August 5, 2011

RECORD-REVIEW "Talk of the Town


This is no wives’ tale: we drizzle Wild Virginia salad dressing on fish, meat, and vegetables to cook, roast, BBQ, you name it. The versatility of this tasty dressing has it jumping the food chain in all directions and the stuff is delicious. Its robust flavor is made from fresh flavors and superior-quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) with no other oils, water, thickeners, preservatives or chemicals. It also has a convenient (and kid-friendly) flip top to make it easy to shake up each time you use it (natural separation will occur). And believe it or not, all-EVOO dressings are hard to find, if at all. And if it’s not EVOO, you don’t get the same health benefits (so don’t be fooled by the “pure olive oil” stuff, which is actually a lower grade olive oil.

The launch of Wild Virginia has put inventor/connoisseur Ellen Best on the frontline as an entrepreneurial foodie. Her product is now available in ten stores in Westchester and Fairfield Counties, including down the avenue at Scotts Corner Market on the top shelf in the salad dressing section.

The inspiration? Ellen says it best (no pun intended): “I couldn’t find that homemade taste in store-bought salad dressings – probably like a lot of other people. When my daughters, Sarah and Jessica, and their friends started asking for Wild Virginia instead of Ranch dressing when they were little, I knew I was onto something. After giving it out to friends, family, teachers and bus drivers, my husband James suggested I bottle it. The whole venture thrust me deeper into the culinary world, which I love; and into the local food culture, which I also love.” Ellen will be at local farmers’ markets and store tastings in the fall. You can also look forward to two more flavors—Miso and Honey Mustard—both with EVOO and both doing great in test markets. They use local honey and other natural ingredients that you don’t need a chemistry degree to understand. For more information on the salad dressing with incredible flexibility, check out Wild Virginia at and

What are you doing this Friday night? How about Saturday? Come be transfixed by the wicked piano artistry of Pete Malinverni when he performs with his quintet, “Invisible Cities,” on August 5 and 6 at Smalls Jazz Club (in Greenwich Village at 10th Street and Seventh Avenue South in NYC; #212-252-5091). Shows are at 10 and 11:30 p.m. Pete, a Steinway Artist, will appear with Scott Wendholt (trumpet); Rich Perry (tenor sax); Lee Hudson (bass) and Tom Melito (drums). “ … the new Invisible Cities reminds us that [Pete’s] knack for small group arrangements gets deeper every year,” wrote Jim Macnie in “The Village Voice.” "Pete Malinverni's Invisible Cities, inspired by the imaginative flights of Italo Calvino's novel of the same name, exists on its own terms and doesn't readily fit into any established jazz style or sensibility," wrote David Orthmann in “All About Jazz.” For more info on Pete’s upcoming performance schedule, take a major turn to

Have weekend guests and dying to get out of the house? An educated distraction is close at hand. If you’re driving through the hamlet and see the door of Pound Ridge Museum open, stop in to learn more about our town history. The ever-talented team of Ebie Wood, Dick Major, Dennis Harrington, Timi Parsons and Joyce Butterfield created the exhibit, “Pound Ridge & The Civil War”, with special assistance from Don Spauding. The exhibit pays homage to the 109 men of Pound Ridge — nearly 32% of the male population (18+) of Pound Ridge in 1861 — who bravely served the Union. With particular pride, we honor First Sgt. Thomas J. Murphy of Pound Ridge, recipient of The Congressional Medal of Honor, our country’s highest military award. A special video exhibit highlights pages from the diary of Sgt. George E. Dixon, who stood guard over the Lincoln assassination conspirators and witnessed their military trial and execution. Also on exhibit is Civil War art by Don Spaulding, original Union uniforms, and other Civil War memorabilia. Pound Ridge Museum is open Saturday-Sunday from 2-4 p.m. Admission is free; donations accepted. Learn about the history that makes Pound Ridge the special town that it is.

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