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Welcome to Connoisseur Corner - Luxe Consulting and Executive Services

Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…

Marty can be contacted at: 916.952.9529 Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com

12/26/16

Magico S3 MK II – Magic for The Ears!


California-based speaker manufacturer Magico continues the overhaul of their S Series line of speakers with the introduction of the S3 MK II. 

Company founder and seeker of sonic perfection Alon Wolf is bent on continual advancements and improvements to the Magico lineup, and the S3 is the latest model to undergo a major redux.  The original S1 and S5 models have recently achieved MK II status, and the MK II version of the S3 rounds out the S Series lineup. 

Exactly how has the S3 earned the MK II grade?  After all, the original S3 was pretty darn good…

At quick glance, the updated speaker could almost be considered brand new.  While fairly similar in outward appearance, literally every facet of the speakers has been tweaked.  Let’s start at the top and work our way down…

The 1-inch diamond-coated beryllium-diaphragm tweeter has a new aluminum housing, along with improvements in the voice coil and other tweaks, providing lower distortion and resonance, and optimizing dispersion, power handling and blending with the other drivers.

One step down the frequency ladder is the 6-inch midrange driver which Magico reports as being 20% lighter and 300% more rigid than the previous S Series midrange.  You can thank a new cone material using Multi-layer carbon fiber and XG Nanographene.  This is high-tech stuff…!

The final rung of the frequency ladder is held down by a pair of 9-inch bass drivers using the same cone materials and manufacturing techniques as the 6-inch midrange.  These speakers have a full ½ inch of linear excursion courtesy of a pure titanium voice coil in the magnet structure. 

Nice…!

The speaker enclosure itself is formed from what Magico describes as “a single piece of extruded aluminum that is 3/8-inch thick and 12-inches in diameter.  The top plate is convex for sonic benefits, and the base plate has 4 outriggers to increase stability.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the crossover electronics, as they have been massaged to coincide with the driver and cabinet improvements.  Components from the crossover system come from highly-regarded Mundorf in Germany and use Magico’s Elliptical Symmetry Crossover design.

The end result is one nice pair of updated speakers.  The cabinets stand 48” tall and weigh in at 170 lbs. per.  Don’t move them alone!  Frequency response is rated at 24Hz-50 kHz with a 4-ohm impedance. 

Pricing is set at $28,000 for the standard M-Cast finish, with painted finishes a bit more.  The S3 MK II will be shipping to dealers in January.

12/23/16

The World’s Most Expensive Pizza Lives in NY



New Yorkers have a reputation for doing everything big.  Pushing the limits, raising the bar, yada-yada…
It turns out that pizza is apparently included in this mindset. 

Let’s head to New York’s South Street Seaport, just down from the Brooklyn Bridge, and stop in at the bustling and stylish restaurant Industry Kitchen.  Inspired by the wealthy folks buzzing about the nearby Financial District, Executive Chef Braulio Bunay has created what he terms “the epitome of decadence”, in the form of a pizza pie named the “24K”.
We all love pizza, right…?

And now for the toppings…  France supplies the Foie gras and truffles, England sends over the stilton cheese, gold leaf glitter (I’m not joking) comes from Ecuador and the ubiquitous Ossetra caviar (Caspian Sea) tops of this ultimate indulgence. 
You will have to plan your hunger carefully, as this big-buck pie requires a 48-hour advanced order.  And don’t forget to bring your platinum card.  The fee for this hedonistic delight?

$2,000.00
Cheers…




Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…
Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com

12/20/16

Stolen Fruit – Mixers for the Cocktail Connoisseur







Let’s chat today about a little bit of magic known as “verjus”.  You know…  that grape juice stuff...!
Well, let me be more enlightening…

Derived from the French term vert jus (green juice), verjus is a grape juice processed from green grapes before they ripen or ferment.  The sour juice is high in acidity and low in sugars, and can easily be combined with herbs and spices.  Over time it has been added to various sauces, condiments or salad dressings, but its use is not as prevalent as once was.
Now let’s wander off into the land of mixology, and talk about craft cocktails. 

The creative minds at Stolen Fruit, residing in Healdsburg, California, bring us an update on the use of verjus with a quintet of cocktail mixers that will take your adult beverages to another level.  Not only will your palate be impressed, but the taste buds of your friends, family, and any local glitterati will swoon as well…!
The current lineup consists of Jasmine Juniper Viognier, Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon Blanc, Blood Orange Muscat, Hibiscus Grenache and lastly the ever-popular Fig Grains of Paradise Zin.  The Stolen Fruit website provides recipes for cocktails, mocktails and food pairings that are sure to inspire.

Does a Jasmine and Juniper Martini float your boat?  How ‘bout a Hibiscus Margarita?
Priced at $18.00 for a 16-oz. bottle, these mixers are the perfect addition to your mixology toolkit, guaranteed to remove you from the cocktail doldrums…

Cheers!


Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…
Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com

12/17/16

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe – Just Right..!



Mercedes Benz has debuted their newest 2-door, the middle sibling of their 3-size coupe family.  Based on the E-Class midsize sedan, the E-class coupe shows tremendous promise...!

So, what about this “coupe family”?

The baby Benz coupe, the C-Class, is a nice car, but lacks the exterior gravitas and design quality to have it exceed in the road presence category.  The interior is excellent, but once you step outside the car…
Nice, but…

The largest and utterly top-shelf S-Class coupe is sharp, but is also a large car by coupe standards and may frankly be overwhelming to some drivers.
I’m thinking the E-Class Coupe will be…  you guessed it…  “just right”…!

Slightly larger than the previous generation car, the exterior of the new E-Coupe is pretty darn sexy for a Mercedes product.  Current Benz Design Chief Gorden Wagener and his team can be applauded for that.  The interior carries over from the E-Class sedan, which is all good.  This is a nicely conceived driving environment and has a bit more room for all occupants than the previous generation car, even those relegated to the chairs in back.  Design, ergonomics and fit-and-finish set the bar high.
So, the aesthetics are good, but…

Fortunately, there really is no “but” here, as the E coupe has all the tech goodies as expected.  Safety, autonomous driving, and infotainment features can be tailored as desired.  Chassis and suspension bits are well sorted out, providing the proper Mercedes-Benz roadgoing experience. 
The initial powerplant available in the States will be a 3.0 liter biturbo V6 with 329 ponies and the 9G-Tronic transmission handles the shifting duties in both 2 and 4-wheel drive versions.  You can expect a 4-cylinder model sometime soon, along with an AMG version boasting substantially more power and performance.

This 2018 model will arrive in a showroom near you mid-summer. 

Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…
Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com




12/10/16

Botanical Mixology – Toque’s Ultimate Gift Case



The folks at Spain’s Toque (“Touch”) have put together what surely is the preeminent collection of botanicals for the mixologist crowd.
Botanicals…?

noun  a substance obtained from a plant and used as an additive, especially in gin or cosmetics”
Ah yes, let’s add some (plant) life to your cocktails…!  Enter the Mixology Case!

Under the auspices of renowned mixologist Pepe Orts, Toque has put together a kit of 12 handpicked botanicals, a deck of cards with information and recipes, and the necessary tools to get you from Point A to Point B, otherwise known as cocktail Nirvana…!
What exactly might those dozen prized botanicals be?  Let’s take a look…

·         Juniper Berries
·         Cardamom
·         Mace
·         Star Anise
·         Kumquat Peel
·         Mallow Flower
·         Persian Roses
·         Hibiscus Flower
·         Cassia Cinnamon
·         Jamaica Pepper
·         Cocoa Beans
·         Elephant Coffee Beans

Intrigued?  This is an impressive and creative collection of ingredients.  A truly unique way to “get your drink on!”  The case is available directly from the Toque Store priced at 105,00 €.
Cheers…!




Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…
Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com

12/3/16

Leftover Turkey? Roasted Poblano Cream Soup with Turkey, of Course…




Turkey casserole…?         Nah…

Turkey pot pie…?             Nah…
What to do, what to do…

Likely a universal truth in these United States at this time of year, we have leftover turkey.  My goal this year was to take those leftovers to a slightly different place.  I wanted to stay away from the usual suspects.  How about something with origins from south of the border? 
Roasted Poblano Cream Soup with Turkey and Potatoes

A big shout out goes to one of my favorites, chef Rick Bayless, for the inspiration on this one…  His book, More Mexican Everyday has a section on converting a roasted poblano rajas into soup.  For some twisted turkey reason, I decided this would be a good marriage.  Read on for my take on this rich and earthy soup…
For the rajas:

·         8 poblano chiles
·         2 white onions, sliced
·         4 garlic cloves
·         1 tsp Mexican oregano
·         Olive oil
Roast the poblanos under the broiler, turning as skin chars.  Remove and steam in a bowl covered with a kitchen towel for 20+ minutes.  Remove skins, stems and seeds and rough chop.  Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.   Add onions and cook 7 – 10 minutes, stirring often.  When nicely browned, add chopped chiles, oregano and chopped garlic.  Stir for 1 -2 minutes and remove from heat.
(the rajas alone is commonly used to top tacos, and it is killer...!)

For the soup:

·         ½ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
·         6 cups stock, preferably homemade turkey (chicken works fine)
·         2-3 cups shredded “leftover” turkey
·         3 – 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
·         ¾ cup heavy cream
·         Salt and pepper to taste
·         Goat cheese and cilantro for garnish
For the corn, add it to the rajas along with the chiles, to heat the kernels through.  Add rajas and corn mixture to a blender along with a cup or two of stock and blend until smooth.  Add to your favorite soup pot along with the remaining stock and bring to a simmer.  Add the turkey and potatoes and cook until potatoes are fork tender.  Stir in heavy cream and season to taste.  Serve topped with a garnish of chopped cilantro and goat cheese.

Cheers…!



Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…
Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com