley and the Colorado River. The resort is served by daily flights from Phoenix, Ariz. into nearby Page Municipal Airport (PGA), which can also accommodate private aircraft.

Each villa is designed to appear as if sculpted from the land and blend seamlessly into the natural landscape on private home sites that range from 1.3 to 10 acres.

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Coach House Rentals Opens In New York

Coach House Rentals Opens In New York

Coach House Rentals, the leading specialist in short term London and Paris rentals, have now opened in New York – same quality rentals, same personal service.

They currently have 6 properties on their books suitable for parties of 2-8 people. Most spectacular is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment on the 28th floor of a luxury, doorman controlled, building with its own private balcony, roof terrace and amazing views. $295 per night for a 7 night stay, $320 per night for stays of 5 or 6 nights.

Their service includes:

* a representative to meet you at your rental, show you in, tell you about the local area and answer any questions you may have

* a mini-guide for each rental covering the property, neighbourhood shops, local transport, pubs, restaurants and cafés

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This Alto Gives an Unfortunate Performance

alto interior 2


11 East 53rd St


Alto offers a four-course prix fixe dinner ($85) menu Monday through Thursday, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. A seven-course chef’s tasting menu is available for $130. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and features a three-course prix fixe menu ($38). Diners can also order a la carte for lunch and dinner. Alto is located at 11 East 53rd Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues in Midtown Manhattan. For reservations, contact Alto at 212.308.1099.

New American Food With An Italian Accent

Alto (a reference to “alta cucina,” the term for highly refined Italian cuisine) was designed by partner Vicente Wolf. Alto features a dramatic interior. Decorative, glass-enclosed wine cabinets showcasing thousands of bottles rising to the ceiling flank the restaurant’s western wall; Alto’s extensive wine list is housed beneath the restaurant in a one thousand square foot temperature-controlled cellar. Alto’s rich visual and textural palette is sophisticated, yet accessible, including modern lime-green Italian chairs, muted gray banquettes, titanium bar, frosted glass wall panels, polished steel I-Beams, upholstered silk and finished concrete walls, and both cordovan leather and sheer curtains. Split-level dining consists of an intimate 80-seat main dining room downstairs and a mezzanine above accommodating versatile private dining for parties of eight to twenty-four guests.


In the dining room, sommelier Eric Zillier, formerly of Veritas, offers a wine program that pays fitting tribute to Northern Italian white and red wines as well as a remarkable selection of fairly priced vintage Bordeaux and Burgundy. By working closely with private wine collectors, Zillier develops and oversees Alto’s extensive list of over 2,500 selections, which draws upon the rich variety and unique characteristics of notable wine regions around the world. Zillier’s wine program affords a broad and deep range of red, white and sparkling wines. Rounding out the program is an ambitious selection of specialty cocktails, drawing inspiration from northern Italian ingredients and the flavor combinations of authentic dishes. Featuring fresh-squeezed juices, house-made spirits and seasonal fruits, selections include the Limoncello Cosmo, a twist on the classic made with house-made limoncello and infused lemon vodka; JB Combine, a refreshing blend of gin and fresh basil; Flashlight Cocktail, pairing aperol and aqua di cedro with lime juice; and Amaro Montenegro and Grapefruit. If you scan the list carefully, as we did, you may find a hidden gem, such as a lovely Spanish Priorat for under $60. We suggest you do this. (On our visit, the sommelier only became user- friendly after we discovered it).

Service is benevolent and professional. But at a recent dinner, the kitchen’s performance was less than bravura .

Executive Chef and partner Michael White was a visible presence during our visit. michael white portrai1 V2
Yet he was not concerned (or didn’t notice) that two orders of different pastas were returned to the kitchen, because they were unbearably salty. (Our waiter tasted them and agreed). The excuse given was that the cooking water was over salted. But that couldn’t explain why the play on “Uovo In Raviolo Al Burro Nocciola Tartufato” (Homemade soft egg-yolk filled raviolo with truffled butter), San Domenico’s glorious egg-filled giant raviolo, morphed to “Uovo Di “Bergese” (truffled egg yolk filled raviolo with ricotta and baby spinach green asparagus ragu and parmigiano), was carelessly executed. The egg arrived almost hard boiled, embedded in gummy ricotta cheese.
I’m not sure Osso Buco lends itself to a scaled down portion and a Soft Shell Crab special was leaden: All presentation with no concession to taste. On the other side of the water, a Salmon preparation was quite good.

For a sweet end to the meal, diners can choose from pastry chef Deborah Snyder’s dolci, including Malted Chocolate Tartaletta with malt custard and crème fraîche sorbert; Panna Cotta with rhubarb streusel cake and rhubarb sorbet; Lemon Mouse Semifreddo with Sicilian pistachios and white chocolate cream; Budino, carrot caramel cake with ginger-spice gelato and candied kumquats; and house-made Sorbetti and Gelati with biscotti. Whatever your choice, it will be a high point of the Alto experience.

Alto opened with moments of greatness, despite spottiness. Today, Alto offers more disappointments than pleasures and rates B Minor on the Walman Report.

Copyright 2008 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved .

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic


Reason to visit the Dominican Republic (DR): The beaches are stunning and well-maintained. DR Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez announced the rejuvenation of Long Beach in Puerto Plata, as well Juan Dolio Beach and the start of revitalization efforts to beaches in La Romana, Najayo, Palenque (San Cristobal) and Barahona to ensure their healthy beauty.


DR’s 41st Annual Merengue Festival to be Held July 24 – 27, 2008
JetBlue Airways Offers Flights to the DR’s Santo Domingo from Orlando
DR’s Dominican Golf Federation Adopts U.S. Golf Handicap and Course Rating Systems
Delta Introduces Atlanta-Santiago Daily DR Flight
Four AAA Diamonds for the DR’s Casa Colonial
DR’s Courtyard Hotel Santiago Awarded Platinum Distinction
DR Jazz Festival to be Held November 6 – 9, 2008
Fairmont Roco Ki Hotel Begins Construction in DR’s Punta Cana
DR to Host World Poker Showdown

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Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas

Donald Trump’s Namesake Restaurant, DJT, Opens
At Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas


Trump’s Personal Chef, Joseph Isidori, Creates Innovative, Modern American Cuisine

Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas, the city’s newest landmark, today announced the opening of its signature fine-dining restaurant, DJT, bearing the initials of Donald J. Trump, who recently launched Trump Hotel Collection, with Las Vegas the newest location for the luxury brand. Located just inside the hotel’s spectacular grand lobby, DJT’s superbly crafted menu of Modern American cuisine and chic, intimate setting ensure a sensual, sophisticated and unforgettable dining experience.

DJT showcases the culinary talents of Executive Chef Joseph Isidori, former corporate executive chef for Trump Golf Management and executive chef at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla. Isidori has also served as Mr. Trump’s personal chef, as well as chef for the Trump family.

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