Steve Zaillian

My Mother's Grape Leaves

Print Email
by Steve Zaillian

 

My Mother Vina
My Mother Vina circa 1957

Instead of turkey, mashed potatoes, etc., stuffed grape leaves (along with shish-kabob and pilaf) is the traditional centerpiece of our Christmas dinner.

Disclaimer:  Every script I’ve ever written is overly descriptive and too long, so no doubt this recipe will be, too.  Apologies in advance. 

 

Coco Lezzone

Print Email
by Steve Zaillian

steve_zaillian.jpg2 ponte vecchio.jpg The first time I ate at Coco Lezzone in Florence, it was at the invitation of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, who knows a thing or two about Italian cooking:

(1) He created the gourmet Italian DDL Foodshow Emporiums in New York and Beverly Hills about 20 years ahead of their time,

(2) His lovely granddaughter Giada, with many of her family’s recipes and great charm and skill, has become a best-selling cookbook author and very popular Food Network chef, and,

(3) He is Italian and always has been.

We were in Florence because that’s where Hannibal was being filmed, and Dino asked my wife Elizabeth and me and some others working on the film to join him at Coco Lezzone for dinner.

Now, before I describe what we found there, let me explain how you get there.  From Piazza della Repubblica, you walk in the direction of the Arno down Via degli Strozzi, which soon turns into Via della Vigna Nuova.  You pass Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana and, perhaps not surprisingly, Via dell’Inferno. 

The Grand Bazaar

Print Email
by Steve Zaillian

olympia-scenic.jpg Olympia is a charming little city in the Pacific Northwest, set down on rolling hills surrounded by forests of Douglas-fir, bigleaf maple and red cedar – a pretty, speckled egg resting in a nest of twigs.

This is the old part – the far end of the Oregon Trail, settled on Native American land by Europeans in the 1850’s – where Leopold Schmidt founded the Olympia Brewing Company in nearby Tumwater Falls and sold his beer, if you recall, with the slogan, "it’s the water", which I’m surprised none of the hundreds of water bottlers has adopted now that Leopold’s beer business has folded.

This is Downtown Olympia, with its century-old buildings, its perfectly-proportioned Capitol, its tree-lined streets on which people drive politely and you can always find a place to park – often without a meter – near the still-family-run bookstore or café or bike shop you want to go to.

But that’s not where I wanted to go, or rather needed to go, to help my son move into an unfurnished apartment.  We needed to head over to the other part of Olympia and it is this part – which I imagine you’d find outside most other American towns of its size – that I’m still trying to figure out as the plane banks over Puget Sound taking me home.

 

restaurant news

Northgate Soda Shop
Mid-Atlantic
by Scott R. Kline

northgateinterior.jpgThe Northgate Soda Shop in Greenville, South Carolina proved an elusive target for a burger. But one can never keep a good burger seeker down.

Our trip across South Carolina continued as we...

Read more...
Plums Cafe & Catering: A Must Stop in Costa Mesa
Southern California
by Kitty Kaufman

plums cafe 1Here's what I like about California: People think nothing of driving 82 miles for lunch. (In New York, this never happens.) The Thin Man and I are now two of those people as we head out from La...

Read more...
Beard Papa
New York
by Anna Harari

creampuff.jpg I was having a particularly bad day.  I won't go into details but imagine college freshmen year and you can fill in the rest.  As I walked towards my dorm I saw the longest line I had ever seen...

Read more...
A (Sides) Trip to Los Olivos, CA
Southern California
by Lisa Dinsmore

Sides Hardware and ShoesWe love going to wine country. It's our favorite place to vacation. It's peaceful and beautiful and you can drink during the day without having to be in a bathing suit….or anyone judging you....

Read more...