Trapiche Sparkling Still Amazes The Second Time Around.




We reviewed this sparkler as part of a group sometime ago and tasted another bottle recently. At a SRP: of $14.99, it is lively, well balanced and a winner. It surpassed a big-name French Champagne we tasted that was “green” by comparison and not as food friendly. This Trapiche extra brut sparkling chardonnay, semillon and malbec blend is a tribute to Argentinean winemaking.

Established in 1883, Trapiche is the world’s leading producer of wines from Argentina. Located at the foothills of the Andes in Argentina’s viticultural epicenter Mendoza; Trapiche owns over 2,500 acres of vineyards spread throughout the region. With near perfect growing conditions – hot days, cool nights, scant rainfall and tightly controlled irrigation – Trapiche is able to consistently grow and source top quality fruit.. International style, fruit driven and represent the best of Argentina.


The Varietal series from Trapiche are hand-harvested varietal wines that provide fresh, pure flavors at extremely affordable prices. Each of the wines is bottled in its purest form with no oak aging and a minimal handling in the winery.
Terroir: The Trapiche Varietal selections are sourced from select vineyards that lie along the Mendoza River east of Mendoza high in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. The vineyards sit in sandy soils at elevations that reach up to 2,500 feet in elevation. Harvesting and vineyard maintenance is done entirely by hand.
Vinification: Following harvest the grapes are transported to the winery where they are destemmed and vinified at cool temperatures for a period of 10-15 days to extract color, aroma and ripe fruit flavors. To retain varietal character and freshness the wines are aged for a short period of time entirely in stainless steel tanks before a light filtration and bottling. The second fermentation employs the “Charmat Lungo” method in small 50 hectoliter tanks at 14°C. The wine stays in contact with the lees for 120 days prior to bottling.


Trapiche Sparkling is a fresh, clean and vibrant sparkling wine showing off flavors or apple, pear, melon and citrus

70% Chardonnay, 20% Semillon and 10% Malbec. SRP: $14.99


Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse

nino's tuscany

Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse

Address: 117 West 58th Street

(Between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue)


(212) 757-8630




Owner: Nino Selimaj nino self2

Cuisine: Italian

General Manager Tony Lala


Excellent Selection and Well Priced Bottles  As Well As Food Friendly Wines By The Glass:

Cocktails: Well Made & Generous

3 Course Prix Fixe Lunch: $24: 3 Course Prix Fixe Dinner (Including Coffee): $35.

Credit Cards: All major

 Nino's Steak Menu

Nino Self Image

One of the most prolific and successful restaurateurs in New York City, Nino Selimaj has  re-launched Nino’s Tuscany as an Italian Steakhouse. (His three other restaurants are the original Nino’s (1354 First Avenue), its sister restaurant Nino’s Positano (890 Second Ave.), plus The Excellent Latin Inspired Scarpina Bar & Grill  (88 University Place).

Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse,  as suggested by its name, retains a decidedly Tuscan menu and décor, and adds the full steak, grilled meat and seafood options on a separate menu insert, . (Alas, the façade gives little insight to the pleasures that await).

Once inside, the warm lighting, created by silk-shaded chandeliers and attractive design are evident. There are three charming dining areas, comfortable banquettes and well spaced tables, oodles of murals and a mirror decked out in the trompe l’oiel style. The first area, opposite the bar, is our favorite with its mosaic-inlaid columns and red brick walls, supporting stone planters filled with wheat. The floors have been redone and murals enhanced.

Service, a hallmark of Mr. Selimaj’s restaurants is warm, efficient and professional thanks to General Manager Tony Lala.Many dishes are done tableside (check out the Caesar Salad) and customers receive a welcoming reception and treatment, even on the first visit.

Mr. Selimaj was wise to snag the chef from one of Manhattan’s big name steakhouses and the resulting food is equal to some of the best steakhouses in the city. We selected dishes from the new menu and were delighted with appetizers that included a terrific fresh seafood platter and jumbo crab, lobster, and shrimp cocktail, as well as little neck clams on the half shell.

Recommended entrée choices offer a fabulous 16 ounce grilled rack of veal, a succulent 26 ounce prime aged rib eye, cooked à point, prime aged porterhouse for two, lamb chops, filet mignon and a marvelous 4 pound pound lobster (brought to the table from a large tank for inspection. Other options offer pan seared yellowfin tuna or grilled wild salmon. Don’t miss the Italian-style hash browns with sweet peppers and onions and the superb polenta. The grissini breadsticks and rustic country loaf are a big improvement on the standard steak house bread assortment.

The affordable wine list offers plenty of bottles from topflight Italian producers at fair markups.The decanting process is executed beautifully on wines that require breathing. After inquiring about my wine preference (Super Tuscan) Tony selected an Olpaio DOC Val di Cornia Suvereto, 2003, (Olpaio comes from "Olpe", a clay jug decorated with friezes usually fine, which the Etruscans used as a container for wine. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot( 51% 49%). It probably won’t be available for long, but serious wine buffs will be delighted with excellent choices from the Reserve List.

Desserts, not only look pretty, but are wonderful, whether you go for a classic taramisu, a light panna cotta or splurge and allow Tony to prepare an expert rendition of bananas flambé, simmering bananas, strawberries, sugar, butter, hazelnut liqueur and brandy into a flaming extravaganza, just waiting to be poured over vanilla ice cream. The iced cappuccino is masterful.

In addition to a la carte dining, Nino’s Tuscany offers a Prix Fixe Lunch from 12:00 – 3:00 pm for $24.00 and a Three Course Prix Fixe Dinner at $35.00 per person. There is also lovely piano music, Tuesday through Sunday, 7 to 10 PM, thanks to Irving Field and a celebrity clientele. Tony Bennett was sitting at the next table on one of our visits.

Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse  not only offers quality and stylish product, it delivers an atmospheric and romantic setting that is rare to encounter these days and we can safely label it one of midtown’s best bets for a terrific dining experience


Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

A Taste of Panama With a Barcelona Accent:

trump panama logo

Dining at Trump Ocean Club® International Hotel & Tower® Panama

Executive Chef Daniel Bausà Peris brings the flavors of his native Barcelona to the dining experiences at Trump Ocean Club® International Hotel & Tower® Panama,

opening July 6, 2011. trump panama 1 Iberian-inspired dishes will mingle with local Panamanian and international specialties on menus at the hotel’s signature Tejas Restaurant & Bar, casual BARcelona Tapas Restaurant & Bar and al fresco Azul Pool Bar & Grill. Complementing these exceptional dining venues will be the fine wines and small plates of Cava 15 Wine Bar.

True to Trump Ocean Club’s waterfront setting, seafood will take center stage during dinner at Tejas Restaurant & Bar. Here, Chef Bausà concentrates on beautifully plated, deceptively simple dishes that allow the true flavors of the seafood to shine through. In the same spirit of “transparency,” a window from the dining room to the kitchen will allow guests to watch the chef and his team at work.

Chef Bausà has infused the cuisine of Tejas with a Mediterranean accent cultivated through his years of experience in the top kitchens of Spain and Italy. Asian, Latin American and other European flavors will also be highlighted in a true fusion menu. Enticing appetizers will range from a watermelon and feta cheese salad with Greek olives and lemon almond oil to an octopus terrine with ñame root purée, arugula and light, spicy chorizo oil. The freshest catch of the day will be served in a choice of preparations: crusted in sea salt, roasted Mediterranean, Caribbean or local Tikin-xic style. Each of these preparations can be paired with the patron’s choice of sauce, from a garlic mojo to a fresh herb pistou. Meat lovers will enjoy inspired choices such as beef tenderloin with onion compote and gorgonzola ravioli, and a grilled pork chop with smoked cheese and red cabbage strudel. Key lime pie, warm apple tart, and a traditional Latin American three-milk cake are among the tempting dessert selections. Tejas will also feature a lively outdoor raw bar, where Mexican and Panamanian ceviches share the menu with the traditional shellfish.

For small bites in an inviting, casual setting, BARcelona Tapas Restaurant & Bar will draw heavily on Chef Bausà’s Barcelona roots, and several time-honored family recipes are showcased on the menu. The lunch and dinner menus at this restaurant, which promises to be a favorite of locals and hotel guests alike, are designed around a small-plate concept in the tapas tradition, to encourage sharing and plenty of socializing. Panamanian fare is also featured, including a local Sancocho soup that shares the menu with the traditional Salmorejo gazpacho topped with quail egg and Spanish ham. Newcomers to the tapas concept will appreciate Chef Bausà’s “Tapas Walk Through,” a four-course tasting menu hand-selected by the chef and served family-style. Each course will include multiple plates for plenty of culinary variety. Among them are oven-roasted vegetables with pickled anchovies “Montadito,” spicy crispy “Brava’s” potatoes (a BARcelona signature), baby lamb chops with sundried tomato marmalade and aioli, and a coconut rice pudding Panamanian style.

At breakfast, cooking stations outside BARcelona’s doors will draw diners in with the tantalizing aroma of waffles, pancakes and French toast prepared before their eyes. A counter display including pastries, fresh fruits, cold cuts and cheeses will also be stationed outside, while within the restaurant, guests can choose from a wide array of omelettes and other inspired egg and meat dishes.

For poolside guests, the al fresco Azul Pool Bar & Grill will deliver refreshing treats against a spectacular Pacific Ocean backdrop. Among trump panama 2 the light delights on the menu are Caesar salad, guacamole served with totopos and salsa, a selection of quesadillas and a shrimp, coconut, banana and avocado ceviche. Angus beef burgers come with a choice of five toppings, from mozzarella basil pesto to sundried tomato and goat cheese. Sandwiches and market-fresh grilled items, from lamb chops to shrimp, will also be featured, topped off by a selection of desserts that include a tropical fruit salad, country bread served with chocolate and sea salt, and a choice of three ice cream cups: Caribbean (tropical sorbets with red fruit sauce and blackberry whipped cream), Panamanian (chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon roll ice cream with caramel sauce, whipped cream and banana) and Azul’s own signature (coffee, chocolate and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, Bailey’s and Oreo cookie).

About Trump® Ocean Club® International Hotel & Tower® Panama

Opening July 6, 2011, Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower Panama, perched above Panama Bay in Punta Pacifica, will be the first international venture for Trump Hotel Collection. It is destined to be the largest hotel in Latin America, designed by architect Arias Serna Saravia and developed by Newland International Properties Corp. Its 369 handsomely appointed hotel rooms, including 47 suites, will be a home-away-from-home for travelers, and amenities will include a floor of elite boutiques and shops, multiple restaurants reflective of the region’s best fare, a phenomenal pool deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean, 10,000 square feet devoted to wellness at The Spa at Trump, over 46,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, a casino and a private beach club on nearby Isla Viveros. Signature services of the Trump Hotel Collection, including The Trump Attaché, will also be a part of the Trump Ocean Club experience. For more information, please visit Reservations can be made by calling (877)898-7867. Connect with Trump Ocean Club on Facebook and Twitter.


Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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