If you have an interest in food and travel and haven’t yet found Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix, then go there now for the refreshing new and funny voice of Phil Rosenthal. He’s a producer and a scriptwriter for a US sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, but in this Netflix series he travels to cities across the globe eating out mostly at street stalls, sometimes at high-end restaurants. He’s very likeable and funny and he loves his food. Add to that the sites of Marrakesh, Venice, L.A. and the rest and it’s a pleasing antidote to being locked down at home.
After exploring Venice, we find him in Modena where he tastes the top end balsamic vinegar the area is famed for, even dribbling 20 year old vinegar onto ice cream.
Hearing about such rare vinegars reminded me that some few weeks ago, between lockdowns, I was at The Vices in Fulford, York, ‘a new take on an independent designer hotel’. It’s the dream child of Italians, Daniel Curro and Moreno Carbone who bought the old Victorian Police Station to convert to ‘an innovative hotel experience’. Wow, in Alma Terrace? Sad to say because of Covid they are not there yet. The windows are boarded up and the place is still full of cement mixers and acrows, except that is for one small room, fitted out as a state of the art, temperature controlled, boutique wine store.
We made an appointment for a ‘curated’ tasting. Daniel carefully sussed us out as Aldi and Majestic buyers and steered towards the more modest end of the exclusively Italian wines (we’re still talking £20+) and naturally they were excellent. We bought a couple of bottles each then moved on to the balsamic vinegars where the prices impressed even more. The authentic 25 year old Modena vinegar, in the characteristic bottle, the sort Phil dribbled on his ice cream was a mere £125. Then there was the 100 year old reserve at £440 and for us cheapskates the Saba at £9 a bottle.
We will keep an eye on the Vices, their restaurant with rooms sounds like our sort of place. In the meantime tune in the Phil, he will make you smile.