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Gourmet Releases Its 2004 Restaurant Guide

Epicurious (the thinly disguised online incarnation of Gourmet Magazine) has recently launched their 2004 restaurant guide, which covers 30 major metropolitan areas in the US. Its a handy little thing for those who might be visiting a new city on business or those who are looking for an easily digestible set of recommendations instead of an entire Zagat Guide.

Gourmet's guide is simply organized by city and has two categories, "Big Deal" for fancy places and "Good Deal" for good values. No nonsense, easy to understand. Its not clear exactly what criteria went into the selection of their more expensive restaurants. In San Francisco they've picked Quince, which is definitely a hot new thing, but also Town Hall, which is good but hardly worth fussing over, and The Slanted Door which still delivers great food but belongs in the "so 1996" category.

For those who dine out on a regular basis, the fact that each of these categories only contains between one and four restaurants per city means that its hardly a relevant guide to your home city, but I plan on using it next time I find myself in, say, Providence, RI with no clue where to eat.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud