Holy cow! It was a who’s who of the international wine scene at Marta last night, where Paolo and I had a 9 p.m. reservation.
I finally got a chance to chat with Elisa Scavino from legacy Nebbiolo producer Paolo Scavino. She was staying at Nomad, not too far from Marta, and she had stopped in for dinner for one at the bar. I was so glad to meet her and she was super nice and fun to talk to.
And at the table next to ours? Yes, you guessed it
, the hardest working man in the wine podcast business, the inimitable Levi Dalton , once hailed as the Philip Marlowe of the wine world by an obscure wine blogger.
He was having dinner with Abe Schoener of Scholium Project, the man behind so many über cool American wines today. He’s another wine luminary whom I’ve missed meeting in Texas where he visits often. Really interesting and easy-going guy. I enjoyed talking with him.
But the biggest treat of the evening (besides being humped by a strange man who kept telling me that I seemed “depressed”) was reuniting with wine director Jack Mason, whom I last saw on the floor of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston.
Man, Jack is literally on top of the world: he oversees one of the most talked-about Italian lists in America at Manhattan’s hottest new restaurant.
I was so impressed with the grace and ease with which Jack worked the room and the many wine glitterati who were dining there.
Chapeau bas, Jack! I loved your list and as an Italian wine lover, I love what you’re doing for our shared cause.
Jack’s not the only Texan working for Danny Meyer these days, btw: Paula Rester, from Austin, is one of the sommeliers at Union Square Hospitality’s Maialino.
It’s great to see Texas making its mark on the New York wine scene.
O, and about that strange man who humped me to the bewilderment of my dining companions?
It must have been a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” moment. I believe he was wearing Pinaud Lilac Vegetal but the encounter was so sudden that I cannot be sure.
Check out my notes on the pizzas and other menu highlights over at Paolo’s CanteleUSA blog. And stay tuned for more enogastronomic debauchery!