Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Mark and Lynn dig the Stars Cafe on Shelter Island

 Lynn and I spent a decadent  mid-week day on Shelter Island recently and had one of the best, most surprising lunches we have had in a long time.  The cafe we usually frequent when we are on Shelter Island was closed which caused us to improvise and take a shot at dining at the Stars Cafe. 

Particularly surprising was how busy the place was mid-week.  There was a lot of take out, presumably to be transported to the pool or beach as a picnic.  Despite the steady onslaught of patrons we were able to order quickly, find a seat and get served with admirable speed.  The cause of this was an unusually efficient and mindful staff who kept the flow of business going.

Lynn had a Mahi-Mahi wrap that had generous portions of fish and I had the Mahi salad which had the same liberal amount of fish and was complemented by a considerable amount of
 fresh avocado. 

Unlike other favorite restaurants of ours, Stars has a menu that is impressive in its variety and depth.  We look forward to trying other dishes there like the Avocado Chicken Salad, Carne Asada and Veggie Burger. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

We Check out LT Burger in Westhampton Beach....

LT Burger in Sag Harbor has always been one of our favorite Hamptons spots.  It is cheerful, the food is good, the staff are attentive and even intuitive.  The interior has a playful but thoughtfully curated vibe including a crowd pleasing vintage Pac Man game. About a year ago, LTB opened a Westhampton outpost with a similar vibe and the same menu.  

We recently visited the "new" LTB and were quickly reminded about what makes the restaurants special.  The Westhampton version has a strong pop art influence with homages and references meant to call to mind  007, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. 

As always, the service was exceptional and the bartender made an impressive Negroni (even more impressive as I got the impression that it might have been his first attempt at this mainstay Italian cocktail).  Most of all, it was comforting to have a great burger a drink and to look around at the maskless restaraunt and feel that feeling of normalcy that makes life worth living. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Dirty Taco lands in Patchogue with a splash...


The very recently opened Dirty Taco and Tequila in Patchogue, NY has landed with a splash in one of the most active and diverse food communities on Long Island.  Taco oriented restaurants and tacos themselves have been elevated from what many considered an after school food to something (in some instances) approaching high end dining due to chef's using creative and non traditional ingredients.  

Dirty Taco is well within this sphere as the place has tacos with an interesting array of ingredients including fried chicken, chicken tinga, kung pao chicken, thai meatball, and korean short ribs.  There are also vegan/vegetarian offerings with tofu, brussel sprouts and roasted cauliflower. 

Beyond that, Dirty Taco has a variety of other possibilities such as the Asian Style Nachos with Korean Short Rib (Lynn's pick on our most recent outing there), Kung Pao Dumplings and Shishito Peppers with cilantro lime crema (my pick on our most recent outing there).

As the title says, Dirty Taco also features an extensive selection of top shelf tequilas such as Cosamigos and Vila One available in cocktails, "neat: or on the rocks.

The atmosphere is hip with splashy murals and witty artwork.  And, for a new restaraunt, the staff seemed exceptionally seasoned and "on it."   Definitely plan to be regulars here....

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

El Mercat in Rockville, Maryland is bucket list Spanish cuisine....

El Mercat  ( in Rockville, Maryland is a fabulous creature of a restaurant recently opened by Executive Chef George Rodrigues .  Simply put, the Spanish food is to die for. 

Lynn and I had visited the San Sebastian region of Spain a few years ago and were wowed by the simple, but very appetizing cuisine known as pinxtos.  This cuisine was simplicity itself and typically consisted of tinned fish and meat piled on small squares of bread.  This was often washed down with a rustic red wine or, more typically with red vermouth on the rocks with a twist of orange.

El Mercat has a broader range of choices than we experienced in our San Sebastian journey but the idea and mainly the spirit of the place are the same.  The plates are typically small and many plates were ordered at our table allowing us to share and taste the variety of fare that El Mercat had to offer.

Standouts included "Pulpo Con Patatas" (Octopus, Potatoes and Paprika); the savory "Pimentos De Padron" (Fried Shisito Peppers with Sea Salt) and the show stopping Tabla De Quesos Y Curados" which is a mind blowing assortment of Meats, Cheeses, and Sides that could serve as a meal for a group with ease.  

Lynn and I have found that really good, authentic  Spanish food is difficult to find, if it can be found at all.  Sad for us that El Mercat is not closer to our Long Island home...

M & L

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Yay Sag Pizza!

Located in what was once the beloved pizza joint Conca D'Oro in Sag Harbor, Sag Pizza has established itself as one of the .   The pizza is sublime with the Vongole pizza featuring clams being a particular favorite of Lynn's.  However, what has really captivated Lynn and I have been the appetizer offerings of Mediterranean Octopus with fingerling potato and cured olives and the Calamari Fritti which is generously portioned and accented with shards of zucchini. 

Sag Pizza has a reasonable and accessible wine list with local offerings from Wolfer Vineyards among others.  The energy is relaxed and it is the rare Long Island  eatery  that  has the innate flexibility to be both a family place and a date place.  

M & L

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Lucharitos brings wit and great Mexican fare to Long Island's North Fork

in Aquebogue is one of a group of "Lucharito's" that dot the East End/North Fork of Long Island (an exception being a location in Melville. The locations have become known for their reasonable and fresh Mexican inspired fare and, equally known for their witty and cheerful decor with Luchador Wrestling masks being central to the interior decoration.

We recently dined at the location in Aquabogue after many restaurants that we frequented were still closed or had limited opening due to a serious snowstorm that paralyzed much of Long Island the previous day. 

Lynn had tacos (one with Duck and one with fried scallops).  I had "Frida's Salad" overflowing with corn, cabbage and other vegetables finished off with fried scallops.  

The fried scallops were without a doubt the best, sweetest and juiciest we have had (and we have had some excellent ones over the years).  Our bartender was attentive and friendly discussing the NFL playoffs and where the next outpost of Lucharitos might land (seemingly Riverhead).

Lynn and I have had hit and miss experiences with Mexican fare, but Lucharitos seems to be a restaurant that will go into our heavy rotation for our dining favorites...
M & L

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Mark and Lynn love Fat Crow Mustard....


This Troy, NY company's mustard just came across our radar in a big way.  The Horseradish and Pepper Mustard has become our favorite condiment of autumn with its savory bite and strong but not overpowering palate.  The company also produces rubs, sauces, jams as well as other flavors of mustards that we are anxious to try.

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I (Mark) have written for The Christian Science Monitor, Clear Magazine, Picture Magazine, Film Score Monthly, Dan's Papers, Rue Morgue, In Flight USA and a lot more publications that I can't remember.... My wife Lynn was a model with the Ford Agency and her photography has been featured in most of the publications I have written for...


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