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Nov 8, 2001 10:07 AM

John Mariani Trashes Red Ginger!

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The new issue of Esquire contains John Mariani's guide to the best new restaurants of the year. He also names the two WORST restaurants of the year: Hudson Cafeteria in NYC, and DC's own Red Ginger.

Is this place really that bad? I mean, to be singled out as one of the two worst restaurants to open in the entire United States in the past year is truly remarkable.

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    Geoff Laredo

    Haven't eaten there yet, but the big crowd last Saturday night looked pretty happy. Stopped in seeking late dinner, 10:30 Saturday night, there was a 30-45 minute wait for a table for two.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Geoff Laredo

      Two years ago he wrote a feature article in Esquire about a restaurant which he immodestly called, "The Best Restaurant In The World." A friend of mine showed it to me and asked if the town it was near, Mantova, Italy, wasn't close to where I was travelling on business the next week. I looked on a map and it was just a few miles away! The next morning I called the restaurant to make a reservation "for one"-me. In broken English the man on the other end of the line laughed when I made the request. I thought he was laughing because I was dining alone and, certainly, there must really be something wrong with me that I couldn't find a friend to join me at his restaurant!
      But, no, he was laughing because I was asking for dinner the next week. It seems that Dal Pescatore-the three Michelin starred restaurant that Mariani had written about-only had thirty seats and booked up three months in advance.
      Then he asked me if I could come for lunch that same day.
      I asked him if the luncheon menu was the same as dinner because in Italy it often is. He said yes.
      Well, I went to Dal Pescatore. The point behind writing all this is because I am deeply indebted to
      John Mariani for one of the finest meals of my life.
      My wife, two years later, is still angry at me for going without her. She, to this day, doesn't understand how a single man could possibly run up a check of $250 for one in Italy with a strong dollar. But I did! And the '90 Solaia was delicious. As was the '86 Avignonesi Vin Santo I had as a dessert wine.
      This was a truly incredible experience that I only wish that I could have shared with her.
      I don't know if Dal Pescatore is the "best restaurant in the world" but it certainly is one of the best. Regardless of what John Mariani thinks of Red Ginger the man certainly knows a good Italian restaurant when he sees one!