Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Birth of Bourbon chronicles the narrative of Kentucky's Native Spirit

Bottling Line Split, T. W. Samuels Distillery in Deansville Kentucky. The Split Lines might convey boxes on one side and bottles on the other, allowing for efficient packing and storage. (University Press of Kentucky)

One of the best recent coffee table style books relating to spirits, The Birth of Bourbon: A Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries (Photographs by Carol Peachee) is a hauntingly beautiful tribute to the origins of Bourbon told through the antiquated interiors and exteriors which help tell the story of Kentucky's singular connection with America's native spirit.

The architecture of many of these distilleries is surprisingly ornate and varied; the Old Prentice Distillery was built in the vein of Spanish Mission Architecture and the Old Taylor Distillery Company has arched stone windows and crenelation which gives the structure the grandiosity of a European Castle.

Many of the images, particuarly the interiors show a sense of historic decay.  Somehow, however, the decay has the kind of grandeur of Classical European ruins.  Ms. Peachee does a wonderful job of conveying the narritive, decay and beauty of these structures which helped define, and continue to define, Kentucky's history and heritage.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Small Cakes Patchogue is the perfect after dinner destination in Patchogue, NY

Small Cakes Patchogue is quickly becoming a fixture in the growing dining scene in Patchogue, NY.  Small Cakes specializes in Cupcakes and offers Ice Cream, Coffee and Milkshakes.  Lynn is particularly drawn to the cupcakes with her favorites being red velvet and "birthday cake."  Lynn appreciates the lightness of the baking and the flavor which is sweet but not cloying.  We usually get our order "to go" but the seating area is welcoming and comfortable.  Perfect to meet a friend for a coffee and sweet. 
M&L

Friday, April 13, 2018

Paries satiisfies sweet cravings since 1895....

Lynn loved these after dinner treats that the baristas would patiently wrap. We brought these back as treats for our friends. .Lynn's favorite was fleur de self with the lauburo image symbolic of Basque unity in San Sebastian.  

M & L

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Mark and Lynn have a quick drink at the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra in San Sebastian

Lynn and I loved the Hotel Maria Cristina during our recent trip to San Sebastian but curiosity compelled us to check out the "other" boutique hotel in San Sebastian the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra.  We had a couple of Red Vermouth there on the rocks.  Even though it was a warm day it was nowhere near warm enough to hit the beach in full view from the hotel bar....

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bar Roberto impresses with Creative Cocktails, Pinxtos and Hospitality....



Bar Roberto in the heart of San Sebastian is tiny and charming with a warm staff and a great take on the pinxtos (similar to tapas) that are packed with flavor due in no small part to the unusual combinations of spices, garnishes and seafood (particularly savory anchovies and sardines).  We had one of many Maranito cocktails specific to the San Sebastian/Donastia region of Spain.  This drink, a combination of a substantial amount of Vermouth with dashes of Campari, Gin and bitters finished off with Orange Rind and Olives. The Olives and Orange work surprisingly well together and the drink packs a flavorful punch somewhat reminiscent of a Negroni.

Definitely one of our favorite places we visited due to its earthiness and delcious and extremely inexpensive and creative food and drink. 


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Old Town Coffee in San Sebastian, Spain is a refuge for bleary eyed Mark and Lynn....


Lynn and I just got back from San Sebastian Spain and we are still feeling the impact this region's food culture had upon us.  One of our favorite breakfast places was Old Town Coffee about a 20 minute walk from our Hotel.  Lynn loved her fragrant Latte and my Americano was strong enough to help me shake off at least some of the jet lag from our trip from JFK to Madrid.
We kept things simple for the most part sticking with our drinks and the delicious tostadas topped with next level avocado and juicy Spanish ham (jamon).  The young couple there were attractive and accommodating. We were immensely appreciative of this great, warm venue to reset our selves.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Mark and Lynn discover Bibiop...


Lynn and I discovered this great Asian eatery, Bibibop while away last weekend near Washington, DC.  Bibibop is a Korean dish typically consisting of rice topped with vegetables and some sort of protein.  We were impressed by the variety of choices we had while building our bibibop.  You can mix and match a plethora of toppings like black beans, potatoes, purple rice, red cabbage, spicy chicken and so on.  \
 In essence, you could eat a seemingly endless array of meals at Bibibop; as decadent or as healthy as you can imagine..(see image below)

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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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